There is tension within many of our parish communities that calls into question the veracity of this statement. First, let me define my terms. By compassionate, I am speaking of being caring and concerned for the variety of people who come to the parish with all of the brokenness of the human condition. By competent, I mean knowing and accepting that all the teachings of the Catholic Church have been revealed by God and therefore true, as well as incarnating that knowledge and assent into our catechesis and pastoral responses to the people we serve.
The problems we face as catechetical leaders can range from cohabitating couples to children with homosexual parents, post abortive women and men and those addicted to pornography, sex, spending, gambling…and the list goes on. When the face of suffering and sin is standing in front of us, the way we react initially may very well determine whether or not we have the privilege of passing on the truth in the long run. We must be compassionate but we must also tell the truth. And this is challenging.