The Need for Catechesis: A Feature, Not a Bug

The Holy Father’s letter to the German-speaking bishops, about why they gotta use “for the many” in the Eucharistic Prayer and not “for all”, is now out in English. It has a lot of fun stuff, but here’s maybe the most interesting comment:

“On the one hand, the sacred text must appear as itself as far as possible, even if it seems alien and raises questions; on the other hand the Church has the task of explaining it, so that within the limits of our understanding, the message that the Lord intends for us actually reaches us. Not even the most sensitive translation can take away the need for explanation: it is part of the structure of revelation that the Word of God is read within the exegetical community of the Church – faithfulness and drawing out the contemporary relevance go together. The Word must be presented as it is, with its own shape, however strange it may appear to us; the interpretation must be measured by the criterion of faithfulness to the Word itself, while at the same time rendering it accessible to today’s listeners.”

Like the Kandake’s eunuch court official said to St. Philip (and I paraphrase wildly), “How can I understand what I’m reading unless someone explains it?”

I love this Pope.


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