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Pope Establishes MinistryofCatechist
With a new Apostolic Letter issued “motu proprio,” Pope Francis establishes the lay ministry of catechist, intended to respond to an urgent need for the evangelisation of the modern world, and undertaken in a “secular” manner, avoiding clericalisation.
“Fidelity to the past and responsibility for the present are necessary conditions for the Church to carry out her mission in the world,” writes Pope Francis in the Apostolic Letter Antiquum Ministerium, with which the Holy Father institutes the lay ministry of catechist.
In the context of evangelisation in the contemporary world and in the face of “the rise of a globalised culture,” it is necessary to recognise “those lay men and women who feel called by virtue of their baptism to cooperate in the work of catechesis.” At the same time, Pope Francis emphasises the importance of “genuine interaction with young people,” as well as “the need for creative methodologies and resources capable of adapting the proclamation of the Gospel to the missionary transformation that the Church has undertaken.”
A New Ministry with AncientOrigins
The new ministry has ancient origins, going back to the New Testament: it is mentioned, for example, in the Gospel of Luke and in St Paul’s Letters to the Corinthians and Galatians, albeit in a seminal form. But “the history of evangelization over the past two millennia,” writes Pope Francis, “clearly shows the effectiveness of the mission of catechists,” who have “devoted their lives to catechetical instruction so that the faith might be an effective support for the life of every human being,” — even to the point of sacrificing their own lives.
Since the Second Vatican Council, there has been a growing awareness of the fact that “the role of catechists is of the highest importance” (Ad gentes, 17) for “the development of the Christian community.”
“In our own day too,” writes Pope Francis, “many competent and dedicated catechists… carry out a mission invaluable for the transmission and growth of the faith,” while a “long line of blesseds, saints and martyrs who were catechists has significantly advanced the Church’s mission.” This “represents a rich resource not only for catechesis but also for the entire history of Christian spirituality.”
Transforming Society through ChristianValues
Without in any way detracting from the “the Bishop’s mission as the primary catechist in his Diocese,” nor from the “particular responsibility of parents for the Christian formation of their children,” the Pope recognises the importance of lay men and women who collaborate in the service of catechesis, going out to “encounter all those who are waiting to discover the beauty, goodness, and truth of the Christian faith.”
Pope Francis emphasises that it is “the task of pastors to support them in this process and to enrich the life of the Christian community through the recognition of lay ministries capable of contributing to the transformation of society through the ‘penetration of Christian values into the social, political and economic sectors’.”
Every catechist, says Pope Francis, “must be a witness to the faith, a teacher and mystagogue, a companion and pedagogue, who teaches for the Church.” Catechists, he continues, “are called first to be expert in the pastoral service of transmitting the faith,” from the first proclamation of the kerygma to preparation for the sacraments of Christian initiation, and throughout the process of ongoing formation.
All this is possible, he says, “only through prayer, study, and direct participation in the life of the community,” so that catechists can grow in their identity and in “the integrity and responsibility” that identity entails.
Receiving the lay ministry of catechist, in fact, “will emphasize even more the missionary commitment proper to every baptized person,” writes Pope Francis, “a commitment that must, however, be carried out in a fully “secular” manner, avoiding any form of clericalization.”
What is the New MinistryofCatechist? A CatholicNewsAgencyCNAExplainer
Pope Francis on Tuesday instituted the new lay ministry of catechist, with the apostolic letter Antiquum ministerium (“Ancient ministry”).
You might have questions about what this ministry is and who it is for. In this explainer, CNA answers your burning questions about this new (or is it?) ministry in the Church.
What is the InstitutedMinistry of Catechist?
An instituted ministry is a type of formal, vocational service within the Catholic Church. It can be either lay, such as lector or acolyte, or ordained, such as deacon or priest.
The newly instituted ministry of catechist is for lay people who have a particular call to serve the Catholic Church as a teacher of the faith.
The ministry is “stable,” meaning it lasts for the entirety of life, independent of whether the person is actively carrying out that activity during every part of his or her life.
But CatechistsAlready Exist! How is this Different?
Many catechists today serve the Church at the parish level, but the instituted ministry of catechist will be tied to the diocese and be at the disposal of the diocesan bishop.
Archbishop Rino Fisichella explained at a Vatican press conference May 11 that “the institution of a ministry by the Church is confirmation that the person invested with that charism is performing an authentic ecclesial service to the community.”
Fisichella is president of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization, which oversees the Church’s instituted ministries.
The institution of this ministry, together with the lay ministries of lector and acolyte, “will make it possible to have a laity that is better prepared in the transmission of the faith,” the archbishop said.
He also emphasized that the instituted catechist is dedicated to the transmission of the faith through proclamation and instruction — he or she does not have any kind of liturgical responsibility.
The catechist collaborates with the local bishop and priests in the teaching of the faith to the local community. And it can be a benefit in places where priests are scarce.
Pope Francis “is well aware of how many areas of Latin America and Africa today still have catechists at the head of the community,” Fisichella said. He stressed the unique nature of each ministry, noting that they are not interchangeable.
