The introduction of the GDC covers numbered sections 14 through 33. Titled, “Preaching the Gospel in the contemporary world,” the Congregation for the Clergy offers an apt parable to lead off the meat of the discussion on catechesis:
“Behold! A sower went out to sow. As he sowed some seed fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured it. Other seed fell on rocky ground, where it had not much soil, and immediately it sprang up, since it had no depth of soil; and when the sun rose it was scorched, and since it had no root it withered away. Other seed fell among thorns which grew up and choked it, and it yielded no grain. And other seeds fell into good soil and brought forth grain, growing up and increasing, and yielding thirty fold, sixty fold, and a hundred fold” (Mk 4:3-8).
14. The purpose of this Introduction is to foster in pastors and catechists a greater consciousness of the necessity to keep in mind the field in which the seed is sown, and to do so with the perspective of faith and mercy. The interpretation of the contemporary world presented here is obviously dependent on contingent historical circumstances.
Summing up, the introduction is aimed at pastors and catechists. The ministry of catechesis requires a perspective of the quality of faith. What do you make of the inclusion of mercy? What does that mean?
It’s also worth considering that the prescriptions of the GDC hold true as long as the diagnosis of the circumstances of history are accurate. One might also add the assessment of the culture–I certainly think that some approaches valid in one situation may be inappropriate even within the same nation.