Are books written by the Saints official Catholic teaching?

Hello,

Just wondering if the books written by the Saints are official Catholic teaching? Are they required reading?

Some of the books include “The Secret of the Rosary” by St. Louis De Montfort, The Little Way by St. Therese of Lisieux and the Interior Castle by St. Teresa of Avila

Is everything written in these books official doctrine?

Also, are the (seperate) quotes by the Saints official church teaching?

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.

There are some saints who took a stand against some things we consider dogma (obligatory) today. There was some saint who was against the idea of Mary’s immaculate conception, for example; I think that was St. Thomas Aquinas. In his day, that was not considered a settled matter.

And, when you take something like the Diary of St. Faustina, that’s still considered private revelation, which is not part of the deposit of faith.

No way…

Just wondering if the books written by the Saints are official Catholic teaching?

Are they required reading?

Is everything written in these books official doctrine?

Also, are the (separate) quotes by the Saints official church teaching?

The answer to all four questions is, generally, no. We believe that the saints are in Heaven, not that they were infallible or inerrant during their lives on earth. The human authors of most of the books of the Bible are saints, and the Bible*** is ***official Catholic teaching. However, the Bible is official Catholic teaching because it was inspired by God, not because of the human authors.

Absolutely NOT!

NO!
However you will be reasonably safe with those the Church designates as “doctor” or “father” (usually those of the first 4 or 5 centuries or so).

The only one you can be almost always sure of is the “Angelic Doctor”.
Thomas Aquinas and his “Summa”.

However even he got one or two things not quite right (eg he jumped the wrong way on the Immaculate Conception - but then it wasn’t clear to anyone I n his time).
About 95% of the Current Catechism is based on Aquinas’s systematisation of Catholic Faith.

Your best bed time reading is the CCC if you want sure Catholic teaching.
vatican.va/archive/ENG0015/_INDEX.HTM

[quote=Catholic Encyclopedia]Certain ecclesiastical writers have received this title on account of the great advantage the whole Church has derived from their doctrine.

The requisite conditions are enumerated as three: eminens doctrina, insignis vitae sanctitas, Ecclesiae declaratio (i.e. eminent learning, a high degree of sanctity, and proclamation by the Church). …] The decree is issued by the Congregation of Sacred Rites and approved by the pope, after a careful examination, if necessary, of the saint’s writings. It is not in any way an ex cathedra decision, nor does it even amount to a declaration that no error is to be found in the teaching of the Doctor. It is, indeed, well known that the very greatest of them are not wholly immune from error.
[/quote]

Source

St. Therese and St. Teresa, whom you mentioned, are both Doctors of the Church and their writings would fall under the “eminens doctrina” condition named above. We now have 36 Doctors of the Church.

Inspirational.

Stimulative toward meditation.

But not official Church teaching.

As you point out, though, even the title “Doctor of the Church” does not imply that all their writings are doctrinally correct.

[quote=Psalm90]There was some saint who was against the idea of Mary’s immaculate conception, for example; I think that was St. Thomas Aquinas.In his day, that was not considered a settled matter.

[/quote]

[quote=Blue Horizon]However even [Thomas Aquinas] got one or two things not quite right (eg he jumped the wrong way on the Immaculate Conception - but then it wasn’t clear to anyone I n his time).
[/quote]

It’s a good point that doctrine is considered ‘settled’ at a particular point in time, and therefore, if a saint lived before that time, then we wouldn’t expect him or her to have expounded on the doctrine in a way that anticipates the future expression of the doctrine. In fact, some have expressed ideas that don’t fully agree with later doctrine.

In the case of Aquinas and the Immaculate Conception, his problem was less with love of Mary than it was a mistaken idea about the biology of human reproduction. Since he got the biology wrong, he couldn’t see through to understanding how the IC was possible. :shrug:

You’ve heard the term “must read”. Not required but “musts” if you want to keep growing and learning.
You can’t go wrong with those books - although the Carmelites are somewhat advanced. St. Louis’ works are of a genius level of spirituality also - but easier to take in. There are always exaggerations here and there. The books you mention don’t really get into doctrinal issues - they’re spiritual wisdom. Most Catholics today don’t have a clue about them - so you’re doing well to take an interest.
Official, binding, infallible doctrines of the Catholic Church are a finite, actually somewhat limited set.

Why are you wondering about this?

No books written by saints are not doctrinal proclamations, although they certainly might contain explanations of or writings about doctrinal teachings within them. They also might not be writing about doctrine but rather about devotion, spirituality, or personal topics.

No they are not required reading, the Church doesn’t have “required reading” so I’m not sure where this question came from.

Books written by saints certainly are **good **things to read. But no, they are not required reading.

Any Catholic who is educated (HS diploma) and spends time reading various things - news sites, internet blogs, novels, magazines, and yet has never read any of the writings of the saints … ???

To say that it’s “not necessary” to read the saints in that context would be a misunderstanding. We are required to pursue our faith with at least equal, if not more, interest than we give to secular topics and equal also to the talents that God has given us.

Keeping in mind, most Catholics read nothing from the saints and are never urged to do so.

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