Cardinal Antonio Canizares of Toledo in Spain said during the synod of bishops this week that without serious and solid catechesis, the Church’s mission of evangelization is not possible.
The cardinal referred to catechesis as “one of the forms of the ministry of the Word,” and he underscored “the irreplaceable and essential role of catechesis in the passing on of the Word of God, whose peculiarity lies in being a period of teaching and maturing, of vital reflection on the mystery of Christ, of integral initiation of what is vital, ordered and systematic, into the revelation that God himself has made to man in Jesus Christ.” This teaching is “not isolated from life or artificially juxtaposed to it, and is conserved in the profound memory of the living Tradition of the Church.”
“Catechesis,” he continued, “introduces, initiates in the listening and receiving of the Word and the teaching of the Apostles, in the liturgy, in the evangelical moral life in conformity with charity and in prayer.”
Cardinal Canizares warned that without catechesis, “most Christians would not be ready to assume the Gospel and translate it into daily life, nor to act in a missionary and apostolic sense, nor to successfully confront the spiritual and cultural currents of our time.”
“Only with a serious, authentic and renewed catechesis can the Church solidly unfold the fullness of the elements and functions of her evangelistic action,” he said in conclusion.