Catechetical Documents

Hi all,

My first post. I’m writing from Dublin, Ireland.

I’m very interested in the whole area of Catechetics and Church documents pertaining to same.

Hoping that my first post is not too demanding but wondered if there are enthusiasts who might be able to help clarify the following ;

  1. The 1971 General Catechetical Directory vs The 1997 General Directory for Catechesis.

I understand that the 1997 directory supersedes its 1971 counterpart but I am unsure if the 1997 directory revises (in part) the whole area of the approval of local catechisms and catechetical material developed for specific territories. Does the 1997 directory nullify its 1971 predecessor or can it be assumed that although updated, all important elements of the 1971 document are reiterated in the updated 1997 version?

  1. Other Church documents on Catechesis and the Code of Canon Law

In the same spirit, I’m also wondering if other official Church documents on Catechesis ( Catechesi tradendae , Evangelization in the Modern World , General Catechetical Directory , etc.etc.) are required to conform to the Code of Canon Law? Such documents preceded the 1983 code whereas others ( Catechism of the Catholic Church , General Directory for Catechesis ) were devised after it.
Must all documents and decrees conform to the Code?
Is the Code the chief document of governance and the foundation for all other documents and decrees?
If a new Church document emerges, outlining a specific which has not already been specified in the Code, must the Code be revised? I’m wondering if the GCD (once issued in 1971, for example, and prior to 1983) automatically amended/superseded the 1917 Code in relation to catechesis?

Apologies for quite so many questions,

Wishing you all the very best in advance,


1 Read the forward in the 1997 General Directory for Catechesis. It will tell you it’s intent and purpose.

2 Nothing, and no one, amends or supersedes The Code of Canon Law, except the Pope.

An aside: Be careful of giving documents more authority than they intend.

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I would advise contacting your Diocese office of Catechesis. Start at the Archdiocese

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