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Congregation for the Clergy
General catechetical directory

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    • Chapter I Norms or Criteria
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41 Just as Christ is the centre of the history of salvation, 50 the mystery of God is the centre from which this history takes its origin and to which it is ordered as to its last end. The crucified and risen Christ leads men 10 the Father by sending the Holy Spirit upon the People of God. For this reason the structure of the whole content of catechesis must be theocentric and Trinitarian: through Christ, 10 the Father, in the Spirit.


Through Christ: The entire economy of salvation receives its meaning from the incarnate Word. It prepared his coming; it manifests and extends his kingdom on earth from the lime of his death and resurrection up 10 his second glorious coming, which will complete the work of God. So it is that the mystery of Christ illumines the whole content of catechesis. The diverse elements

biblical, evangelical, ecclesial, human, and even cosmic—which catechetical education must take up and expound are ail 10 be referred 10 the incarnate Son of God.

To the Father: The supreme purpose of the incarnation of the Word and of the whole economy of salvation consists in this: that ail men be led 10 the Father. Catechesis, therefore, since it must help to an ever-deeper understanding of this plan of love of the heavenly Father, must take care to show that the supreme meaning of human life is this: 10 acknowledge God and to glorify him by doing his will, as Christ taught us by his words and the example of his life, and thus to come to eternal life.


In the Spirit: The knowledge of the mystery of Christ and the way 10 the Father are realised in the Holy Spirit. Therefore, catechesis, when expounding the content of the Christian message, must always put in clear light this presence of the Holy Spirit, by which men are continually moved to have communion with God and men and to fulfil their duties.


If catechesis lacks these three elements or neglects their close relationship, the Christian message can certainly lose its proper character.


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