TITLE I: THE MINISTRY OF THE DIVINE WORD
Can. 756 §1 The office of preaching the Gospel to the whole Church has been committed
principally to the Roman Pontiff and to the College of Bishops.
§2 For the particular Churches entrusted to them, that office is exercised by the
individual Bishops, who are the moderators of the entire ministry of the word in their
Churches. Sometimes, however, in accordance with the law, a number of Bishops
simultaneously carry out that office together in respect of a number of different
Can. 757 It belongs to priests, as cooperators of the Bishops, to proclaim the Gospel
of God. For the people entrusted to their care, this task rests especially on parish
priests, and on other priests entrusted with the care of souls. Deacons also are to serve
the people of God in the ministry of the word, in union with the Bishop and his
Can. 758 By reason of their consecration to God, members of institutes of consecrated
life bear particular witness to the Gospel, and so are fittingly called upon by the Bishop
to help in proclaiming the Gospel.
Can. 759 The lay members of Christ's faithful, by reason of their baptism and
confirmation, are witnesses to the good news of the Gospel, by their words and by the
example of their Christian life. They can also be called upon to cooperate with Bishops
and priests in the exercise of the ministry of the word.
Can. 760 The mystery of Christ is to be faithfully and fully presented in the ministry
of the word, which must be founded upon sacred Scripture, Tradition, liturgy and the
Magisterium and life of the Church.
Can. 761 While pride of place must always be given to preaching and catechetical
instruction, all the available means of proclaiming Christian doctrine are to be used: the
exposition of doctrine in schools, in institutes of higher learning, at conferences and
meetings of all kinds; public declarations by lawful authority on the occasion of certain
events; the printed word and other means of social communication.
CHAPTER I : PREACHING THE WORD OF GOD
Can. 762 The people of God are first united through the word of the living God, and are
fully entitled to seek this word from their priests. For this reason sacred ministers are
to consider the office of preaching as of great importance, since proclaiming the Gospel
of God to all is among their principal duties.
Can. 763 Bishops have the right to preach the word of God everywhere, even in churches
and oratories of religious institutes of pontifical right, unless the local Bishop has
expressly forbidden it in particular cases.
Can. 764 Without prejudice to the provisions of can. 765, priests and deacons, with the
at least presumed consent of the rector of a church, have the faculty to preach
everywhere, unless this faculty has been restricted or removed by the competent Ordinary,
or unless particular law requires express permission.
Can. 765 To preach to religious in their churches or oratories, permission is required
of the Superior who is competent according to their constitutions.
Can. 766 The laity may be allowed to preach in a church or oratory if in certain
circumstances it is necessary, or in particular cases it would be advantageous, according
to the provisions of the Episcopal Conference and without prejudice to can. 767 §1.
Can. 767 §1 The most important form of preaching is the homily, which is part of the
liturgy, and is reserved to a priest or deacon. In the course of the liturgical year, the
mysteries of faith and the rules of Christian living are to be expounded in the homily
from the sacred text.
§2 At all Masses on Sundays and holydays of obligation, celebrated with a
congregation, there is to be a homily and, except for a grave reason, this may not be
§3 It is strongly recommended that, if a sufficient number of people are present,
there be a homily at weekday Masses also, especially during Advent and Lent, or on a feast
day or an occasion of grief.
§4 It is the responsibility of the parish priest or the rector of a church to ensure
that these provisions are carefully observed.
Can. 768 §1 Those who announce the word of God to Christ's faithful are first and
foremost to set out those things which it is necessary to believe and to
practice for the
glory of God and the salvation of all.
§2 They are also to explain to the faithful the teaching of the Magisterium of the
Church concerning the dignity and freedom of the human person; the unity, stability and
duties of the family; people's social obligations and the ordering of temporal affairs
according to the plan established by God.
Can. 769 Christian teaching is to be explained in a manner that is suited to the
condition of the hearers and adapted to the circumstances of the times.
Can. 770 At certain times, according to the regulations of the diocesan Bishop, parish
priests are to arrange for sermons in the form of retreats and missions, as they are
called, or in other forms adapted to requirements.
Can. 771 §1 Pastors of souls, especially Bishops and parish priests, are to be
solicitous that the word of God is preached to those also of the faithful who, because of
the circumstances of their lives, cannot sufficiently avail themselves of the ordinary
pastoral care or are even totally deprived of it.
§2 They are also to take care that the good news of the Gospel reaches those living in
their territory who are nonbelievers, since these too, no less than the faithful, must
be included in the care of souls.
Can. 772 §1 In the exercise of the office of preaching, everyone is moreover to
observe the norms laid down by the Bishop of the diocese.
§2 In expounding christian teaching on radio or television, the provisions of the
Episcopal Conference are to be observed.
CHAPTER II : CATECHETICAL FORMATION
Can. 773 It is pastors of souls especially who have the serious duty of attending to
the catechesis of the christian people, so that, through doctrinal formation and the
experience of the christian life, the living faith of the people may be manifest and
Can. 774 §1 The care for catechesis, under the direction of lawful ecclesiastical
authority, extends to all members of the Church, to each according to his or her role.
§2 Before all others, parents are bound to form their children, by word and example,
in faith and in christian living. The same obligation binds godparents and those who take
the place of parents.
Can. 775 §1 While observing provisions made by the Apostolic See it is the
responsibility of diocesan Bishops to issue norms concerning catechetical matters; to
ensure that appropriate means of catechesis are available, even by preparing a catechism,
if this seems opportune; to foster and to coordinate catechetical initiatives.
§2 If it is thought to be useful, the Episcopal Conference may, with the prior
approval of the Apostolic See, publish catechisms for its territory.
§3 The Episcopal Conference may establish a catechetical office, whose principal
purpose is to assist individual dioceses in catechetical matters.
Can. 776 By virtue of his office, the parish priest is bound to ensure the catechetical
formation of adults, young people and children. To this end, he is to avail himself of the
help of clerics attached to the parish, as well as of members of institutes of consecrated
life and of societies of apostolic life, being mindful of the character of each institute;
and the assistance of lay members of Christ's faithful, especially catechists. All of
these, unless they are lawfully impeded, are not to refuse to give their labours
willingly. The parish priest is also to promote and to foster the role of parents in the
family catechesis mentioned in can. 774, §2.
Can. 777 In a special way, the parish priest is to ensure, in accordance with the norms
laid down by the diocesan Bishop, that:
1° an adequate catechesis is given for the celebration of the sacraments;
2° children are properly prepared for first confession and first holy communion, and
for the sacrament of confirmation, by means of catechetical formation over an appropriate
period of time;
3° children, after they have made their first holy communion, are given a richer and
deeper catechetical formation;
4° as far as their condition allows, catechetical formation is given to the mentally
and physically handicapped;
5° the faith of young people and of adults is strengthened, enlightened and developed
by various catechetical methods and initiatives .
Can. 778 Religious Superiors and Superiors of societies of apostolic life are to ensure
that catechetical formation is diligently given in their churches and schools, and in
other works in any way entrusted to their care.
Can. 779 Catechetical formation is to be given by employing all those aids, educational
resources and means of communication which seem the more effective in securing that the
faithful, according to their character capability, age and circumstances of life, may be
more fully steeped in catholic teaching and prepared to put it into practice.
Can. 780 Local Ordinaries are to ensure that catechists are duly trained to carry out
their office properly, namely, that continuing formation is available to them, that they
have an appropriate knowledge of the teaching of the Church, and that they learn both the
theory and the practice of the principles of pedagogy.