Often those that like to appeal to authority for the purpose of argument will appeal to the so-called church fathers and their opinions on various issues.
They do have value of knowing what certain groups believed at that time. Even at this they can be unreliable in places as the common Christian that would hold beliefs contrary to them (where that father would hold error) would be ignored or held in a negative light.
At times such appeal may carry weight depending on the matter at hand. However, for issues relating to doctrine, we do not need to see how they say the church interpreted particular issues but rather how the scriptures interpret teachings for the church.
There is a never ending trend currently to go beyond the bounds of scripture for finding our source of authority.
The fathers closeness to the time of the apostles is of no help at all. The contention that their views hold more weight because their time was so much closer to the apostles only means they were much closer to the false teachings that were spreading around the church at that time. The writings of Paul to Timothy, 1st John and the letters to the churches of Revelation confirm this.
They are to be respected as far as their lives and teachings were consistent with the Gospel (as any one of us) but not an inch more.
In practical purposes, the recent weight being given to the "church fathers", is the door to Rome.
Romans 3:4 "God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar..."