Desiderio Desideravi 37: Formation In Seminaries

Pope Francis turns his attention to seminaries. 

37. Also the plan of studies for the Liturgy in seminaries must take account of the extraordinary capacity that the actual celebration has in itself to offer an organic and unified vision of all theological knowledge. Every discipline of theology, each from its own perspective, must show its own intimate connection with the Liturgy in light of which the unity of priestly formation is made clear and realized (cf. Sacrosanctum Concilium 16).

Homiletics is a given, if the technical approach to public speaking and composition can be expanded. Scripture scholarship also gives an easy solution. I wonder how moral theology would be handled with this approach.

A liturgical-sapiential plan of studies in the theological formation of seminaries would certainly have positive effects in pastoral action. There is no aspect of ecclesial life that does not find its summit and its source in the Liturgy. More than being the result of elaborate programs, a comprehensive, organic, and integrated pastoral practice is the consequence of placing the Sunday Eucharist, the foundation of communion, at the center of the life of the community. The theological understanding of the Liturgy does not in any way permit that these words be understood to mean to reduce everything to the aspect of worship.

Evangelization, followed by the making of a disciple:

A celebration that does not evangelize is not authentic, just as a proclamation that does not lead to an encounter with the risen Lord in the celebration is not authentic. And then both of these, without the testimony of charity, are like sounding a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. (1 Corinthians 13:1)

If I catch the drift here, we’re seeing the importance of the liturgy as the inspiration and impetus for bringing Christ to the world, as we are able, just as Christ is presented to us at the liturgy and we have that hearts-burning encounter that lifts us out of our seats and takes us, even at a late hour or inconvenient situation, into the world. Can this be taught in seminaries? I hope so. Ideally, it would be modelled in parishes. People would then say, I want to be part of the inspiration for that.

The full document, copyright © Dicastero per la Comunicazione – Libreria Editrice Vaticana is here on the Vatican site.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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