GDC 165-166: The meaning and purpose of Part Four

I may have jumped the gun a bit in yesterday’s comments on Part Four. Hear it from the document itself:

165. Attention to the diverse life situations of people (Cf. the General Introduction) moves catechesis to employ many different approaches to meet them and to adapt the Christian message and the pedagogy of the faith to different needs.(Cf. General Catechetical Directory 77) The catechesis of initial faith is for catechumens and neophytes. Attention to the development in faith of the baptized gives rise to catechesis designed to deepen faith or indeed to recover faith, for those who need to discover that essential orientation again. When considering the physical and psychological development of those to be catechized, catechesis is developed according to age. In socio-cultural contexts, again, catechesis is developed within these categories.

166. Because it impossible to deal with every type of catechesis, this Part will restrict itself to a consideration of those aspects of catechesis which are of importance in any situation:

  • – general aspects of catechetical adaptation (chapter 1);
  • – catechesis based on age (chapter 2);
  • – catechesis for those who live in special circumstances (chapter 3);
  • – catechesis in various contexts (chapters 4 and 5).

The question of inculturation will also be approached in general terms, especially with reference to the content of the faith to persons and to cultural contexts. It is for particular Churches, in their national and regional catechetical directories, to give more specific directions with regard to concrete conditions and local needs.

With so many diverse situations (even among young people alone) there is no way a document (even of this size) can address every possible one. For the reader of the GDC, the task is to determine how to adapt in order to be most effective with one’s contacts.

If you feel inclined to discuss in this and the posts that follow, consider how the principles given may be applied to the situations you’ve known and experienced.

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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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