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By , Catholic News Agency, July 26, 2019

– Philosophy does not teach its students the Bible. It does not teach one how to minister to a congregation. It does not teach one how to distribute the sacraments.

Despite this, seminarians are required to study between two and four years of philosophy, depending on their diocese and seminary, before they transfer to a major seminary to study exclusively theology, taking up time during which they could study pastoral ministry or theology.

This study, which might seem impractical, is fundamental to seminarians’ understanding their future education and the people with whom they will interact as pastors, according to the Congregation for Catholic Education.

The congregation, in its 2011 decree on the reform of ecclesiastical studies of philosophy, wrote that “philosophy is indispensable for theological formation.”

Modern-day priests are not the first Catholics to have studied philosophy along with theology. A plethora of the saints have done the same, and many of them are renowned philosophers themselves. ….