01/23/2018, 13.58
PHILIPPINES
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The Filipino Church to improve seminarian training

Better preparation of future priests is meant to allow the Church to meet the new challenges of modern society. A five-day convention is underway in Cebu City to offer a more relevant and applicable policy in the Philippines. Pope Francis has been informed of the meeting.

Cebu City (AsiaNews/Agencies) – The Filipino Church wants to upgrade seminary training to prepare students for effective missionary work.

With this in mind, more than 500 teachers from across the country gathered yesterday in Cebu City, southern Philippines, for the National Seminary Formators Assembly (January 22-26) to deliberate on the implementation of the new guidelines for priestly training issued by the Vatican.

In fact, on 8 December 2016, the Congregation for the Clergy published a paper entitled Ratio Fundamentalis Institutionis Sacerdotalis, an updated tool to train priests.

Delegates from Singapore and Malaysia also came for the five-day conference whose purpose is to improve the preparation of future priests in response to the new challenges posed by modern society.

Mgr Gerardo Alimane Alminaza, bishop of San Carlos and president of the Episcopal Conference Committee (ECB), said that formators are meeting to draft updated training standards.

"Our concern is the preparation of future priests. As disciples of the Lord, we never stop learning. We should nurture and maximize the gift of priestly vocation," he explained during a press conference at the IC3 Convention Center.

Among those attending the gathering are Papal Nuncio to the Philippines Archbishop Gabriele Giordano Caccia, the secretary of the Vatican's Congregation of the Clergy Archbishop Jorge Carlos Patron Wong, and Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma.

Also present were about 30 bishops led by Davao Archbishop Romulo Valles, president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines. Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle is scheduled to arrive in the coming days.

For Mgr Alminaza, the five-day convention in Cebu City is meant to offer a more relevant and applicable policy in the Philippines. Pope Francis was informed of the gathering, Archbishop Wong noted.

"The Church of the Philippines and the people of this country are in the heart of the Holy Father,” Mgr Wong said. “He hopes for the growth of priestly vocations. He wants to have priests who are pastors and shepherds to be trained in the humanity and heart of Jesus.”

"We want to give future priests integral training, not just intellectually and academically,” he added. The goal is “also improve the human and spiritual dimension because they are the future of the Church and the country. We want the best for them because they will multiply the gifts of God."

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