GDC 111: “The integrity of the Gospel message”

Immediately on the heels of inculturation, the bishops deliver an important message:

111. In its task of inculturating the faith, catechesis must transmit the Gospel message in its integrity and purity. Jesus proclaimed the Gospel integrally: “…because I have made known to you all that I have heard from my Father” (Jn 15,15) This same integrity is demanded by Christ of his disciples in his sending them on mission to preach the Gospel: “…and teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you” (Mt 28,19). A fundamental principle of catechesis, therefore, is that of safeguarding the integrity of the message and avoiding any partial or distorted presentation: “In order that the sacrificial offering of his or her faith should be perfect, the person who becomes a disciple of Christ has the right to receive ‘the words of faith,’ not in mutilated, falsified or diminished form but whole and entire, in all its rigour and vigour”. (Catechesi Tradandae 30)

The message, of course, must be transmitted gradually; we do not (as of yet) have the capability of giving the entire Gospel at one sitting. One challenge, of course, is the receptivity of the listener. In a way, I prefer catechizing the skeptic. The individual in total sympathy with the Church is more likely to gloss over an uncomfortable aspect of the “whole and entire.”


About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
This entry was posted in General Directory for Catechesis, post-conciliar catechetical documents. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to GDC 111: “The integrity of the Gospel message”

  1. I like how you note the challenge of the listener’s receptiveness. So very true. Even if we present the Gospel in its integrity, the listener can choose to ignore or distort our words. More worrisome is your recognition that those who are in accord with the Church are often those most willing to ignore the tougher parts of the Gospel lesson.

    I find your work very enlightening and helpful in my own faith development.

    Thank you.

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