It is pleasant to see that Catholic organizations especially dedicated to young handicapped people contributed to the synod a renewed desire to deal better with this important problem. "(133) As He sat on her lap and later as He listened to her throughout the hidden life at Nazareth, this Son, who was "the only Son from the Father," "full of grace and truth," was formed by her in human knowledge of the Scriptures and of the history of God's plan for His people, and in adoration of the Father. Cf. Family catechesis therefore precedes, accompanies and enriches all other forms of catechesis. The members of the first Christian community are seen in it as "devoted to the apostles" teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. Perhaps no other papal document more eloquently articulates the importance of catechesis in our time and how to undertake it than Catechesi Tradendae. When that power enters into a culture, it is no surprise that it rectifies many of its elements. This remark is even more valid for the catechesis given in the setting of the liturgy, especially at the Eucharistic assembly. This broad meaning of catechesis in no way contradicts but rather includes and goes beyond a narrow meaning which was once commonly given to catechesis in didactic expositions, namely, the simple teaching of the formulas that express faith. Let the communities dedicate as much as possible of what ability and means they have to the specific work of catechesis. 20. They are convinced that true catechesis eventually enriches these cultures by helping them to go beyond the defective or even inhuman features in them, and by communicating to their legitimate values the fullness of Christ.(98). 17-22 . Visit a page 5. This concern will in part decide the tone, the language and the method of catechesis. 962-963; Sacred Congregation for the Clergy, Directorium Catechisticum Generale 20: AAS 64 (1972), p. 112; cf. Many religious institutes for men and women came into being for the purpose of giving Christian education to children and young people, especially the most abandoned. Among the adults who need catechesis, our pastoral missionary concern is directed to those who were born and reared in areas not yet Christianized, and who have never been able to study deeply the Christian teaching that the circumstances of life have at a certain moment caused them to come across. Catechesi Tradendae begins by reminding us that Jesus Christ himself entrusted the Church with this essential task of catechesis, which includes, first, making disciples (helping people to believe that Jesus is the Son of God) and secondly, educating and instructing them in Christ’s life (CT 1). 14:6). cit., pp. 23. I beg the intercession of those whom my predecessors have raised to the glory of the altars. 1056-1057. Apostolic Exhortation Catechesi Tradendae remain valid: ''You have a special mission within your Churches, you are before all others the ones primarily responsible for catechesis''.116 It is therefore the duty of every Bishop to give real priority in his particular Church to active and effective catechesis. (134) She in turn was the first of His disciples. On the contrary, their perfect complementarity must be fostered: adults have much to give to young people and children in the field of catechesis, but they can also receive much from them for the growth of their own Christian lives. 107. It is in the same climate of faith and hope that I am today addressing this apostolic exhortation to you, venerable brothers and dear sons and daughters. "(31) Without any doubt we find in that a lasting image of the Church being born of and continually nourished by the word of the Lord, thanks to the teaching of the apostles, celebrating that word in the Eucharistic Sacrifice and bearing witness to it before the world in the sign of charity. Cf., for example, Second Vatican Council, Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World Gaudium et Spes, AAS 58 (1966), pp. Catechesis is intimately bound up with the whole of the Church's life. Magisterial Documents: Catechesi Tradendae. . (35) They transmitted to their successors the task of teaching. "(130) St. Augustine is very explicit: "Both (our believing and our doing good) are ours because of the choice of our will, and yet both are gifts from the Spirit of faith and charity."(131). "(125), But this is not all. Pastoral Liturgy Catechesi Tradendae, “On Catechesis in Our Time”, October 16, Catechesi Tradendae is Pope John Paul II’s 1st. Firm and well-thought - out convictions lead to courageous and upright action, the endeavor to educate the faithful to live as disciples of Christ today calls for and facilitates a discovery in depth of the mystery of Christ in the history of salvation. Catechesis as the Church's Right and Duty, 14. 25-30. Pronounce word 150. ), it is supremely important that all these catechetical channels should really converge on the same confession of faith, on the same membership of the Church, and on commitments in society lived in the same Gospel spirit: "one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father. Catechesi tradendae. 37. The revelation of Jesus Christ as a Friend, Guide and Model, capable of being admired but also imitated; the revelation of this message which provides an answer to the fundamental questions, the revelation of the loving plan of Christ the Savior as the incarnation of the only authentic love and as the possibility of uniting the human race - all this can provide the basis for genuine education in faith. The Church's teaching, liturgy and life spring from this source and lead back to it, under the guidance of the pastors and, in particular, of the doctrinal magisterium entrusted to them by the Lord. But they refuse to accept an impoverishment of catechesis through a renunciation or obscuring of its message, by adaptations, even in language, that would endanger the "precious deposit" of the faith,(97) or by concessions in matters of faith or morals. 