On January 13th, the Partenia Homepage blew out its first candle: one
year of trials and discoveries, waiting for your response in the E-mail
postbox. In this newly discovered country, a kind of community has come
to life and is growing.
During the first year I received thousands of letters. They raised questions
concerning yourselves, and they often show how very painful they can be
for you: exclusion, sexual ethics, loneliness; some questions are linked
to society and its problems: wars, violence, environment; there were also
religious questions coming from people of different walks of life: how can
one believe in something?
Why divisions? As a catholic bishop, I am supposed to give answers, but
people expect something else than a catechism learned by rote.
What can I do with my limited means, scarcity of time, and lack of technical
Little by little I gathered a team, and together we looked at your mail.
We answered your messages (not always), sometimes with some delay, the best
we could. Sometimes we felt helpless: to answer a letter properly we would
have needed pages, or even a book ... But there are already so many books
available. The web being a new means of communication, we have to discover
what suits it.
We suggest: together, let us write the E-catechism.
Catechism: often the word is off-putting to many Christians. We have
known these penny catechisms in which someone who is in charge asks questions
which are not ours, in order to give us the right answers. It is for fear
of being brain-washed that many Catholics have ceased to consider themselves
Catholics. An they do not want it for their children.
But at the same time, there is an expectation: people ask what the Churches
think. What is expected is not dogma but meaning: meaning for men and women
of today, which fits their experience; a meaning which makes life
different with a sense of trust and not despair. A meaning which gives another
vantage point of view on the world, on others, and ... on God. (Christians
use this word which may be at the root of the question).
The "Electronic catechism" enables us to introduce a catechism from a different stand: the E-catechism.
We are a team of men and women from different backgrounds. Every month,
under &laqno;E-catechism» with the motto: "We talk openly with
each other", we will launch a reflection on a topic you suggested,
starting from a key-word. We will start with:
· to be a Christian today?
· to be excluded, a human problem. God's problem?
Please, send your answers on these topics, taking into account your life
experience, your human network (religious or otherwise). Comment on the
meaning we suggest, whether it makes sense or is nonsense.
We shall colleot your answers, and this will allow us to rewrite the topic
with your reactions, whether they are positive or negative. In any case,
talking "face to face" will no doubt widen the scope.
You may ask people around you whom you know and who have a special expertise.
This is the beginning of a real exchange between people and will benefit
This is obviously a long-term task, even a never-ending one. This is the
major reason to start here and now.
Let us turn towards the future.
The conveyor of the Catechism team:
Write to Partenia: firstname.lastname@example.org