RCIA leaders who use their "own" understanding


Hi there to all,

I was hoping someone out there knows.

New to my area, and first year I am able to get involved.

I am a devoted Catholic who is very passionate about the teachings of the Church and was in love with the fact that I could be a part of RCIA.

Until I realized the Church I am attending is led by a group of people who teach it on the basis of their “own” beliefs. One not believing in Purgatory (just to name one of many).etc…

Truly I respect the opinion of others. I understand we are all on a journey and have different levels of understanding.

One thing I am concerned for is the confusion for others seeking to understand Catholic Teaching. it is not a “Cafeteria” of teaching. We do NOT pick and choose.

Is there a Guide for the Leaders out there???

When I pointed out from the CCC the Church’s teaching on a subject, they are pretty much ignoring me. No one seems to have a copy of the CCC. Atleast not one they want to refer to.

I pray for them. I do not want to cause drama. So before I approach the priest with this matter, I would love your input.


The first place to look is your diocesan website. Ours has a training program for RCIA leaders, and a set curriculum approved by the diocese. If your diocese doesn’t have a program, I suggest this one:


I would definitely talk to the pastor.


Since you have already spoken to them I would talk to your pastor also. I teach RCIA, and we all know we need to be teaching our faith correctly.


May I suggest:
Catechism of the Catholic Church and the Craft of Catechesis
by Pierre de Cointet, Barbara Morgan, Petroc Willey

I’m reading it, though I’m not a catechist (quite yet anyway), because I was rather disappointed in my RCIA experience for roughly the same reasons as you’re commenting on.

Take it to your Parish Priest, and ask his advice in making it required reading for all catechists.

To NOT use the CCC as the very BASIS of RCIA is insanity, and an incredible example of using fingernail clippers to mow the lawn instead of the John Deere in the garage.


Thanks! That helped!! I found information that was needed!! I went found the Local Diocese Website! and I loved the one you suggested! So grateful!


Thanks! you make me laugh! … so sad to hear it is happening a lot out there…Good thing the Holy Spirit is in Charge of the Church! We are just instruments who get rusty at times!


Wow! Excellent resource.

And look! Lots of pictures of people studying with the CCC in front of them! :slight_smile:


In teaching in the RCIA program here, in one of the first classes, I would ask the class the following question; “whose class is this?”

Generally I’d get blank looks.

I’d follow with the following analogy. If you took a math class from Professor Smith, then you’d say it is professor Smith’s class right?

Agreement all around. Then I’d repeat my question, whose class is this? Usually I’d end up answering my own question thusly.

Jesus commanded Peter to teach all nations. Peter was the first pope and that command of the Lord has been handed on to all the successors of Peter. Now JPII or Benedict XVI can’t be everywhere, so that responsibility is handed to the local bishop. Of course, the bishop can’t be in every parish in his diocese, so the bishop hands that responsibility on to the pastor. Since the pastor has more to do than he has time for, he gives that responsibility to those he chooses to ‘teach’ RCIA. So the answer is, this is the successor of Peter’s class, the Holy Father, the Pope.

It is incumbent on anyone teaching an RCIA class to teach the doctrine of the Catholic Church as set forth by the Magesterium. And it is the pastor’s responsibility to see that it is done so.

Where people teach what “they believe” they need to be corrected. That is the pastor’s responsibility.

My two cents.


Hear hear!


ALL catechesis is to be rooted and referenced in the CCC as the norm of teaching. Everything taught should have the CCC reference # given. If this is not the case the Pastor should be involved or if necesary the Bishop.


If an RCIA program runs from September till Pentecost like ours does, it is difficult to work in all that a Catholic should want to know. We use a set of loose leaf topical sheets each 2 sheets long and printed on four sides from Liguori Press. These are expanded upon by instructors who use various texts, including the CCC to present each topic, The list of topics is fairly complete so nothing basic gets left out.

My recommendation is that in addition to the loose leaf material, I would like each catechumen or candidate receive a copy of Catholicism for Dummies at the start. So far our Faith Formation Director doesn’t do that. In my opinion a copy of the CCC then makes a nice gift for each individual after the Vigil Mass. During the class year it is good to have several copies of the CCC on hand for the group to use as a reference work.

We then have had a two year program that covers the four major segments of the CCC one each semester and open to anyone who wants to learn. I personally would like to see a two year RCIA program, but its already difficult for many to be there every week of Fall, Winter, and Spring without having to make up classes.

We have also experienced some of those instructors who want to soft pedal or leave out certain things they have an issue with. So far we have been able to “put the run” on them before they did any damage.


Hear hear again!

I **love **you people!


Cafeteria Catholics should never, NEVER be allowed to teach RCIA or any class pertaining to the beliefs of the church. Not only can they lead other Catholics astray and even possibly into sin, but they can be a source of scandal if some of their ‘abridged’ beliefs involve their own actions which are witnessed by other Catholics. If your priest drags his feet or does not remove or correct these individuals I would contact your local bishop. Those kinds of ‘Catholics’ are the reason so many people leave the church and why so many non-Catholics have many misconceptions concerning our beliefs. Don’t worry about rocking the boat…English philosopher Edmund Burke said, ‘The only thing necessary for the triumph [of evil] is for good men (or women) to do nothing.


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