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Rome Reports

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Pope Francis: Catechesis is not an abstract communication of formulas to be memorized

Pope Francis met with delegates of the European bishops' conferences responsible for catechesis. They were at the Vatican for a meeting on “Catechesis and Catechists for the New Evangelization.”

The Pope explained the fundamental nature of catechesis, as outlined by the new Directory for Catechesis published by the Vatican in 2020.

"Catechesis—as the new Directory underlines—is not an abstract communication of theoretical knowledge to be memorized, as if they were mathematical or chemical formulas. Rather, it is the mystagogical experience of those who learn to find brothers and sisters wherever they live and work, because they themselves have found Christ, who has called them to become missionary disciples."

The Pope encourages catechists to listen to the needs of the people in order to effectively communicate the Gospel in different contexts and cultures.

"Truly listen, and compare those cultures, those languages, and especially what is not said, what is not expressed, with God's Word, with Jesus Christ, the living Gospel. And I repeat the question: Is this not the Church's most urgent task among the peoples of Europe?"

Pope Francis explained that catechesis is not merely a historical artifact or repetition of the past, but a living tradition meant to open new and creative paths for evangelization.