church-father

church father

noun
father ( def 13 ).

Origin:
1855–60

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WordNet
church father

noun
(Christianity) any of about 70 theologians in the period from the 2nd to the 7th century whose writing established and confirmed official church doctrine; in the Roman Catholic Church some were later declared saints and became Doctor of the Church; the best known Latin Church Fathers are Ambrose, Augustine, Gregory the Great, and Jerome; those who wrote in Greek include Athanasius, Basil, Gregory Nazianzen, and John Chrysostom 
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