Author: Metropolitan of Nafpaktos Hierotheos (Vlachos)
As we read "Entering the Orthodox Church", we realize that it makes a significant contribution to the pastoral care of those entering the Orthodox Church. In addition it is a useful aid for those already baptized, in other words, for every faithful member of the Church. The task of Catechism should be undertaken responsibly and seriously, not in a secular or indiscriminate manner, because it is a blessed ministry. From its first beginnings the Church carefully prepared anyone wanting to become a member. Catechism was a journey towards purification, so that once purified, the person would be baptized and become a temple of the All-Holy Spirit. In our own day too, certain indispensable conditions must be fulfilled in order for Catechism to take place in a correct and Orthodox manner. In the author's view, the fundamental prerequisite for proper Catechism is the existence of an experienced Catechist capable of adjusting the message on each occasion according to the requirements and interests of the Catechumen. The association of Catechism with worship and ascetic practice is also absolutely necessary, because otherwise it will be merely cerebral and theoretical. It is highly desirable for Catechumens to be associated with a Church community, either a parish or a monastery, where they will meet the truth that the Orthodox Church is a spiritual therapeutic community within which the illnesses of man's soul are cured.
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