Catechesis and Formation

Text 14 of the Patriarchal Synod documents relates to Catechesis and Ongoing Christian Adult Formation. Here’s an excerpt:

5. The Council of Trent (1545-1563) is considered a breakthrough in catechesis as understood today. It insisted on offering this service by obliging bishops and priests to organize catechism programs in their eparchies, parishes, and schools, issuing the Roman catechism book, which later became an inspiration for some to write similar books and make them available to the faithful.

9. In the second half of the 20th century, educators in the Churches of the West started using new exciting and attractive pedagogical methods of all kinds. Afterwards, whereas catechesis addressed the intellect instructing on doctrinal formulae, proponents of renewal embarked on stirring to life all the capabilities of a student in order to steer it in the direction of Christian conduct. After decades of experimentation, it became clear to them that a life course will not last if it is not built on convictions that are engraved in the memory, affecting the heart and imprinting the conduct. For this reason, most educators support a catechetical method known as the “Road to Emmaus,” a method in four stages: exploring, announcing, grasping and then transforming. Each stage has its own tangible mechanics. Images and sounds have their place in this pedagogical method for they are the mainstay of the language of the day especially the language of children and the youth. Other pedagogues chose methods stemming from the Liturgy.

15…Nowadays, the world of adults is given the opportunity to open up to a wide range of cultures and new technology. Every person became multi-cultural seeking to form his own point of view concerning his environment, but with difficulty because of the abundance of data and changes. Undoubtedly, all this affects, positively or negatively, evangelization in today’s world.

In an age of consumerism, materialism and the race toward production rather than deduction, it became difficult to proclaim the Gospel which calls for releasing and for liberating [hu]man[kind] and the world. We live in a world where a lot is being said of dialogue especially intercultural and inter-religious dialogues with augmentation in disagreements and consequently in conflicts, whereas the Gospel is a call for gathering and for sharing.

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God bless you!


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