Friday, October 16, 2020

The Church’s pastoral and missionary activity

Catechesis cannot be dissociated from the Church’s pastoral and missionary activity as a whole. Nevertheless, it has a specific character that was repeatedly the object of inquiry during the preparatory work and throughout the course of the Fourth General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops. The question also interests the public both within and outside the Church.

This is not the place for giving a rigorous formal definition of catechesis, which has been sufficiently explained in the General Catechetical Directory. It is for specialists to clarify more and more its concept and divisions.

In view of uncertainties in practice, let us simply recall the essential landmarks—they are already solidly established in Church documents—that are essential for an exact understanding of catechesis and without which there is a risk of failing to grasp its full meaning and reach.

(Apostolic Exhortation Catechesi Tradendae, Pope John Paul II, No 18, October 16, 1979.)