The Four Essential Doctrines the Liturgy Teaches

A recurring question among catechumenate team members is, what do the catechumens need to know before they can be initiatated. And some are often doubtful the liturgy, which is the source of all catechesis, can in fact teach them what they need to know. Cardinal William Levada, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, laid out this lesson plan at the 150th anniversary of the American College Louvain on March 17, 2007.

The most important doctrines remain the same through the ages and need to be approached again and again by theology and in our preaching; namely,

  • the divine and human natures of Christ;
  • their union in the divine person of the Son;
  • and the mystery of the Holy Trinity
  • which Christ reveals in his Paschal Mystery.

I am not suggesting that theologians and preachers ought simply to stand up and talk more about these things. Rather, I am drawing our attention once again to the fact that these doctrines are the deepest sense of what the Scriptures proclaim and that this deepest sense was discovered precisely when the Scriptures were proclaimed in the liturgical assembly and when the Scriptures became sacrament in the eucharistic rite.

You can read his entire homily here. [via Whispers]

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  1. I am wondering how to better discern whether a child catechumen or candidate is ready. What do they have to know, and most importantly, how is their conversion experience assessed by the RCIA leader?
    Also, is Breaking Open the Word ever done with the younger children?

  2. Nick,
    Can you explain at what time or when is a person is called a neophyte? Thank you

  3. Hi Barb. A neophyte is someone who is newly baptized. Usually you call them a neophyte for a year after their baptism. You can find “neophyte” and a whole bunch of other terms in the glossary. All the best to you!

  4. Thank you for your wisdom support. I learn a lot from your website. Whenever I ask my Pastor for guidance or help, he always says ” just follow the RCIA book.” so you are very helpful. thanks.

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