32. 847, 860; the Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World Gaudium et Spes, n. 52: AAS 58 (l966) p. 1073; and especially the Declaration on Christian Education Gravissimum Educationis, 3: AAS 58 (1966), p. 731. The apostles were not slow to share with others the ministry of apostleship. (46) Routine leads to stagnation, lethargy and eventual paralysis. 60. Catechesis will have an ecumenical dimension if, while not ceasing to teach that the fullness of the revealed truths and of the means of salvation instituted by Christ is found in the Catholic Church,(84) it does so with sincere respect, in words and in deeds, for the ecclesial communities that are not in perfect communion with this Church. This brief mention of ways and means of modern catechetics does not exhaust the wealth of suggestions worked out by the synod fathers. 36. It is a work of prime importance. He set up the International Council for Catechesis in 1975. Obviously this connection is profound and vital for those who understand the irreplaceable mission of theology in the service of Faith. The ministry of catechesis draws ever fresh energy from the councils. But the term "catechists" belongs above all to the catechists in mission lands. Encyclical Redemptor Hominis, 15-16: AAS 71 (1979), pp. The image of Christ the Teacher was stamped on the spirit of the Twelve and of the first disciples, and the command "Go...and make disciples of all nations"(28) set the course for the whole of their lives. It is in fact a matter … However, St. John Paul II reminds us, "This 'Yes' has two levels: It consists in surrendering to the word of God and relying on it, but it also means, at a later stage, endeavoring to know better and better the profound meaning of this word," (Catechesi Tradendae, 20). We can here use the word "Christocentricity" in both its meanings, which are not opposed to each other or mutually exclusive, but each of which rather demands and completes the other. Cf. John Paul II’s first Synod – and his first exhortation. In his closing speech at the fourth general assembly of the synod, Pope Paul VI rejoiced "to see how everyone drew attention to the absolute need for systematic catechesis, precisely because it is this reflective study of the Christian mystery that fundamentally distinguishes catechesis from all other ways of presenting the word of God."(50). A more subtle challenge occasionally comes from the very way of conceiving faith. 67. Forms a pair with Paul VI’s document – evanglisation and catechesis. Catechists for their part must have the wisdom to pick from the field of theological research those points that can provide light for their own reflection and their teaching, drawing, like the theologians, from the true sources, in the light of the magisterium. Second Vatican Council, Declaration on Christian Education Gravissimum Educationis, 3: AAS 58 (1966), p. 731. 38. It must be an integral Christian initiation, open to all the other factors of Christian life. 65. Pope John Paul II asserts in Catechesi Tradendae (CT) 27 that the Word of God is the living source for catechesis. They must be ensured a catechesis attuned to them, so that they will be able to grow in faith and live by lt more and more, in spite of the lack of support or even the opposition they meet in their surroundings. CATECHESIS IN THE CHURCH'S PASTORAL AND MISSIONARY ACTIVITY. The increase in the number of young people is without doubt a fact charged with hope and at the same time with anxiety for a large part of the contemporary world. In this context, it seems important to me that the connection between catechesis and theology should be well understood. It is the communication of the living mystery of God. Throughout sacred history, especially in the Gospel, God Himself used a pedagogy that must continue to be a model for the pedagogy of faith. At present this right is admittedly being given growing recognition, at least on the level of its main principles, as is shown by international declarations and conventions in which, whatever their limitations, one can recognize the desires of the consciences of many people today. I now wish to speak of the actual setting in which all these catechists normally work. This is the principal form of catechesis, because it is addressed to persons who have the greatest responsibilities and the capacity to live the Christian message in its fully developed form. In this way every association of the faithful in the Church has by definition the duty to educate in the faith. Priests and religious have in catechesis a pre-eminent field for their apostolate. also Second Vatican Council, Decree on the Missionary Activity of the Church Ad Gentes, 15: AAS 58 (1966), pp. He will not seek to keep directed towards himself and his personal opinions and attitudes the attention and the consent of the mind and heart of the person he is catechizing. also Apostolic Exhortation, Evangelii Nuntiandi, 78: AAS 68 (1976), p. 70. Mt. 41. (12) We must therefore say that in catechesis it is Christ, the Incarnate Word and Son of God, who is taught - everything else is taught with reference to Him - and it is Christ alone who teaches - anyone else teaches to the extent that he is Christ's spokesman, enabling Christ to teach with his lips. (5) He decided that catechesis, especially that meant for children and young people, should be the theme of the fourth general assembly of the synod of Bishops,(6) which was held in October 1977 and which I myself had the joy of taking part in. Cf., for example the letter of Clement of Rome to the Church of Corinth, the Didache, the Epistola Apostolorum, the writings of Irenaeus of Lyons (Demonstratio Apostolicae Praedicationis and Adversus Haereses), of Tertullian (De Baptismo), of Clement of Alexandria (Paedagogus), of Cyprian (Testimonia ad Quirinum), of Origen (Contra Celsum), etc. All those who take on the heavy task of preparing these catechetical tools, especially catechism texts, can do so only with the approval of the pastors who have the authority to give it, and taking their inspiration as closely as possible from the General Catechetical Directory, which remains the standard of reference.