Optatam Totius

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Second Vatican Ecumenical Council
Concilium Oecumenicum Vaticanum Secundum  (Latin)
Petersdom von Engelsburg gesehen.jpg
Saint Peter's Basilica
Venue of the Second Vatican Council
Date11 October 1962 (11 October 1962) – 8 December 1965 (8 December 1965)
Accepted byCatholic Church
Previous council
First Vatican Council
Convoked byPope John XXIII
PresidentPope John XXIII
Pope Paul VI
Attendanceup to 2,625[1]
TopicsThe Church in itself, its sole salvific role as the one, true and complete Christian faith, also in relation to ecumenism among other religions, in relation to the modern world, renewal of consecrated life, liturgical disciplines, etc.
Documents and statements
Four Constitutions:

Three Declarations:

Nine Decrees:

Chronological list of ecumenical councils

Optatam Totius, the Decree on Priestly Training, is a document which was produced by the Second Vatican Council. Approved by a vote of 2,318 to 3 of the bishops assembled at the council, the decree was promulgated by Pope Paul VI on October 28, 1965. The Latin title means "desired renewal of the whole [Church]". (The full text in English is available from the Holy See's website.)


The numbers given correspond to the section numbers within the text.

  1. The Program of Priestly Training to be Undertaken by Each Country (1)
  2. The Urgent Fostering of Priestly Vocations (2-3)
  3. The Setting Up of Major Seminaries (4-7)
  4. The Careful Development of the Spiritual Training (8-12)
  5. The Revision of Ecclesiastical Studies (13-18)
  6. The Promotion of Strictly Pastoral Training (19-20)
  7. Training to be Achieved After the Course of Studies (21)
  8. Conclusion

Optatam Totius influenced German Roman Catholic theologian Karl Rahner to write his work The Foundation of Christian Faith.


The period that followed the promulgation Optatam Totius was marked by a severe drop in the number of priestly vocations in the Western World. Church leaders had argued that age-old secularization was to blame and that it was not directly related to the documents of the Council. Historians have also pointed to the damage caused by the sexual revolution in 1968 and the strong backlash over Humanae vitae. Yet other authors have asserted that the drop in vocations was at least partly deliberate and was part of an attempt to de-clericalize the Church and allow for a more pluralistic clergy.[2]


  1. ^ Cheney, David M. "Second Vatican Council". Catholic Hierarchy. Retrieved 18 May 2011.
  2. ^ COZZENS, Donald B., The Changing Face of the Priesthood, 2000