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 CNS Story:

SYNOD-WUERL Oct-9-2008 (280 words) xxxi

Homilists should use catechism to teach community, says archbishop

By Cindy Wooden
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Homilists should use the Catechism of the Catholic Church to help their congregations see the relevance of the day's Scripture readings and recognize the fact that Catholics read them as part of a church community, said Archbishop Donald W. Wuerl of Washington.

Archbishop Wuerl spoke during the Oct. 8 evening session of the world Synod of Bishops on the Bible.

In a "secular and materialistic" world where people see themselves more as isolated individuals than as members of a community, Archbishop Wuerl said, they need help in seeing that the word of God is speaking to them, but that it does so in the context of the church community and its 2,000-year history.

"The task before us is to help our faithful understand that they are part of the church, a visible community that is also a spiritual communion," the archbishop told the synod.

"The liturgical homily provides the best occasion for our faithful to encounter the living person of Christ from within an authentic ecclesial and communal setting," he said.

By using the catechism to help explain the Scriptures, the archbishop said, preachers help Catholics grow closer to the word of God and at the same time demonstrate how the church has developed its teaching over the centuries.

"Given the opportunities we have in each homily and every religious education instruction, we should look to the Catechism of the Catholic Church as a rich resource," he said.

"That compendium of faith is a fruitful tool for every preacher and catechist to present the word of God in the richness and depth of its ecclesial context," he said.

END


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