Oh, this is nice one from the S. Paul Centre! It’s only the first in a series of videos, but it’s a good beginning if any of us are trying to get into using the Bible. I’ll summarise it in a few words:
The Fathers of the Church, a set of early bishops of the Church who were truly shepherds, as the best of the spiritual leaders of the Hebrew nation were shepherds. As true fathers, they did their job: defending the various local churches from attackers, administering corrective justice to draw errant Christians back into unity, settling disputes within the family of the Church, and ultimately either giving their lives for the Church or being prepared to. According to the old fifth-century monk, S. Vincent de Lerins, the Fathers in general faithfully communicated the Apostolic teaching, were known publicly for their holiness of life, found approval by the Church at large and had the character of antiquity. That last one – antiquity – has to do with the quest of the Fathers to refer back as far as possible through history to those who went before them, and whose work can further be traced further back to the post-Apostolic, or perhaps the Apostolic period. That is, tradition of knowledge and practice was vital to the Fathers of the Church, as it continues to be for the Church today, and of all time. The strongest trait of an Apostolic Church is its distaste for novelty: we must do as we have always done, and in this way we define ourselves.