The Catechetical Review - Communicating Christ for a New Evangelization

Catechesis in Contemporary Culture: Freedom

Authored by Brian Pizzalato in Issue #29.4 of The Sower
Freedom! What a wonderful gift we have been given in free will. Everyone values their freedom, from the youngest to the oldest. We are appalled when a person’s, or a groups of peoples, freedom is repressed. We recoil in horror when we think of the Nazi’s, or the totalitarian regimes of communism, and what they did to those they conquered. In the field of catechesis we must always emphasize, and respect, the freedom of the human person. When we teach the Gospel we are proposing, not imposing. However, we must also try to diagnose whether we and our students have a correct or incorrect understanding of freedom. As catechists we must affirm what is right, as well as disabuse our students of what is wrong, in their understanding of freedom. Unfortunately, their understanding of freedom is likely to reflect that which was described by the Second Vatican Council: ‘Our contemporaries make much of this freedom and pursue it eagerly; and rightly to be sure. Often, however, they foster it perversely as a license for doing whatever pleases them, even if it is evil.’ (Gaudium et Spes 17) St. Peter warns us, ‘Live as free men, yet without using your freedom as a pretext for evil…’ (1 Pet 2:16)

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