Course Description

This course will consist of a survey of Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger's book, "Called to Communion: Understanding the Church Today." Writing as Cardinal Ratzinger years before his election to the See of St. Peter, this important contribution to the ongoing study and understanding of the Catholic Church and the theology upon which it is grounded and defined provides us with a renewed appreciation and respect for the Magisterium and the gift of pastoral authority and governance of the Holy Father and the College of Bishops. Using Ratzinger's text as our guide, we will focus on the origin of the Church, the Primacy of Peter and his role in maintaining the communion of the Church, the Universal and Particular Church, and the essence of the priesthood as it relates to our theological understanding of the Catholic Church and the sacraments. In addition to Cardinal Ratzinger's book, we will also review the document Lumen Gentium from the Second Vatican Council, numbers 11, 12, 14,16, & 17, relevant laws from the Code of Canon Law, and the motu proprio Ad Tuendam Fidem issued in 1998 by Blessed John Paul II. The goal of this course is to familiarize students with relevant texts in order to understand how theology, canon law, and the history of the origins of the Church learned from the Scriptures intersect to create what we know and love as the Church of Christ on earth.

Hours of Instruction:  12

Fr. Christopher Fraser, JCL

Rev. Christopher Fraser was ordained a priest of the Diocese of Phoenix in June of 2001. Before entering St. Meinrad Seminary, he earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business from Arizona State University in 1994. Upon graduation, he was employed at the School of Law at Arizona State until 1996 when he entered the seminary to study for the Priesthood for the Diocese of Phoenix. He received an MDiv from St. Meinrad School of Theology in 2001 and was ordained June 2, 2001. Fr. Fraser’s parish assignments were Parochial Vicar at SS. Simon and Jude Cathedral and St. Andrew the Apostle. In 2004, Fr. Fraser was sent to the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC to study canon law, where he earned a licentiate in Canon Law in 2006. Upon graduation, he returned to Phoenix to work full time in the Tribunal, where he has served as the Judicial Vicar since December of 2007.

Course curriculum

  • 1

    Session 1 - Ecclesiology - The Church as Communion

    • Reflection Questions for Online Courses

    • Session 1 - Handout

    • Session 1 - Video

  • 2

    Session 2 - Ecclesiology - The Church as Communion

    • Session 2 - Handout

    • Session 2 - Video

  • 3

    Session 3 - Ecclesiology - The Church as Communion

    • Session 3 - Handout

    • Session 3 - Video

  • 4

    Session 4 - Ecclesiology - The Church as Communion

    • Session 4 - Handout

    • Session 4 - Video

  • 5

    Session 5 - Ecclesiology - The Church as Communion

    • Session 5 - Handout

    • Session 5 - Video

  • 6

    Session 6 - Ecclesiology - The Church as Communion

    • Session 6 - Handout

    • Session 6 - Video