Christus Dominus 14: Bishops and Catechesis

Fairly relevant section, I think, this Christus Dominus 14. Behold:

Bishops should take pains that catechetical instruction-which is intended to make the faith, as illumined by teaching, a vital, explicit and effective force in the lives of men-be given with sedulous care to both children and adolescents, youths and adults.

Nice adjective, sedulous. It means constant, diligent, persistent, according to my Webster’s. It doesn’t stop with Catholic parish schools, obviously. Its goal is primarily to make the faith a vital, explicit, and effective force in a person’s life. Not a bad measure for all Catholic schools, to start with.

In this instruction a suitable arrangement should be observed as well as a method suited to the matter that is being treated and to the character, ability, age, and circumstances of the life of the students. Finally, they should see to it that this instruction is based on Sacred Scripture, tradition, the liturgy, magisterium, and life of the Church.

Moreover, they should take care that catechists be properly trained for their function so that they will be thoroughly acquainted with the doctrine of the Church and will have both a theoretical and a practical knowledge of the laws of psychology and of pedagogical methods.

On other words, just knowing doctrine isn’t enough. You have to be able to communicate what you know.

Bishops should also strive to renew or at least adapt in a better way the instruction of adult catechumens.

… giving lie to the fall-back position of having new Catholics “get instruction” from the priest: RCIA not required. Remember that in the 1960’s, Fr Smith instructing Jackson was the only way it was done. The Council knew it wasn’t enough.


About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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