So what’s the point of this document, then? We have a catechism; isn’t that enough?
9. The object of this Directory is clearly the same as that pursued by the 1971 Directory. It attempts to provide those fundamental theologico-pastoral principles drawn from the Church’s Magisterium, particularly those inspired by the Second Vatican Council, which are capable of better orienting and coordinating the pastoral activity of the ministry of the word and, concretely, catechesis. (Cf. GCD (1971), Introduction) The basic intention of the Directory was (and remains) that of offering reflections and principles, rather than immediate applications or practical directives. This method has been adopted principally for the reason that defects and errors in catechetical material can be avoided only if the nature and end of catechesis, as well as the truths and values which must be transmitted, are correctly understood from the outset. (Cf. GCD (1971), Introduction)
The concrete application of these principles and pronouncements by means of guidelines, national, regional or diocesan directories, catechisms and other ways deemed suitable for the effective promotion of catechesis is something which pertains to the specific competence of the various Episcopates.
This document provides the principles. It is up to the bishops as the chief catechists of the Church, to flesh out that skeleton, as it were.
Let’s note that in the assessment of communication, the message, the messenger, and the recipient are all of vital importance. Lose the listener and even terrific teaching will fail to carry the message to any effectiveness. Catechesis must be promoted properly–the responsibility of the bishops, a Rome concedes.