GDC 110: More on Inculturation

The GDC gives four tasks for inculturation concerns in catechesis:

110. In this inculturation of the faith, there are different concrete tasks for catechesis. Amongst these mention must be made of:

– looking to the ecclesial community as the principal factor of inculturation: an expression and efficient instrument of this task is represented by the catechist who, with a profound religious sense, also possesses a living social conscience and is well rooted in (her or) his cultural environment; (Cf. Guide for catechists, 12)

This would entail a strong sense of community, perhaps stronger than in many parishes. Catechists are usually more to the forefront of active and aware believers in the community. Well-rooted in the cultural environment: what impact might that entail for the catechesis of children, youth, and young adults?

– drawing up local catechisms which respond to the demands of different cultures (Cf. Catechism 24) and which present the Gospel in relation to the hopes, questions and problems which these cultures present;

More the realm of nations and regions. Perhaps this is part of the basis for the YouCat.

– making the Catechumenate and catechetical institutes into “centres of inculturation”, incorporating, with discernment, the language, symbols, and values of the cultures in which the catechumens and those to be catechized live;

– presenting the Christian message in such a way as to prepare those who are to proclaim the Gospel to be capable “of giving reasons for their hope” (1 Pt 3,15) in cultures often pagan or post-Christian: effective apologetics to assist the faith-culture dialogue is indispensable today.

This last piece may be a challenge in some quarters. You readers here know of my skepticism on apologetics. But cultivating the quality of hope: this is indeed essential. And overlooked in the trinity of virtues. Love? We may falter with it. But we long for it. And faith, at least among believers, is less of a problem, though it could be stronger. Hope is the lost virtue for many–I know I struggle with it most of all. And I’m sure that struggle hampers my presentation of the Gospel.

What about you?

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About catholicsensibility

Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
This entry was posted in General Directory for Catechesis, post-conciliar catechetical documents. Bookmark the permalink.

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