GDC 149: The content-method relationship in catechesis

This section’s title, above, is footnoted Catechesi Tradedae 31, 52, 59.

As for the text of the section, a very interesting premise is suggested. In many modern discussions about liturgy, the fear is expressed that an emphasis on the horizontal dimension of worship (community) must necessarily diminish the vertical, our sense of God. Good catechesis would suggest that these concerns are linked.

149. The principle of “fidelity to God and fidelity to (humankind)” leads to an avoidance of any opposition or artificial separation or presumed neutrality between method and content. It affirms, rather, their necessary correlation and interaction. The catechist recognizes that method is at the service of revelation and conversion (Cf. Catechesi Tradendae 52) and that therefore it is necessary to make use of it. The catechist knows that the content of catechesis cannot be indifferently subjected to any method. It requires a process of transmission which is adequate to the nature of the message, to its sources and language, to the concrete circumstances of ecclesial communities as well as to the particular circumstances of the faithful to whom catechesis is addressed.

Because of its intrinsic importance both in tradition and in present day catechesis, mention must be made of the method of approaching the Bible,(Cf. Pontifical Biblical Commission, The Interpretation of the Bible in the Church, l.c.) of “documentary pedagogy”, especially of the Creed, since catechesis is a transmission of the faith; (1977 Synod of Bishops, Message to the People of God 9) of the method of liturgical and ecclesial signs; and of methods proper to the mass media. A good catechetical method is a guarantee of fidelity to content.



About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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