Day #290: Optatam Totius 22, Conclusion

Today we complete our reading of the Decree on Priestly Training.

As I noted yesterday, there is a typographical discrepancy between the online version and the print version of the document.  My numbering refers to the print versions.  If you are reading online, you will be reading article 21 (Chapter VII) and the Conclusion.

In Chapter VII, the document looks at “Training to be Achieved after the Course of Studies.”  This could be considered priests’ ongoing professional development.  Just as with any of us, we can always go deeper in our spiritual journey.  Priests are no exception.

Finally, the Conclusion calls to mind that Vatican II is picking up the thread that was started at the Council of Trent and exhorts those studying for the priesthood to recognize the importance of what is entrusted to them (the salvation of souls) and to take seriously the contents of this document.


Day #289: Optatam Totius 20-21

In today’s reading from the Decree on Priestly Training, we complete Chapter VI on “The Promotion of Strictly Pastoral Training.”

It’s important to note that there is a typographical discrepancy between my print versions of the documents and that which appears on the Vatican website.  On the Vatican website, article 20 contains two paragraphs.  In the print versions, those two paragraphs are separately numbered as 20 and 21.  So if you are reading through online, you will only read article 20 today and finish the document tomorrow.

Article 20 speaks again of the need for priests to utilize the advances of “pedagogy, psychology, and sociology” in being able to relate to others and minister to them.

Article 21 (paragraph 2 of article 20 in the online text) finishes the chapter by pointing out that seminarians receive pastoral training not just by hearing but by doing.  Thus, the Council Father encourage them to get real world experience putting these things into practice.

Day #287: Optatam Totius 17-18

In today’s reading from the Decree on Priestly Training, we conclude Chapter V on the academic content of seminary studies.

Article 17 speaks to a renewal of teaching methods so as not to turn seminary studies into a merely academic exercise, but rather to focus on formation.

Article 18 finishes things off by acknowledging the benefit of having certain priests who are so disposed to complete even further education so that tehir expertise may be used in service of the Church.

Day #286: Optatam Totius 16

In today’s reading from the Decree on Priestly Training, we continue to look at the academic content of seminary studies.

Whereas yesterday’s passage addressed philosophy (articel 15), in Article 16 we look at theology.  This includes a study of Scripture, dogmatic theology, moral theology, Church history, canon law, and liturgy — as well as being familiar with other Christian communities and other religions.

Day #284: Optatam Totius 13-14

Today in the Decree on Priestly Training, we start Chapter V on “The Revision of Ecclesiastical Studies.”  Here we get into the content of the courses.

Article 13 begins this section with the Council Fathers encouraging the presence of general humanity courses on par with that of any other higher education.  The Council Fathers also state the need for seminarians to learn Latin and the “liturgical language”.  In addition, they encourage seminarians to study the biblical languages.

Article 14 discusses the need for a revision in theology and philosophy coursework to ensure that it leads to “opening more and more the minds of the students to the mystery of Christ.”  Further, the paragrapgh calls for an introductory class in seminary that will help the students grasp the end goal of their studies.