GDC 180: Infants and children without religious support

The message of catechesis is “A message proclaiming salvation,” as the section 101-102 is headed.

Infants and children without religious support in the family or who do not attend school (Cf. General Catechetical Directory 80-81; Catechesi Tradendae 42)

180. There are indeed many gravely disadvantaged children who lack adequate religious support in the family, either because they have no true family, or because they do not attend school, or because they are victims of dysfunctional social conditions or other environmental factors. Many are not even baptized; others do not bring to completion the journey of initiation. It is the responsibility of the Christian community to address this situation by providing generous, competent and realistic aid, by seeking dialogue with the families, by proposing appropriate forms of education and by providing catechesis which is proportionate to the concrete possibilities and needs of these children.

“Realistic” would seem to be the key assessment. What can the faith community do in situations where the children are not enrolled in faith formation or a parish school? Vacation Bible Schools? Is once a year “generous” enough? Child care offerings? Then what religious content is competent? The Church recognizes these situations, but it is left to the community situation of each parish to determine the best and more hopeful means of outreach.


About catholicsensibility

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