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COVID-19: Church authorities in Philippines hint on online formation for future Priests

The new normal of isolated life birthed by the coronavirus pandemic has caused Church leaders in the Philippines to consider what was once unimaginable for future Priests; online formation.

The move, however, comes with the assurance from Bishops that, Seminary training will not be fully online, but will be imbibed with “the other pillar of priestly formation requiring personal accompaniment in the context of community.”

Archbishop Socrates Villegas, chairman of the Episcopal Commission on Seminaries, said “intellectual formation” is not the only factor in seminary formation noting that Priests have to be “accompanied in their pastoral, spiritual, and human formation.”

Seminaries in the country are also expected to see less personal contacts with visitors and interactions when opened in August.

Archbishop Villegas explains that “the major subjects are best taught with the physical presence of the teacher and with interaction among the seminarians,”.

The new rules said that in “extreme conditions,” academic deans “may study prudently” which minor subjects may be taught online.

In the Guidelines for Seminary Formation, Archbishop Villegas says “it is an integrated formation that takes place in the context of community accompaniment,”.

Seminaries in the country will also employ the services of experts to aid students and prepare their minds for their formation.
On his part, the Prelate stated that “to ignore the changes now can harm the future”.

 

Source: ADM NEWS

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