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Congregation for the Clergy
General catechetical directory

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    • Chapter III Catechetical Formation
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112 a) Doctrine. That a strong doctrinal heritage must be acquired is self-evident. This must always include adequate knowledge of Catholic doctrine, together with a degree of scientific theology obtained at higher catechetical institutes. Sacred Scripture should be as if were the soul of this entire formation.


In any case, the doctrine ought to be mastered in such a way that the catechist will be able not only to communicate the Gospel message accurately, but also to make those being taught capable of receiving if actively and of discerning what in their spiritual journey agrees with the faith.


b) Human sciences. Our era is marked and distinguished by a very great growth in the sciences about man. These sciences are no longer reserved for the learned and the specialists. They penetrate the awareness that modern man has of himself. They influence social relationships and shape a cultural pattern, as it were, for humanity today, even that not very sophisticated.


in the teaching of human sciences, given their very great number and diversity, there are difficult problems in regard to choosing from among them and in regard to the method of teaching them. Since the question here is one of training catechists, not experts in psychology, the norm to be followed is this: determine and choose that which can directly help them to acquire facility in communication.


c) Methodological formation. Methodology is by ifs very nature nothing other than careful consideration of means that have stood the test of experience. Therefore, more importance is to be attributed to practical exercises than to theoretical instruction on pedagogy. Still, theoretical instruction is necessary for helping the cafechist to meet various situations appropriately, for avoiding an empirical form of teaching catechesis, for grasping the changes found in educational reports, and ton directing future work correctly.


Careful attention should be given to the tact that, when it is a question of training ordinary catechists (that is, those who teach the primary elements of catechesis), the principles we have considered above can be acquired better if they are taught at the same time the work is being performed (for example, during sessions in which lessons of catechesis are being prepared and feasted).


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