ON THE FORMATION OF PRIESTS
IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE PRESENT DAY
His Holiness John Paul II – 1992
51. . . .The intellectual formation of candidates for the priesthood finds its specific justification in the very nature of the ordained ministry, and the challenge of the “new evangelization” to which our Lord is calling the Church on the threshold of the third millennium shows just how important this formation is... . .The present situation is heavily marked by religious indifference, by a widespread mistrust regarding the real capacity of reason to reach objective and universal truth, and by fresh problems and questions brought up by scientific and technological discoveries. It strongly demands a high level of intellectual formation, such as will enable priests to proclaim, in a context like this, the changeless Gospel of Christ and to make it credible to the legitimate demands of human reason.
52. . . . For a deeper understanding of humanity and the phenomena and lines of development of society, in relation to a pastoral ministry which is an “incarnate” as possible, the so-called “human sciences” can be of considerable use. . . Also in the precise field of the positive or descriptive sciences, these can help the future priest prolong the living “contemporaneousness” of Christ. As Paul VI once said, “Christ became the contemporary of some people and spoke their language. Our faithfulness to him demands that this contemporaneousness should be maintained.” (Paul VI, 25 September 1970)
54. Because of its relationship to the believer theology is led to pay particular attention both to the fundamental and permanent question of the relationship between faith and reason and to a number of requirements more closely related to the social and cultural situation of today. . . . In regard to the second we have disciplines which have been and are being developed as responses to problems strongly felt nowadays.