During their meeting in November 2005, the French bishops voted for a National Guidelines Document for Catechesis in France and for Proposals for the Organization of Catechetical Action in France. Only the first document was presented for the approval of the Apostolic See and it obtained this approval in October 2006; it is with this that we are mainly concerned here. It is a document of general guidelines (cf. GDC 282), distinct from and complementary to the Catechism of the Catholic Church (to which it refers) and which presents ‘the fundamentals of catechetical practice’, i.e. the ‘methodological base from which the practical implementation of catechesis can be elaborated’. The Decree of the Congregation for the Clergy specifies that this document ‘without being normative, is published with the authority of the [French] bishops’.
The National Document is divided into three chapters. The first locates catechesis in the missionary Church by its nature. The second chapter stresses the importance of the model of Christian initiation for such a catechesis. The third chapter specifies the pedagogical consequences of this initiatory catechesis.