“At stake here is much of what is new in this ministry,” he said. “Men and women are called to express their baptismal vocation in the best possible way, not as substitutes for priests or consecrated persons, but as authentic laymen and laywomen who, in the distinctive nature of their ministry, are able to experience the full of extent of their baptismal vocation of witness and effective service in the community and the world.”
Who is Qualified to be Instituted into the Ministry of Catechist?
Pope Francis’ letter said that a lay person called to be instituted in the ministry of catechist should have “deep faith and human maturity,” be an active participant in the life of the Christian community, and “capable of welcoming others, being generous and living a life of fraternal communion.”
Bishops’ conferences will be responsible for deciding the “necessary process of formation and the normative criteria for admission” to the new ministry.
Individual bishops are tasked with determining appropriate candidates in their own territories, and ensuring they have been properly prepared through “suitable biblical, theological, pastoral and pedagogical formation.”
Prior experience of catechesis is also a prerequisite.
Archbishop Fisichella said that “it is obvious that not everyone who is a catechist today will have access to the ministry of Catechist.”
“Of primary importance is the vocational dimension which implies a willingness to serve the Church where the bishop considers it most beneficial,” he explained. “Ministries are not conferred for personal gratification, but for service to be rendered to the local Church where the bishop deems the presence of the catechist necessary.”
The Vatican Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments will publish a Rite of Institution of the new lay ministry of catechist. It will be ready “in a short time,” according to Fisichella.
Where did the Idea of the LayCatechist come from?
In his apostolic letter, Pope Francis emphasized the history of the catechist, beginning with the New Testament’s First Epistle to the Corinthians, which refers to “teachers” within the early Christian community.
He said that catechists played a critical role in the Church’s missionary expansion in the following centuries and noted the renewed appreciation for lay catechists in the work of evangelization following the Second Vatican Council.
Fisichella said his pontifical council, at the request of Pope Francis, has been studying the institution of the lay ministry of catechist for more than five years in collaboration with bishops’ conferences and experts.
Vatican City, May 11, 2021, 08:00 AM America | Denver (CNA).
Een Catechismus (van het Griekse: Κατήχησις, katechesis = onderricht) is een opsomming van de leer van een bepaald kerkgenootschap waarin al zijn dogma’s systematisch en voor leken begrijpelijk worden gegeven en uitgelegd. Omdat ze een middel zijn bij de catechese, worden ze vaak in vraag- en antwoordvorm uitgegeven.
de Catechismus van Petrus Canisius, SJ (1554): het eerste boek waarin, in de vorm van vraag en antwoord, geloofsonderricht voor volwassenen gegeven wordt. Het boek biedt een overzicht van de katholieke geloofsleer. Aan zo’n overzicht was behoefte omdat de Reformatie bij veel katholieken verwarring over de juiste katholieke leer had gebracht.
Youcat (2011, jongerencatechismus, in vraag- en antwoordvorm).
In de 19e eeuw kwamen voor het godsdienstonderwijs aan kinderen speciaal geschreven catechismusteksten in zwang. In 1920 verscheen de Nederlandse Schoolcatechismus. Deze werd door de Nederlandse bisschoppen verplicht voor de godsdienstles op de katholieke lagere scholen. In 1964 onthieven de bisschoppen de katholieke lagere scholen van de verplichting tot het gebruik van de Schoolcatechismus in de godsdienstles.
Voor de inhoud van de van oorsprong Nederlandse Nieuwe Catechismus van 1966 werd sinds het jaar van verschijnen gewaarschuwd door onder meer Vaticaansedicasterieën en priesters. De inhoud wordt op vele plaatsen onverenigbaar met het overgeleverde katholieke geloof beschouwd. De aanvulling van 1969 bevatte op zich alle door de Romeinse Curie vereiste wijzigingen.
De oorspronkelijke bedoeling van de vroege catechismus was, naast het helder uiteenzetten van alle geloofspunten, ook de bescherming van katholieke gelovigen tegen het opkomend protestantisme.
De Catechismus van Genève is van de hand van Johannes Calvijn, verscheen in 1541 en onderging twee belangrijke herzieningen (1545 en 1560). De catechismus bestaat uit vragen en antwoorden: deze vorm heeft Calvijn overgenomen van zijn collega Martin Bucer. Ze zijn gerangschikt rond vier belangrijke geloofsthema’s: geloof, wet, gebed en sacramenten. De catechismus van Genève is met 373 vragen en antwoorden erg uitgebreid en wordt naast catechismus voor de jeugd ook als belijdenisgeschrift gebruikt. De Catechismus van Genève heeft een plaats in de kerkorde van de Protestantse Kerk in Nederland gekregen omdat hij vanouds door de Waalse kerk in Nederland wordt gebruikt.<
De Gewone Catechismus is geschreven door Theo Pleizier, Arnold Huijgen en Dolf te Velde. Deze catechismus wil de inhoud van het christelijk geloof op een hedendaagse manier overdragen aan volgende generaties. Hij bestaat uit honderd vragen en antwoorden, per antwoord is er een korte toelichting opgenomen.
In 1680 werkte de baptistischepredikantHercules Collins de Heidelbergse Catechismus om tot een catechismus die voldoet aan de Baptistische Leer (bijvoorbeeld inzake de Doop). Sinds 1689 kon deze catechismus openlijk verschijnen.