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Pope says seminarians should know History, Latin and Greekq

Pope John Paul II has said candidates for the priesthood need a sound formation in Church History, and a solid knowledge of Latin and Greek.

The Holy Father expressed his view in a message sent last week to Monsignor Walter Brandmuller, president of the Pontifical Committee for Historical Sciences, on the committee's 50th anniversary. The Vatican press office published the letter on Saturday.

"The revelation of God to men occurred in space and time. This is why we count the years of our history starting from the birth of Christ," the Pope wrote in the message.

"The Church is, indeed, profoundly interested in ever greater knowledge of its own history. In this connection, careful teaching of the historical-ecclesiastical disciplines is more necessary than ever, especially for candidates to the priesthood," the Pope added.

In regard to the study of history, the Holy Father stressed that "a solid knowledge of Latin and Greek is absolutely indispensable, without which access to the sources of the ecclesiastical tradition is precluded."

"Only with their aid is it possible, even today, to rediscover the richness of the experience of life and of faith [over] 2000 years," he said.

Seminarians Should Know History, Latin and Greek, Says Pope (Zenit 20/4/04)

22 Apr 2004