(93). All this has extensive influence in the field of catechesis. ; 4:1ff. (86) But the communion of faith between Catholics and other Christians is not complete and perfect; in certain cases there are even profound divergences. St. Augustine encountered this same problem and contributed to its solution for his own time with his wellknown work De Catechizandis Rudibus. Now a second question. To begin with, I turn to my brother Bishops: The Second Vatican Council has already explicitly reminded you of your task in the catechetical area,(113) and the fathers of the fourth general assembly of the synod have also strongly underlined it. There can be no doubt that the Church will find the experts and the right means for responding, with God's grace, to the complex requirements of communicating with the people of today. "(40) From Clement of Rome to Origen,(41) the post-apostolic age saw the birth of remarkable works. (2) He also entrusted them with the mission and power to explain with authority what He had taught them, His words and actions, His signs and commandments. Finally, even adults are not safe from temptations to doubt or to abandon their faith, especially as a result of their unbelieving surroundings. Pedagogy of faith is not a question of transmitting human knowledge, even of the highest kind; it is a question of communicating God's revelation in its entirety. . This is a field in which diocesan, interdiocesan or national cooperation proves fertile and fruitful. Pope Paul VI, Apostolic Exhortation Quinque Iam Anni: AAS 63 (1971), p. 99. (8) I am also doing so in order to fulfill one of the chief duties of my apostolic charge. (137) There are good grounds for the statement made in the synod hall that Mary is "a living catechism" and "the mother and model of catechists. This is one of the benefits of the liturgical renewal. In the Creed of the People of God, proclaimed at the close of the l9th centenary of the martyrdom of the Apostles Peter and Paul, my predecessor Paul VI decided to bring together the essential elements of the Catholic Faith, especially those that presented greater difficulty or risked being ignored. 56. 93. Next comes puberty and adolescence, with all the greatness and dangers which that age brings. 50. 49. 4; Final Act of the Conference on European Security and Cooperation, Para. Thus will she effectively carry out, at this moment of grace, her inalienable and universal mission, the mission given her by her Teacher: "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations."(138). 1 Tm. May the Virgin of Pentecost obtain this for us through her intercession. They deserve to be given warm encouragement in this endeavor. 110. The achievements in these spheres are such as to encourage the greatest hope. 1:14; Heb. Written by Saint Pope John Paul II, this apostolic exhortation describes the important and unique roles the Church, the laity, and the family play in ensuring that all Catholics not only understand the Faith, but are prepared to live it fully. We must be grateful to the Lord for this contribution by the laity, but it is also a challenge to our responsibility as pastors, since these lay catechists must be carefully prepared for what is, if not a formally instituted ministry, at the very least a function of great importance in the Church. By a unique vocation, she saw her Son Jesus "increase in wisdom and in stature, and in favor. (30) For this reason He formally conferred on them after the resurrection the mission of making disciples of all nations. "(29) It was not they who chose to follow Jesus; it was Jesus who chose them, kept them with Him, and appointed them even before His Passover, that they should go and bear fruit and that their fruit should remain. (Catechesi Tradendae (1979) #1) The word catechesis comes from the Greek meaning "to echo the teaching" meaning that catechesis or the teaching of the faith is an interactive process in which the Word of God re-sounds between and among the proclaimer, the one receiving the message, and the Holy The theme is extremely vast and the exhortation will keep to only a few of the most topical and decisive aspects of it, as an affirmation of the happy results of the synod. Christocentricity in catechesis also means the intention to transmit not one's own teaching or that of some other master, but the teaching of Jesus Christ, the Truth that He communicates or, to put it more precisely, the Truth that He is. (48) Catechesis is one of these moments - a very remarkable one - in the whole process of evangelization. (21) Even the Pharisees and the Sadducees, the doctors of the law, and the Jews in general do not refuse Him the title: "Teacher, we wish to see a sign from you"(22); "Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? But often it is also the age of deeper questioning, of anguished or even frustrating searching, of a certain mistrust of others and dangerous introspection, and the age sometimes of the first experiences of setbacks and of disappointments. In order that the sacrificial offering of his or her faith(75) should be perfect, the person who becomes a disciple of Christ has the right to receive "the word of faith"(76) not in mutilated, falsified or diminished form but whole and entire, in all its rigor and vigor. 42. Unfaithfulness on some point to the integrity of the message means a dangerous weakening of catechesis and putting at risk the results that Christ and the ecclesial community have a right to expect from it. 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