POPE CALLS FOR STUDY OF LITURGY-CATECHESIS LINK

Cardinal Bertone Sends Message to Italian Conference

VATICAN CITY, AUG. 24, 2011 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI is stressing the need for further reflection on the link between catechesis and liturgy, yet rejecting every form of undue instrumentalization of the liturgy for “catechetical” ends.

The Pope made this invitation in a message sent by Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, his secretary of state, to the participants in the 62nd annual Italian Liturgical Week, under way in Trieste through Friday.

The theme “God Educates His People: The Liturgy, Inexhaustible Source of Catechesis,” comes in the context of the Italian bishops’ emphasis on education in their pastoral priorities of this decade.

In regard to the educational dimension of the liturgy, the message pointed out that the liturgy can be called the “permanent catechesis of the Church, the inexhaustible source of catechesis, precious catechesis in act.”

The papal note referred to the liturgy as an experience of “catechesis, celebration and life,” and added that it also expresses “the maternal support of the Church, thus helping to develop the growth of the believer’s Christian life and the maturation of his conscience.”

The text, which was read on Monday at the opening of the conference, notes that in addition “to expressing the absolute priority of God, the liturgy manifests its being ‘God with us.'”

“In this connection, God is the great educator of his people, the loving, wise, tireless guide in and through the liturgy, the action of God in the today of the Church,” the message adds.

“The liturgy is not what man does, but what God does with his admirable and gratuitous condescendence,” the Bishop of Rome reminded.

The Holy Father expressed his hopes that the conference would increasingly foster “the genuine meaning of the liturgy, favoring a solid theological-pastoral formation in full consonance with the magisterium and the tradition of the Church.”

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