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Congregation for the Clergy
General Directory for Catechesis

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  • PART ONE CATECHESIS IN THE CHURCH'S MISSION OF EVANGELIZATION
    • CHAPTER II Catechesis in the process of evangelization
      • Catechesis at the service of christian initiation
        • Catechesis, at the service of Christian initiation
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Catechesis, at the service of Christian initiation

65. Faith, by means of which man responds to the proclamation of the Gospel, requires Baptism. The close connection between the two realities is rooted in the will of Christ himself, who commanded his apostles to make disciples of all nations and to baptize them. "The mission to baptize, and so the sacramental mission, is implied in the mission to evangelize". (197)

Those who have converted to Jesus Christ and who have been educated in the faith by means of catechesis, by receiving the sacraments of Christian initiation (Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist) "are delivered from the powers of darkness through the sacraments of Christian initiation and having died, been buried, and risen with Christ, they receive the Spirit of adoption as children and celebrate with the whole people of God the memorial of the Lord's death and resurrection". (198)

66. Catechesis, is thus, a fundamental element of Christian initiation and is closely connected with the sacraments of initiation, especially with Baptism, "the sacrament of faith". (199) The link uniting catechesis and Baptism is true profession of faith, which is at once an element inherent in this sacrament and the goal of catechesis. The aim of catechetical activity consists in precisely this: to encourage a living, explicit and fruitful profession of faith. (200) The Church, in order to achieve this, transmits to catechumens and those to be catechized, her living experience of the Gospel, her faith, so that they may appropriate and profess it. Hence, "authentic catechesis is always an orderly and systematic initiation into the revelation that God has given of himself to humanity in Christ Jesus, a revelation stored in the depths of the Church's memory and in Sacred Scripture, and constantly communicated from one generation to the next by a living active traditio". (201)




197) CCC 1122.



198) AG 14. Cf. CCC 1212, 1229.



199) CCC 1253. In the baptismal catechumenate of adults in the mission ad gentes catechesis precedes Baptism. In the catechesis of the baptized, formation is subsequent to Baptism. However, also in this case a function of catechesis is to help to discover and bring to life the immense richness of Baptism already received. CCC 1231 uses the expression post-baptismal catechumenate. ChL 61 calls it post-baptismal catechesis.



200) Cf. CCC 1229; CD 14.



201) CT 22. Cf. CT 21b, 18d.






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