Sacrosanctum Concilium 64

In today’s selection, we read the call for the restoration of an adult catechumenate:

The catechumenate for adults, comprising several distinct steps, is to be restored and to be taken into use at the discretion of the local ordinary. By this, means the time of the catechumenate, which is intended as a period of suitable instruction, may be sanctified by sacred rites to be celebrated at successive intervals of time.

This restoration has been hailed as one of the successes of the council. In Christianized countries, it is used for the switching (I would only use the term “conversion” for non-believers) of baptized (usually believers) Christians to Catholicism. The General Introduction to the RCIA is fascinating reading. It often convicts parishes (or would, if they read it) of an incomplete restoration. But that’s a topic of another thread or series.


About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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2 Responses to Sacrosanctum Concilium 64

  1. John Heavrin says:

    Your use of the term “switching” is oddly inadvisable, as it betrays a mindset of indifferentism, of “switch, don’t switch, whatever, it’s all good” that implies an equivalence between the Catholic Church and protestant denominations; or a false subjectivism of “the Catholic Church is better for me, but the Baptist Church or the ECUSA, etc., might be better for you, whatever.”

    Striking that you, a convert, would use it…when you converted, did you feel that you had converted to the fulness of truth from something lesser, or that you had merely “switched” from one option to another option, as one might switch from a sweatshirt to a sweater?

  2. There’s a better term than switching. But my sense of things is that the term “conversion” is most applicable when referring to one’s relationship with Christ. And my experience with many, though not all RCIA candidates is that they were already committed to Christ–a distinction improtant to recognize.

    I was unchurched before I was baptized; my experience of Mass waited until that year before I became Catholic. So, yes, I would say I converted from being a “pagan baby” to being a Catholic. But lifelong Christians who often attend Catholic Mass with a long-time spouse? I think they would see themselves as participants in continuing conversion. If cradle Catholics also saw themselves so, then I think continuing conversion is an apt term–for many of us.

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