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|Congregation for the Clergy|
General catechetical directory
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36 Faith, the maturing of which 15 10 be promoted by catechesis (cf. n. 21), can be considered in two ways, either as the total adherence given by man under the influence of grace 10 God revealing himself (the faith by which one believes), or as the content of revelation and of the Christian message (the faith which one believes). These two aspects are by their very nature inseparable, and a normal maturing of the faith assumes progress of both together. The two can, however, be distinguished for reasons of methodology.
The subject of this third part is the content of the faith, and it is treated in the way indicated here. The first chapter points out the norms or criteria which catechesis must observe in the discovery and exposition of its content. The second chapter will deal with that content itself. This second chapter is by no means intended to set forth each and every one of the Christian truths which constitute the object of faith and of catechesis. Nor 15 it desired here b present an enumeration 0f the chief errors of our age, or of the truths of the faith which today are being more sharply denied or neglected. The ordinary or extraordinary Magisterium of the Church provides for this point authoritatively by its public pronouncements.
Much less is there an attempt in that second chapter to show a suitable way for ordering the truths of faith according to an organic plan in a kind of synthesis which would take just account of their objective hierarchy, or of the needs more intensely felt by the men of our age, whether men are considered in the context of their age or in the perspective of their social and cultural formation. This is the task of sacred theology and of the various other kinds of exposition of Christian doctrine.
Rather, it has seemed opportune 10 expound in that chapter —by means of those broad formulations which encompass fuller explanations—some of the more outstanding elements contained in the saving message, elements which certainly are organically interrelated, especially in those particular features which must be brought out more clearly in a new, adapted catechesis which pursues its goal faithfully.
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