This section and the two that follow give the briefst summary of the situation of present-day Christians. Some praise, but cautions as well:
24. The disciples of Jesus are scattered in the world as leaven but, as in every age, they are not immune from the influences of human situations. It is therefore necessary to enquire into the current situation of the faith of Christians. Catechetical renewal, developed in the Church over the last decades, continues to bear very welcome fruit.(41) The catechesis of children, of young people and of adults has given rise to a type of Christian who is conscious of his faith and who acts consistently with it in his life. In such Christians this catechesis has encouraged:
- – a new and vital experience of God as merciful Father;
- – a more profound rediscovery of Jesus Christ, not only in his divinity but also in his humanity;
- – a sense of co-responsibility on the part of all for the mission of the Church in the world;
- – and a raising of consciousness with regard to the social obligations of the faith.
The document acknowledges “catechetical renewal,” and certainly there has been much effort put forth by bishops, clergy, and catechists, as well as educational and formation experts. These four points seem to be common to the experience I’ve had in American parishes. Would you agree? What is missing that you would add? What is missing from the experience of the “last decades” that should be emphasized?
We’ll get to GDC 25 and 26 soon enough to begin a discussion of particular challenges.
Notes: (41) Catechesi Tradendae 3; cf. Synod of Bishops, Message to the People of God, Cum iam ad exitum on catechesis in our times (28 October 1977) 4