Wer Darf zum Priester Geweiht Werden? Eine Untersuchung der Kanonischen Normen zur Eignungsprüfung des Weihekandidaten by Marius Johannes Bitterli (review)
- The Jurist: Studies in Church Law and Ministry
- The Catholic University of America Press
- Volume 71, Number 2, 2011
- pp. 457-459
- View Citation
- Additional Information
WER DARF ZUM PRIESTER GEWEIHT WERDEN? EINE UNTERSUCHUNG DER KANONISCHEN NORMEN ZUR EIGNUNGSPR ÜFUNG DES WEIHEKANDIDATEN by Marius Johannes Bitterli . Beihefte zum Münsterischen Kommentar, Essen: Ludgerus Verlag , 2010. The duty of fostering vocations pertains to members of the whole Christian community who should exercise it above all by a fully Christian life. Priests are to manifest an apostolic zeal in fostering vocations and are to attract the interest of youths to the priesthood. Bishops are to encourage their flock to promote vocations and should be concerned with coordinating all forces in a united effort to this end. Bishops also have the right and obligation to evaluate the requirements and prerequisites for ordination of candidates for the priesthood. The author examines in four main chapters of the present study the requirements, prerequisites , irregularities, and other impediments of those to be ordained as secular priests according to canons 1024–1052 of the 1983 Code of Canon Law. In chapter one the author presents a short introduction which runs four pages, presenting the topic of this study, a general outline, and its scope and limitations (pp. 1–4). Chapter two addresses the vocation and suitability of candidates for the priesthood. The author examines the current use of the term “vocation” as well as the main characteristics of the theology of vocation. Furthermore, the vocation to the secular priesthood is presented within the context of the ecclesiastical examination, whether or not a candidate has the required suitability for this ministry. It is the responsibility of the candidate and the Christian community to verify his vocation. The author concludes the second chapter with a reflection on the socio-cultural and ecclesiastical requirements concerning the vocation and suitability of a candidate for the secular priesthood. Chapter three provides the history of the ancient canonical institute of priestly ordination under the scope of the necessary requirements of a candidate to be admitted to ordination. The author describes the source in the Council of Trent that required for the first time in church history universal standards for candidates to be admitted to ordination, followed by a presentation of the constitution Speculatores, the reorganization of irregularities and impediments in the 1917 code, and the reorientation of the requirements of the pastoral ministry according to the Second Vatican Council. book reviews 457 458 the jurist Chapter four focuses on the genesis of the law itself. The author presents three topics: positive criteria for suitability (Christian initiation, male gender, the necessary freedom in order to be ordained, and further conditions largely left to the discretion of the diocesan bishop); irregularities and other impediments (subdivided into permanent and simple irregularities and impediments); and the procedure for determining the canonical suitability of the candidate (general observations of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, the rite of admission to candidacy for ordination to priesthood and its implementation). Contemporary concerns and recommendations for a further refinement of the presented aspects on the rite of admission are the subject of the fifth chapter. The author presents a further discussion on the positive criteria of the suitability of the candidate, irregularities and impediments for ordination, and the procedure for determining the canonical suitability of the candidate to the priesthood. After his analysis, the author presents a conclusion, bibliography, list of abbreviations, and a general index. This book contains valuable information on the canonical requirements for the admission of candidates to the secular priesthood. Despite some minor reservations, this book is a technically meticulous and well-researched work and a valuable contribution to the debate on the necessary procedures on the rite of admission, e.g., psychological testing. The author, based on an analysis of his study, examines the reception of the norms basically in the German context; but general references are made to the European and North-American contexts . He follows the methodology as outlined in chapter one. The study is thoroughly researched as to the sources and the—sometimes selective —authors. It is well documented; however, footnotes are unfortunately not always that ample, and the selected bibliography appropriately focuses on the topic of the study. Brief conclusions after each chapter, especially after chapter four, would be very helpful. The general...