OT 13: Revision of Ecclesiastical Studies

Section 13 begins a fifth chapter of Optatam Totius calling for the revision of the priestly training syllabus.

Before beginning specifically ecclesiastical subjects, seminarians should be equipped with that humanistic and scientific training which young men in their own countries are wont to have as a foundation for higher studies. 

Seems clear: business administration, psychology, sociology, political science, philosophy, plus a good smattering of the arts.

Moreover they are to acquire a knowledge of Latin which will enable them to understand and make use of the sources of so many sciences and of the documents of the Church.

Good suggestion, but one not taken too often.

The study of the liturgical language proper to each rite should be considered necessary; a suitable knowledge of the languages of the Bible and of Tradition should be greatly encouraged.

Personally, I regret not having more of a background in Greek and Hebrew. When I investigated liturgy studies in Rome, the expectation would be that I’d be prepared in no less than six or seven languages: Greek and Hebrew for Scripture, Latin for liturgy and documents, Italian for lectures, and at least one (preferably two) languages outside of my native English. I had the last five to a point, but my Italian was by far the weakest point–troubling considering that the expectation would be that I’d go to class and learn something from the speakers. The school suggested I arrive early in Italy and take a summer immersion course. Ah well; finances curtailed that option.

I wonder how much language study is mandated for seminarians still in their undergrad years.



About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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