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The Vatican: Establishing new rites for catechists

The Vatican: Establishing new rites for catechists

From the beginning of next year, the rules of the Christian Education Teachers Foundation will change. It is a decision taken by the Vatican after the issuance of the special law by which the Pope established the special ministry.

There will also be rituals with a specific formula containing all indications of what will be a real mission, in many different areas.

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In fact, on May 10, Pope Francis formally introduced a catechism teacher service with the privately owned Anticum Ministry. And now, Bergoglio took the next step Approval of certain rituals and their publication to the Catechism Foundation. A text issued for the time being only in a basic form, however, it must be translated and adapted by the various episcopal conferences of the world.

What is this number and what tasks will it perform

It would actually be up to those The task of clarifying the requirements that must be fulfilled in the qualities of a catechistand, at the same time, what will be their role, thus presenting a formative path suitable for it, i.e. in line with its ultimate mission of training young people and groups by introducing them to the Christian life.

To do this, there will be a need to celebrate a special rite, which can take place during a Mass or a celebration of the Word of God, which will follow a precise pattern according to the signs given. The scheme will be that of A sermon and an invitation to prayer and a blessed text and delivery of the crucified.

in this way The Pope has undoubtedly drawn another step in the general thinking of church services, for example after amending the canon law on women’s access to higher and assistant school, and finally with the institution of the Ministry of Christian Education. Thus, as Archbishop Arthur Roche, President of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Organization of the Sacraments, explained, these rites “provide yet another opportunity to reflect on the theology of services in order to arrive at an organic view of the distinct ministerial realities”.

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What does this term mean?

In fact, Roche wrote a letter accompanying the edition of the Editio typica, addressed to the heads of bishops’ conferences. In this it is explained The nature of the catechism teacher’s ministry, which is the “constant service rendered to the local church” Which, however, is “fundamentally different” from priestly service in so far as it is based on the “condition of joint baptism.”

Therefore the term “Catechist” will refer to the different roles and realities, For example regarding the different ecclesiastical context. The mission of a catechist in a mission area is different from that of a catechist in a church with an ancient tradition. But the main features are those of the catechist with a specific mission of catechism, and others who are instead engaged in the various forms of the mission. How, for example, might it be to lead congregational prayer, help the sick, celebrate funerals, bring up other teachers, coordinate pastoral initiatives, and help the poor.

Read also: What is the importance of a catechist in bringing young children closer to Christ?

Anyway, it is about A ministry with “strong professional value which requires discernment on the part of the bishop.” But at the same time, not all those who are called “catechists” or who perform a pastoral cooperation service must necessarily be established. Such as, for example, candidates for deaconess and priesthood or religious men and women, or even religious teachers in schools and those who perform a service aimed exclusively at members of the ecclesiastical movement.

What will be confirmed during the initiation rite

However, the final word will be given to individual Episcopal Conferences on profile, role and forms, both for formation courses and for preparing communities to understand their meaning. Given that canon law provides for the possibility of entrusting the layman “to take part in the exercise of the pastoral care of the parish”, but at the same time It is necessary that the congregation “do not see the catechism as a substitute” for the priest Or of deacons, but he is a lay person who cooperates with the appointed servants.

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Requirements must be Men and women “of deep faith and human maturity”, “Able to welcome, be generous and lead a life of fraternal communion”, with “scriptural, theological, pastoral and pedagogical formation”, who have received the sacraments of Christian initiation. and to present a petition “in freely written and signed” to the bishop.

Read also: The Ministry of Christian Education: Why Did the Pope Make It Necessary?

On the contrary, for the initiation rite which will introduce them to this service, by their bishop during the liturgical celebration, a very specific Latin formula will be used. Che recita: “Accipe hoc fídei nostræ signum, cáthedram veritátis et caritátis Christi, eúmque vita, mòribus et verbo annntia.” The Italian translation is: “Accept this sign of our faith, the seat of Christ’s truth and love, and proclaim it by your life, by your conduct, and by the word.”.

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