GDC 169: “A healthy and adequate food”

GDC spells out a bit more on the community aspect of catechesis:.

Adaptation requires that the content of catechesis be a healthy and adequate food (Cf. Gaudium et Spes 44; Evengelii Nuntiandi 63; Catechesi Tradendae 31; Catechism 24-25)

169. The “adaptation of the preaching of the revealed word must always remain a law for all evangelization”.* There is an intrinsic theological motivation for this in the Incarnation. It corresponds to the elementary, pedagogical demands of healthy human communications and reflects the practice of the Church throughout the centuries. Such adaptation must be understood as a maternal action of the Church, who recognizes people as “the field of God” (1 Cor 3,9) not to be condemned but to be cultivated in hope. She sets out to meet each person, taking into serious account diversity of circumstances and cultures and maintains the unity of so many in the one saving Word. Thus the Gospel is transmitted as genuine, satisfying, healthy and adequate food. All particular initiatives must therefore be inspired by this criterion and the creativity and talent of the catechist must bow to it.

*Gaudium et Spes 44. In this Part the terms adaptation and inculturation are used because they are employed in the Magisterium and for practical purposes. The first term mainly applies to attention given to persons while the second term is applied to cultural contexts.

Very interesting section: an endorsement of adaptation as a “law of evangelization.” The Second Person adapted to us. We model Christ by adapting in turn. The message is part of a ministry of “maternal hope.” We make adjustments, and we expect it to bear fruit. Fruitful catechists engage in a necessary and lawful relativism. In the details, no two efforts look quite the same–there is no textbook approach.


About catholicsensibility

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