OT 20: More on the Pastoral Aims of Seminary Training

Optatam Totius 20 says it:

They should also be taught to use the aids which the disciplines of pedagogy, psychology, and sociology can provide, according to correct methodology and the norms of ecclesiastical authority.

The social sciences get a bad rap from bishops and neo-cons looking out for scapegoats, but the value of using aids from psychology and sociology was a repeated theme in the council documents. Simple really: make good use of a tool that will achieve a good end.

Likewise, let them be properly instructed in inspiring and fostering the apostolic activity of the laity and in promoting the various and more effective forms of the apostolate.

At least until we reach the point at which the laity can form new generations of apostles.

Let them also be imbued with that truly Catholic spirit which will accustom them to transcend the limits of their own diocese, nation, or rite, and to help the needs of the whole Church, prepared in spirit to preach the Gospel everywhere.

Catholicity a virtue over orthodoxy, as it were: a spirit that would also transcend ideology, politics, and that curious movement for a smaller Church. That would pretty much seem to be out the window with this, wouldn’t it?

But since it is necessary for the students to learn the art of exercising the apostolate not only theoretically but also practically, and to be able to act both on their own responsibility and in harmonious conjunction with others, they should be initiated into pastoral work, both during their course of studies and also during the time of vacations, by opportune practical projects.

Aha! See this? Students of seminary should learn responsibility and collaboration with others. Pastoral work should be part of the formation/education process.

These should be carried out in accordance with the age of the students and local conditions, and with the prudent judgment of the bishops, methodically and under the leadership of men skilled in pastoral work, the surpassing power of supernatural means being always remembered.

We’re heading into the stretch run of Optatam Totius; one of your last opportunities for comment. Care to?

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About catholicsensibility

Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
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