The sacraments of initiation in the United States since the Second Vatican Council: A critique and analysis of the role of catechesis within the documents written by the bishops in the United States regarding the rites of Christian initiation

Anne Marie Winters, Fordham University

Abstract

The Second Vatican Council prescribed the revision of the rite of Christian initiation of adults. The Council further decreed that the catechumenate for adults, divided into several steps, should be restored. In so prescribing, the Council identified the time of the catechumenate as a period of well-suited instruction interspersed by the celebration of liturgical rites.^ Of key importance to the catechumenate is the process of catechesis. In order to fully use and implement the restored catechumenate and the revised RCIA, the nature of catechesis as well as its role within the process of the rites must be fully recognized, properly understood, and systematically realized.^ The purposes of this dissertation is to delineate the manner in which contemporary catechesis actualizes the process of Christian initiation called for in the documents of Vatican II, in a manner which responds to the needs of contemporary society. It has investigated the writings of the Roman Catholic bishops in the United States concerning catechesis within the rites of the sacraments of initiation since the Second Vatican Council. The study has examined, from a theological perspective, the role of catechesis within the rites of the sacraments of initiation, as well as the effects of catechesis on the very process of initiation. Due note has been made of the apparent connection between catechesis and faith which has been manifest from as early as the first century of Christianity. Further note has been made of a pneumatology which takes the issues of catechesis and faith into account.^ The focus of the study has been on the epistemological roots of catechesis: its cognitive and affective components as these aspects have become especially manifest in the revised rite of Christian initiation.^ This study has been done in partial response to the urgings of Pope John Paul II, who requested that specialists clarify the concepts and divisions of catechesis. ^

Subject Area

Theology

Recommended Citation

Winters, Anne Marie, "The sacraments of initiation in the United States since the Second Vatican Council: A critique and analysis of the role of catechesis within the documents written by the bishops in the United States regarding the rites of Christian initiation" (1991). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI9127050.
http://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI9127050

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