Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The Simplex Priest

Seminaries were invented by the Council of Trent. Before then we had the apprentice system in most of Europe. A candidate would live near the priest who showed him what he needed to know, and then the priest would recommend him to the bishop when he believed the candidate was prepared. During the Ottoman period when they had no institutions, the Greeks did not even have seminaries. The bishop would travel to a village where the priest had died, and there he would identify an older man who was pious and who knew the Divine Liturgy by heart. He would ordain him for the village, equivalently “simplex” with no added faculties to preach or hear confessions. This work was done by itinerant monks during the holy season of Lent.
Link (here) to the full and extremely informative post by Fr. Brian Van Hove, S.J.

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