Aparecida 298: Some Cautions on Catechesis

The Pope Emeritus was well aware of the problems posed to the Church by our current situation, including the problem of viewing catechesis as an occasional educational journey that culminates in some sacramental event:


298. Catechesis must not be only occasional, reduced to moments before the sacraments or to Christian initiation, but rather “a permanent catechetical journey.”(Benedict XVI, Address in the Meeting with the Bishops of Brazil, May 11, 2007) Hence each particular church, with the aid of Bishops Conferences, is charged with setting up a comprehensive and progressive process covering the entire span of life from childhood to old age, bearing in mind that the General Directory of Catechesis regards catechesis of adults as the fundamental form of education in faith. In order for the people to truly know Christ in depth and follow him faithfully, they must be led especially in reading and meditating on the Word of God, which is the primary foundation of ongoing catechesis.(Ibid.)


I’m not aware of many efforts in my country. That encounter through the Word is essential, but overlooked. Too much of the Church’s catechetical effort is focused on doctrinal faithfulness rather than true knowledge of Christ through a relationship. In  my mind, it’s like picking a spouse from a mail order catalog. You can get physical characteristics and personal achievements. But until you meet a person, you don’t really know the man or woman. And until one does know one’s beloved, there isn’t much there besides head knowledge. Or infatuation. And neither will sustain a relationship long-term.

For deeper examination, an English translation of the 2007 document from the Aparecida Conference.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
This entry was posted in 2007 Aparecida document, bishops, evangelization and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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