Vatican to Prepare Document on Seminarians

To Develop in Framework of Year for Priests

VATICAN CITY, AUG. 19, 2009 ( The Vatican is aiming to prepare a “brief, forceful and very clear” document on the formation of seminarians as one of the elements to close the Year for Priests.

This was affirmed by Archbishop Jean-Louis Bruguès, secretary of the Congregation for Catholic Education, in an interview with L’Osservatore Romano today.

The archbishop explained that the preparation of the document over upcoming months will imply a meeting of the congregation’s permanent commission, made up of members of various dicasteries who deal with the formation of future priests.

The congregation, the prelate added, wants to send a message to priests that they have been “chosen, [the priesthood] is an honor. Be happy to be a priest.”

Archbishop Bruguès added that “a good number of the youth who apply to the formation centers in nations such as Italy, Spain, France, Germany and the United States have a very good professional formation, sometimes high level university education, but they lack general culture, and above all, a Christian culture.”

The archbishop recommended compensating for this lack with a preparatory year at the beginning of seminary formation, such that the formation process itself is adapting to the profile of present generations.

The congregation oversees 2,700 seminaries, 1,200 Catholic universities and 250,000 Catholic schools around the world.

In these institutions, Archbishop Bruguès said, “we are developing a culture of excellence, putting special emphasis in the integral formation of the person, especially his spiritual dimension, which runs the risk of being forgotten in a secularized society.”

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