Quoting the Father's of the Church


Apologists frequently quote the writings of the Church Fathers, Doctors of the Church and other holy saints to defend dogmas, disciplines and the teachings of the Church. The Catechism of the Catholic Church is another often quoted source.

How does one justify the use of these sources, in order to defend the teachings of the Church, to someone who professes belief in Sola Scriptura?

Likewise, we can quote modern day theologians, but how can we be sure that they are orthodox* in their writings and then justify their teaching to Sola Scriptura Protestants?

(*This does not refer to Karl Keating, Jimmy Akin or anyone else at Catholic Answers.)


Dear Murph,

One who professes Sola Scriptura is living in a glass house when it come to criticizing the Catholic Church about the use of non-Scriptural sources. For fifteen centuries no one ever heard of Sola Scriptura because it did not exist. It is not to be found in Scripture and is the interpretation of Martin Luther and other Protestant reformers. How can your friend justify the use of these non-Scriptural sources?

St. Polycarp was a disciple of St. John, the Evangelist. St. Ignatius of Antioch was a disciple of St. Polycarp. The early Church Fathers are worthy of our trust. They were on the scene. And they were very Catholic. No Sola Scriptura there!

Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.

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