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The main objective of the Second Vatican Council is to “further deepening and constant actualization of Vatican II in the life of the Church.” The Council’s main task was to contribute to the renewal of the Church. This four-year long process of searching and reflection came from a deep sense of faith and of Church and it was nourished by the daily celebration of the Eucharist. It processed the will of God for the Church through reflection and exchange, through study with the help of highly qualified theologians and through the constant awareness of the active presence of the Spirit.
All of these Council documents issued after much prayer, study, consultation and discussion are attempts to realize the goal of the Council to make the Church more effective in spreading the gospel of Christ and to make her more relevant to the modern world.
This Course falls into Two Parts:
Part I: Council Documents
I. There are 16 Documents which are categorized in three different parts:
a). 4 Constitutions
b). 9 Degrees
c). 3 Declarations
The students will go through most of the major documents during the whole academic year and these documents must be studied not only with regard to their wording but in the light of their history and background so that their full intent may be realized.
II. The sixteen documents will help the students to understand the Church and her role in the modern world today. They constitute a call for action. At present, they are merely words on printed page. These words must be given life and flesh and sinews by devoted action of all the members of the Church – the pope, the bishops, the clergy, the religious and the laity (including the seminarians).
Part II: Priestly Formation (Optatam Totius/ Presbyterorum Ordinis/ Pastores Dabo Vobis)
This part of the course helps the students to be specifically aware of the type of priestly formation required, according to the Vatican Council II Decree on the Training of Priests (Optatam Totius), The Decree on the Ministry and Life of Priests (Presbyterorum Ordinis) and the Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation (Pastores Dabo Vobis) covers the following topics: the seminary as the heart of the diocese; priestly training according to the local conditions; vision and mission of the local church; human, spiritual, intellectual, pastoral formation; ministry of the word, ministry of worship and sanctification; ministry of service.
There is no examination on this subject but class participation and written reflection papers are required on the part of the students.
Flannery, Austin (Ed). Vatican Council II: The Conciliar and Post-Conciliar Documents, Vol. I St. Paul Publication, 1991.
John Paul II, I Will Give You Shepherds, (Pastores Dabo Vobis) Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation, 1992.
Butler, Christopher. The Theology of Vatican II Catechism of the Catholic Church.
2 hrs per week for each semester. (Open to lay students)
Dr. Steven Selvarajoo and other Guest Lecturers