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Congregation for the Clergy
General Directory for Catechesis

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  • PART FIVE CATECHESIS IN THE PARTICULAR CHURCH
    • CHAPTER IV The organization of catechetical pastoral care in the particular Churches
      • Organization and exercise of responsibilities
        • The service of the Holy See
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The service of the Holy See

270. "The command of Christ to preach the Gospel to every creature applies primarily and immediately to them (the Bishops)—with Peter, and subject to Peter". (299) The ministry of the Successor of Peter—in this collegial mandate of Jesus regarding the proclamation and transmission of the Gospelassumes a basic responsibility. This ministry must be considered "not only as a global service reaching every Church from the outside, but from inside as something already belonging to the essence of every particular Church". (300)

The ministry of Peter in catechesis is exercised in an eminent way through its teachings. The Pope, in what regards catechesis, acts in an immediate and particular way through the Congregation for Clergy, which assists "the Roman Pontiff in the exercise of his supreme pastoral office". (301)

271. The Congregation for the Clergy thus:

– "has the function of promoting the religious education of the Christian faithful of all ages and conditions;

issues timely norms so that catechetical lessons be conducted according to a proper programme;

maintains a watchful attention to the suitable delivery of catechetical instruction;

grants, with the assent of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, the prescribed approbation of the Holy See for catechisms and other writings pertaining to catechetical instruction; (302)

– is available to catechetical offices and international initiatives on religious education, coordinates their activities and, where necessary, it lends assistance". (303)




299) AG 38a; cf. CIC 756 §§ 1-2.



300) John Paul II, Allocution to the Bishops of the United States of America, during the meeting in the seminary of Our Lady of Los Ageles 16-IX-1987: Insegnamenti di Giovanni Paolo II, X, 3 (1987), 556. The expression is taken from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Communionis Notio, Rome 1992, n. 13, l.c. 846.



301) Apostolic Constitution Pastor Bonus, art. 1. This constitution, of 28 June 1988, deals with the reform of the Roman Curia which had been requested by the Council: cf. CD 9. The first reform was promulgated by the Apostolic Constitution Regimmini Ecclesiae of Paul VI, 18 August 1967: AAS 59 (1967) pp. 885-928.



302) See nn. 282 and 284 of this chapter.



303) PB, 94.






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