Not everything we will examine in the GDC applies always and everywhere:
10. It is evident that not all parts of the Directory have the same importance. Those dealing with Divine Revelation, the nature of catechesis, the criteria governing the proclamation of the Gospel message are universally valid. Those, however, referring to present circumstances, to methodology and to the manner of adapting catechesis to diverse age groups and cultural contexts are to be understood rather as indications or guidelines. (Cf. DCG (1971), Introduction.)
This document is addressed mainly to bishops. But not exclusively.
11. The Directory is addressed principally to the Bishops, Episcopal Conferences and, in a general way, in accordance with their competence, to those who have responsibility for catechesis. Clearly it will be of use in forming those preparing for ordination to the Priesthood, in the continuing formation of priests and in the formation of catechists.
Note that the GDC will treat not only the formation of the faithful, but also catechists and clergy. We will watch for those sections as we move through this document.
The immediate end of the Directory is to assist in the composition of catechetical directories and catechisms. Numerous notes and references have been included in this Directory, at the suggestion of many Bishops, which may be useful in drawing up such catechetical aids.
The GDC is not intended to be an exhaustive treatment for any one diocese, school, parish, or situation. Indeed that bar would be set too high. The clear intent is to give a framework, then permit the bishops and catechists of the Church to serve, addressing the most important concerns:
12. Since the Directory is intended for the use of particular Churches, whose pastoral needs vary greatly, it is obvious that only common or intermediate concerns could be taken into account. This is true also of the sections dealing with the organization of catechesis at different levels. Due note should be made of this observation while using the Directory. As has been already noted in the 1971 Directory, what may appear insufficient in areas where catechesis and catechetical resources have reached a high standard, may perhaps seem excessive in areas where catechesis has not yet undergone such development.
13. It is hoped that the publication of this document, testimony of the Apostolic See’s solicitude for catechetical ministry, will be received and carefully studied in the context of the pastoral needs of each particular Church. It is to be hoped that it will promote future study and deepen research so as to respond to the needs of catechesis and the norms and directives of the Church’s Magisterium.
Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may speed on, and triumph as it did among you (2 Thess 3:1).
So we come to the conclusion of the preface, signed by Archbishop Darío Castrillón Hoyos, the 1997 Pro-Prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy, and Archbishop Crescenzio Sepe, Secretary. We’ll delve into the meat of the document tomorrow, starting with the introduction. Menwhile, anything in the metapicture so far you see needs comment?