Date of Award
Doctor of Education
Schools and Centres
Professor Gerard O'Shea
Anne Marie Irwin
With the initial formal promulgation of the Catechism of the Catholic Church by St. John Paul II (1992) the entire Christian world exercised a call to hope and at the same time despair. Hope in the continual fruitful understanding of Church doctrine presented in a clear and definitive way, a living resource that would provide the faithful since the development of the Roman Catechism a deeper understanding of the Mysteries of Christ and His Church. In concert with this is a clear systematic exposition of the faith rooted in Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition bringing to light the importance of Christ and His Church especially our own Christian anthropology.
At the same time the advent of the Catechism brought a sense of despair especially in the areas of catholic schools, catholic institutions of higher learning and its educational faculties. The main reason being the negligent assumption that academic freedom would either be limited or stifled by the Catechism’s Creedal approach to the faith, one not employed by some in Catholic academic circles let alone in the catechetical field as a whole allowing for an incongruent understanding of the Deposit of Faith. If catechesis serves as an active pedagogy of the faith, then the Catechism is the natural instrument by which to expound the faith. In its purest form the Catechism provides the educator the ways and means of revealing the mysteries of Christ in a cogent and systematic manner.
Upon further study and reflection, one may come to see that the Catechism presents us with a symphony of instruction fides quae rooted in the Revelation of Christ and delivered to the Apostles. The Catechism demonstrates the development of the Catholic faith that receives its source from the Word of God and this serves as a vital formative tool for Catholic educators, fides qua. The Catechism is not a compilation of doctrinal pluralities but instead the Catechism expresses the unique unified symphony of instruction in the Catholic faith as revealed by Christ and His Church. If we take the time to explicate the purpose of the Catechism in relation a catholic educator a catechetical characteristic that speaks to both areas is that of pedagogy. First the pedagogue i.e. the catholic educator is placed in the position of articulating the faith to students in a Christocentric manner. Second, the pedagogy instruction necessary for this Christocentric learning to effectively take place would naturally come from the development of Christ’s teaching intimately bound in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Third, since the relation between the pedagogue, pedagogy is rooted in the Creedal nature of the Catechism it is reasonable to enlist the Catechism as a source of pedagogical formation not only for students but the catholic educator as well.
In conclusion, the Catechism represents the deposit of faith that unveils the teachings of Jesus Christ in systematic fashion based on the creed demonstrating its indispensability as the formative catechetical tool for all Catholic educators. With that we see the inherent value of the Deposit of Faith and the love that has never ceased from God to His Children. We preach admonishing every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus.
De La Torre, M. (2019). Does the Catechism of the Catholic Church Possess an Educational Function as a Formative tool for Catholic Educators? (Doctor of Education). University of Notre Dame Australia. https://researchonline.nd.edu.au/theses/254