Hence the institution of the catechumenate and the Discipline of the Secret.The work of the Apologists had been to remove prejudices against Christianity, and to set forth its doctrines and practices in such a way as to appeal to the fair-minded pagan.As we might expect, the Apostle insists upon "doctrine" as one of the most important duties of a bishop (1 Timothy , 16; ; 2 Timothy 4:2, etc.).The word means instruction by word of mouth, especially by questioning and answering.Though it may apply to any subject-matter, it is commonly used for instruction in the elements of religion, especially preparation for initiation into Christianity.The word and others of the same origin occur in St.As soon as he had given proof of his knowledge and fitness he was admitted to the catechumenate proper, and was further instructed.After some years spent in this stage he was promoted to the ranks of the , i.e. As might be expected, he was now instructed more especially in the rites for this purpose.
In this discourse we have the chief articles of the Creed: the Trinity (God, Jesus Christ "Lord of all things", the Holy Ghost), the Crucifixion, Death, and Resurrection of Our Lord; His coming to judge the living and the dead, and the remission of sins. Paul's discourses, though, of course, in addressing the pagans, whether peasants at Lystra or philosophers at Athens, he deals with the fundamental truths of the existence and attributes of God (Acts, xiii, xiv, xvii).(4) In the ages of persecution it became necessary to exercise great caution in admitting persons to membership in the Church.The danger of falling away, or even of betrayal, must be guarded against by a careful doctrinal and moral training.The Socratic dialogues will occur to every one as brilliant examples.But many centuries before Socrates' day this method was practised among the Hebrews (Exodus ; Deuteronomy 6:7, 20, etc.). In His final charge to His Apostles He said: ", "instructing"] them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you" (Matthew ).In considering the catechetical writings of the Fathers we must bear in mind the distinction of these different grades. The "Catecheses" proper (numbered i to xviii) are divided into two groups: i-v, repeating the leading ideas of the "Procatechesis", and treating of sin and repentance, baptism, the principal doctrines of the Christian religion, and the nature and origin of faith; vi-xviii, setting forth, article by article, the baptismal Creed of the Church of Jerusalem.