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|Congregation for the Clergy|
General catechetical directory
IntraText CT - Text
73 The advantages of the inductive method, chief among which are the active exercise of the spiritual faculties and the constant reference 10 concrete things in the explanation of intellectual concepts, must in no way lead to a forgetting of the need for and the usefulness of formulas.
Formulas permit the thoughts of the mind to be expressed accurately, are appropriate for a correct exposition of the faith, and, when committed to memory, help toward the firm possession of truth. Finally, they make it possible for a uniform way of speaking to be used among the faithful.
To be selected in preference to the others are those formulas which, while expressing faithfully the truth of the faith, are adapted to the capacity of the listeners. It must not be forgotten that dogmatic formulas are a true profession of Catholic doctrine, and are accordingly to be accepted as such by the faithful in the sense in which the Church has understood and does understand them (cf. First Vatican Council, Dogm. Const. Dei Filius, Dz.-Sch., n. 3020, 3043). The traditional formulas for professing the faith and for praying, such as the Apostles’ Creed, the Lord’s Prayer, the Hail Mary, and the like, are to be taught with special care.
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