ROME, MAY 9, 2003 (Zenit.org).- Effective catechesis demands a consistency between the catechist’s life, especially if he is a priest, and what he teaches, say representatives of the European episcopate.
Bishop Cesare Nosiglia expressed that conviction Thursday at the conclusion of the works of the congress on “Priests and Catechesis,” organized by the Council of European Bishops’ Conferences (www.ccee.ch).
The deputy director of the Diocese of Rome posed as a model for catechesis the very “style” of Jesus, who “catechized with the word and with deeds, with his whole life.”
“Every person,” he said, “must always feel welcome, listened to, supported in gentleness and truth by a priest who represents Christ himself, meek and humble of heart, firm against the dishonest and hypocrites, but gentle toward sinners and those of weak faith.”
Only in this way will the ecclesial community become a really “vital ambience” where “whoever enters or is passing through breathes a family atmosphere where persons matter, knowing how to be with and spend time with each one without haste, without feigned dialogue.”
To be effective, the priest must “learn” from the laity and work on his own ongoing formation on the spiritual, theological and cultural levels, the bishop concluded.
Eighty bishops and national directors of catechesis from some 30 countries attended the meeting.