A lot Christians (Catholics & Protestants alike) don’t realize that most of their “modern teaching & misconceptions in the Gospel” were due to St. Augustine of Hippo’s “personal interpretations”.
The life of saints are often filled with “many past sins” which ‘if a commoner were to do it today’, he may not even be considered for a ‘basic pastoral position’.
Please consider the following facts regarding “saint” Augustine, to quote (Source at the end of the link):
(i) Concept of Eternal Hell popularised by him
“By far, the main person responsible for making Hell eternal in the Western Church was St. Augustine (354-430 CE).”
(ii) Had Pre-marital Sex and an out of wedlock pregnancy even
“Augustine’s Christian mother did not kick him out of her house for not marrying the girlfriend he got pregnant,”
(iii) Was involved in a Cult
“but she did oust him when he became a Manichean Gnostic.”
Note: The Manichean Gnostic heresy teaches that “evil is eternal”, please let that “un-Christian” idea sink in.
(iv) Got appointed as Bishop of Hippo – for what prior achievement? I don’t know.
“Later, he renounced Manichaeism and returned to the Roman Church where he was made Bishop of Hippo in North Africa.”
(v) He hated Greek, the Original language of the Inspired New Testament Canon.
“He did not know Greek, had tried to study it, but stated that he hated it.”
(vi) He didn’t understand the meaning of “Aion/Aeon” which means “Age” as per the great Greek Theologians of the East.
“Sadly, it is his misunderstanding of Greek that cemented the concept of Eternal Hell in the Western Church.”
(vii) He didn’t understand the “Sheepfold2” (non-Christian righteous) Concept Biblically as it is found even in the ‘Shepherd of Hermas Writing’ which is approved by Rome even.
“Augustine not only said that Hell was eternal for the wicked but also for anyone who wasn’t a Christian.”
(viii) Created his own theory of Hell including descriptions not found in the Bible nor in any of the earliest Christian Writings before him.
“So complete was his concept of God’s exclusion of non-Christians that he considered un-baptized babies as damned; when these babies died, Augustine softened slightly to declare that they would be sent to the “upper level” of Hell.”
(ix) How did Augustine deal with the obvious Christ Centered Universalist Verses found in the Bible?
“Augustine is also the inventor the concept of “Hell Lite”, a.k.a. Purgatory, which he developed to accommodate some of the Universalist verses in the Bible.”
(x) Augustine himself wrote (in “Enchidrion”) that the ‘majority in his own place even did not believe in endless torments’ and did “not” call them as heretics but as ‘tender hearted’.
“Augustine acknowledged the Universalists whom he called “tender-hearted,” and curiously, included them among the “orthodox.”
Each fact quoted above are well known from ‘the Catholic Church’s own Church History’.
Conclusion – What is my point?
Anyone can repent & teach the Church including you, Augustine or I and the common accusation of ‘holy pastors’ that ‘do you know his past? or how can God use someone like that? – becomes baseless’ if they knew ‘from what type of man’ where ‘their well established doctrines come from’ making their ‘accusations of the past redundant likewise’.
If anyone claims the saints I respect such as St. Justin Martyr, St. Irenaeous, St. Clement of Alexandria, St. Gregory of Nyssa or even St. Isaac of Nineveh & more recently Sadhu Sundar Singh to be ‘unreliable’, please prove like I did above by ‘comparing their lives with Augustine’. It should be pretty obvious ‘which lives were more pious toward God’.
Peace to you