GDC 212: Intervention in concrete situations

Many different situations, yes. Perhaps more than there ever have been:

212. The process of inculturation operated by catechesis is continually called to confront many, different concrete situations. Here some of the more frequent and relevant are mentioned. In the first place, it is necessary to distinguish inculturation in countries of recent Christian origin, where the primary proclamation of the Gospel must yet be consolidated, from inculturation in countries of long Christian tradition which have need of new evangelization.

Account must also be taken of situations which are open to conflict and tension deriving from factors such as ethnic pluralism, religious pluralism, differences of development which sometimes are strident; urban and extra-urban life-styles, dominant thought-systems, which in some countries are strongly influenced by massive secularization and by strong religiosity in others. Finally, inculturation seeks to respect the significant cultural tendencies of a particular country, represented in the various social and professional strata, such as men and women of science and culture, the world of workers, the youth, the marginalized, foreigners and the disabled. In more general terms, “the formation of Christians will take the greatest account of local human culture, which contributes to formation itself, and will help to discern the value, whether implanted in tradition or proposed in modern affairs. Attention should be paid to diverse cultures which can exist in one and the same people or nation at the same time”. (Christifedeles Laici 63)

The Church, especially its institutional face that clings too much to history and surety, will have difficulty with this. Catechesis is not the final result of the Gospel. It is a means to an end. That end being the making of holy disciples. Outstanding catechists will have their eyes on all these possibilities.

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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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