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Pope to give Spanish saint St. John of Avila top honor, to declare him doctor of church
MADRID (AP) ' Officials say Pope Benedict XVI plans to confer one of the Catholic Church's highest honors on the influential 16th-century Spanish saint, St. John of Avila.
Organizers of World Youth Day, the Catholic youth festival under way in Madrid, say Benedict on Saturday will announce his decision to declare St. John of Avila a doctor of the church. Such a title is reserved for those churchmen and women whose scholarly writings have greatly served the universal church.
There are currently 33 church doctors, including St. Augustine, St. Francis de Sales and St. Teresa of Avila. Pope John Paul II added St. Therese of Lisieux to the list in 1997, the last time one was proclaimed.