GDC 211: Anthropological environments and cultural tendencies

Forming and executing a catechesis where people are: that would take true openness.

211. The Gospel seeks a catechesis which is open, generous and courageous in reaching people where they live, especially in encountering those nuclei in which the most elementary and fundamental cultural exchanges take place, such as the family, the school, the work environment and free time.

It is important for catechesis to discern and penetrate these environments, as it is there that the major cultural tendencies have greater impact in creating and popularizing such models of life as urban life, migratory or tourist influxes, the world of youth and other socially relevant phenomena. Indeed “there are so many sectors to enlighten with the light of the Gospel”, (Cf. Redemptoris Missio 37) especially those cultural areas denominated ‘modern areopagi’ like communications; civil campaigns for peace, development and liberation of peoples; the protection of creation; the defence of human rights, especially of minorities, women and children; scientific research and international relations.

Outside of Christianity, there are many things to be found that are good in human society–like these examples named. The Church has a more natural home in these, I would say, than in the conservative efforts to individualism and self-realization–aspects of the “me generation.” There is much to be admired in some conservative thrusts in today’s world, but the emphasis on distance and rationalism from the world’s true problems is a significant handicap. The modern anti-slavery movement, to pick one example, has a lot more congruence to something like the creation of personal wealth as some sign of God’s favor and blessing.


About catholicsensibility

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