Gravissimum Educationis 11

Scriptorium11. Faculties of Sacred Sciences

The Church expects much from the zealous endeavors of the faculties of the sacred sciences.(Cf. Pius XII’s apostolic constitution, Deus Scientiarum Dominus, May 24, 1931: A.A.S. 23 (1931) pp. 245-247.) For to them she entrusts the very serious responsibility of preparing her own students not only for the priestly ministry, but especially for teaching in the seats of higher ecclesiastical studies or for promoting learning on their own or for undertaking the work of a more rigorous intellectual apostolate. Likewise it is the role of these very faculties to make more penetrating inquiry into the various aspects of the sacred sciences so that an ever deepening understanding of sacred Revelation is obtained, the legacy of Christian wisdom handed down by our (forebears) is more fully developed, the dialogue with our separated (sisters and brothers) and with non-Christians is fostered, and answers are given to questions arising from the development of doctrine.(Cf. Pius XII’s encyclical letter, Humani Generis Aug. 12, 1950 A.A.S. 42 (1950) pp. 568 ff. and 578; Paul VI’s encyclical letter, Ecclesiam Suam, part III Aug. 6, 1964; A.A.S. 56 (1964) pp. 637-659; Second Vatican Council’s Decree on Ecumenism: A.A.S. 57 (1965) pp. 90-107.)

Did you catch the emphasis on rigor, inquiry, and penetration? Dialogue with non-Catholics and non-Christians benefits from a more exacting approach to theology. The council also advises seminaries and other such institutions to upgrade:

Therefore ecclesiastical faculties should reappraise their own laws so that they can better promote the sacred sciences and those linked with them and, by employing up-to-date methods and aids, lead their students to more penetrating inquiry.


About catholicsensibility

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