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The Theological-pastoral Week in the (un)completed Perspective of the Second Vatican Council

Catholic Faculty of Theology, University of Zagreb; [email protected]
Publication Date
  • Prezbiter
  • Teološko-Pastoralni Tjedan
  • Drugi Vatikanski Koncil
  • Recepcija Koncila
  • Presbyter
  • Theological-Pastoral Week
  • Second Vatican Council
  • Council Reception.
  • Law
  • Political Science
  • Religious Science


The author portrays and interprets the Second Vatican Council as a process that needs to come to life and needs to be realised in the wings of the general but also within each individual, particular Church and as such in the Church in Croatia. In order for the Council as a process within the Church to be able to come to life, it is worthwhile studying and analysing the concrete social and ecclesiastic situation based on religious-sociological research, seeing that the Church and society do not represent two dichotomic factors but are existentially dependent and sharing factors in many ways seeing they mostly consist of the same people-citizens. The Catholic Faculty of Theology, University of Zagreb has come to the fore in religious-sociological research particularly over the last two decades. The (un)complete Council perspective and vagueness of the Council’s reception in Croatia is obviously seen by the author in the over modest presence of theologians and the Church in general in the Croatian social public. The author claims that the official Church in Croatia has not dared to delve into post-Council experiments with new Church ministries and that there seems to still be a feeling of distance between bishops and presbyters in Croatia; presbyters and the lay faithful. These facts encourage the author to conclude that our contemporary ecclesiastic and social reality is such that both social and Church elite do not have enough feeling for processes that are taking place in base society and the Church as such, seemingly indicating some form of post-council saturation and overwroughtness which results in too little pastoral effectiveness. The author continues to scientifically and argumentatively reply to the crucial question of what measure have Theological Pastoral Weeks realised the Council in the Croatian Church seeing that they represent a system of permanent training of bishops and presbyters and the laity as well as being an opportunity for human and friendly association. Those preparing or lecturing at the Theological-Pastoral Weeks in Zagreb have always endeavoured to be inspired and directed by the Council despite unfavourable social-political-ecclesiastic circumstances during the Communist regime. Finally, the author observes the figure of the priest as an occasional and unavoidable topic at theological-pastoral weeks which confirms the thesis that during the entire time of conducting the Theological-Pastoral Weeks in Zagreb, it is the presbyter that has remained in the focus of interest of the theological public. Despite this, it is worth noting that the Second Vatican Council in the Croatian Church and Croatian society has remained incomplete and unrealised to its fullness and dimensionality. Discussions of the identity of the presbyter and the Theological-Pastoral Weeks in Zagreb have taken a significant place within ecclesiastic-social Croatian reality seeing that over its 50 years of existence it has introduced the ideas and motivation offered by the Second Vatican Council to promote the Council figure of the presbyter.

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