This chapter focuses on a single theme central to both the Trent and Vatican II councils — the formation of priestly leadership. The goal of the chapter is twofold: on the one hand, to indicate the clear differences between the two councils, and, on the other hand, to emphasize the undeniable similarities regarding the respective positions of the two councils on the issue of formation of priestly leadership. The chapter begins with an overview of the basic official statements regarding the Tridentine reform of priestly formation. Second, it gives a historical background, listing the major factors that occasioned such a reform in priestly formation in the 16th century. Third, it presents a review of the major developments of the seminary system in the 17th century, immediately following Trent. Next it gives an overview of the basic official material on priestly formation as developed by Vatican II and its postconciliar reception an finally, some concluding remarks are offered.
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