Pope Francis establishes ministry of catechist

Pope Francis establishes ministry of catechist

The primary aim for the existence of the church is evangelization of the peoples for the salvation of their souls. This was Jesus mission here on earth passed on to his church.

For a long time since the genesis of the church, evangelization through preaching of the word has been the duty of bishops, priests and deacons. Indeed, bishops are the chief shepherds of the church.

though bishops share with priests and deacons their authority to preach, the church has seen urgent need for the evangelization of the modern world. This has to be undertaken in a secular manner avoiding any form of clericalization.

In an apostolic letter titled “Antiquum ministerium” Pope Francis institutes the lay ministry of catechist. In his own words the pontiff declares; “it is necessary to recognize those lay men and women who feel called by virtue of their baptism to cooperate in the work of catechesis”.

With this declaration, the pope invites lay faithful who feel duty bound through baptism, to preach to others. Every one of these must be a companion, mystagogue and a pedagogue who teaches for the church.

In allowing lay Christians to participate in the evangelization of the world, the pope cautions those to be involved to avoid doing so as if they were the ordained.

“receiving the lay ministry of catechist will emphasize even more the missionary commitment proper to every baptized person, a commitment that must however be carried out in a fully secular manner avoiding any form of clericalization” the pope says.

The new ministry has ancient origins, going back to the New Testament mentioned in the gospel of Luke and in the letters of St Paul to Corinthians and Galatians.

The second Vatican council recognizes the fact that the role of the catechist is of the highest importance for the development of the Christian community (ad gentes, 17).