New Directory for Catechesis: Living in the Digital Culture


Twenty-three years after the publication of the General Directory for Catechesis (1971) and 15 years after the Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church (2005), the updated Directory for Catechesis has now been released. The purpose of the text is to confront the new problems the Church is called to live. For the Daughters of St. Paul, the Directory is a challenging document, particularly concerning what it has to say about the phenomenon of the digital culture and the globalization of culture. “The need for training that pays attention to the individual person often seems obscured in the face of the imposition of global modes,” reads the presentation of the book signed by Msgr. Rino Fisichella, president of the Pontifical Council for Promotion of the New Evangelization. The document’s distinctive feature is the way it seeks to highlight the close link between evangelization and catechesis, starting from the first announcement. Among the priorities of the new Directory are the catechumenate of adults, the training of catechists, and the urgent need to identify new languages with which to communicate the faith.

“The introduction and massive use of digital tools has caused profound and complex changes at many levels, with cultural, societal and psychological consequences that are not yet fully evident,” reads the part of the document relating to the relationship between catechesis and the digital culture. “In a culture often marked by immediacy, the instant, and the weakness of memory” and characterized by “a lack of perspectives and an overall picture,” media education is urgently needed because “we are faced with a form of digital illiteracy.”

The thesis of the new Directory is that “in the immense digital production, today’s illiterates will be those who do not know how to perceive the qualitative and truthful difference of the different digital contents that lie ahead.”