GDC 125-126: The Deposit of Faith

Two sections under the title of “The Deposit of Faith and the Catechism of the Catholic Church.” The Catechism is seen as a “reference text.” It is heavily footnoted, and there one can find the source texts in Scripture and tradition. It serves the Word of God, but does not replace. It interprets the Word, though in a very trustworthy and fairly complete manner.

125. The Second Vatican Council set as one of its principal tasks the “better conservation and presentation of the precious deposit of Christian doctrine so as to render it more accessible to Christ’s faithful and to all (people) of good will”. The content of that deposit is the word of God which is safeguarded in the Church. The Magisterium of the Church, having decided to draw up “a reference text” for the teaching of the faith, has chosen from this precious treasure “things new and old” which it considers suitable for accomplishing this task. The Catechism of the Catholic Church thus constitutes a fundamental service by encouraging the proclamation of the Gospel and the teaching of the faith, which both draw their message from Tradition and Sacred Scripture entrusted to the Church, so as to achieve this function with complete authenticity. The Catechism of the Catholic Church is not the only source of catechesis, since as an act of the Magisterium, “it is not superior to the word of God but at its service”. However it is a particularly authentic act of interpretation of that word, such that the Gospel may be proclaimed and transmitted in all its truth and purity.

126. In the light of this relationship between the Catechism of the Catholic Church and the “deposit of faith”, it may be useful to clarify two questions of vital importance for catechesis:

– the relationship between Sacred Scripture and the Catechism of the Catholic Church as points of reference for the content of catechesis;

– the relationship between the catechetical tradition of the Fathers of the Church, with its rich content and its profound understanding of the catechetical process, and the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

And we will get to these questions in GDC 127-130–the next few days.

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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.
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