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NEW METHODS OF FORMATION IN THE FAITH MUST NOT DIMINISH THE TRUTH OF THE GOSPEL
2018, Dec 09
The use of new methods for the formation of the faithful in Catechesis must not diminish the eternal truth of the Gospel nor water down its contents, participants at the recently concluded first National Catechetical Summit of the Catholic Church in Nigeria, have advocated. The call was part of the resolutions adopted by the participants at the end of the four-day summit which focused on the Revamping of the Catechetical Apostolate in Nigeria. It took place at the CSN Resource Cnetre, Durumi, Abuja.
The summit at which about 15 presentations were made by experts in the field of catechesis; was attended by about 300 participants, including members of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria (CBCN), led by the President, Archbishop Augustine Obiora Akubeze; Archbishop Franz-Peter Terbart Van-Elst, Delegate for Catechesis at the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization, who represented the Vatican and the Apostolic Nuncio to Nigeria, Archbishop Antonio Guido Filipazzi..
The 17-point resolution was signed by Most Rev. Martin Olorunmolu, CBCN Chairman for Religious Education, Catechesis and Biblical Apostolate Committee and Most Rev. John Ayah, CBCN Chairman, Pastoral Affairs Department of the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria (CSN). According to the document, effective catechesis must ensure good harmony between content and method, “such that while employing new methods, eternal truth of the Gospel must not be watered down.”
It added: “This is because Christ is the content of Catechesis and the model per excellence for all Christians and those who have answered the call to be catechists.” The participants also resolved that: a thorough review must always be carried out to assess past efforts, current realities and needs and future direction; that the Church must put in place an integrated programme of formation for all church personnel, especially catechists who are the closest collaborators of pastors.”
While calling for the continuation of the services and maintenance of both full time and part time catechists; the participants noted that: “While the identity of the Catechist has changed in some cases, one essential element remains, that is catechists are teachers of faith, bearers of the good news, hence, certain elements, their vocation, formation and professionalism must not be separated from each other.”
They added: “Since the harvest will always be great, priests and consecrated men and women are urged to take catechesis more seriously by being involved in parish catechesis and in religious education in Catholic institutions, especially Catholic Schools”; noting that “This will help mitigate the problem of lack of qualified personnel to handle catechesis”.
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