The Bible in the Philippine Catechesis

INTRODUCTION
“Religion is the core of the curriculum.”

In the Philippines, it has become the battle cry of the Catholic Private Schools Association to put Religion at the center of the curriculum. This means that the curriculum would be adjusted to the values and many other things that the Catholic Religion has to offer in the education to the faith of the individuals. Though it is a good aspiration, it is not yet fully achieved due to the immensity of the work and coordination that it entails. However, we have started doing it. Surely, our Catholic faith is based on the Sacred Scriptures, the Sacred Tradition and the teachings of the Holy Magisterium of the Church. These three have always been considered in programming a good catechetical program both for schools and parishes. Catechesis should interpret the present life in the light of revelation and at the same time dispose people for the world to come. This will only happen when the Word of God is truly proclaimed in every catechetical experience and reflected on keeping in mind the context where people are. (CBCP: Norms and Guidelines for the Ministry of Catechesis) In this paper, I would like to present the Catechetical situation in the Philippines. This is necessary because only and greatly in this way we can talk about the emphasis on the study of the Bible. The catechetical efforts in the parishes may prove not enough inasmuch as very few of the young frequent the education to the faith. In school, we find at least the greater number of young people; although not all because the number of out-of-school youth students is also increasing due to poverty and many other reasons, and there is no way to orient them to the faith and to the Bible. This paper aims also to cite the principles in the study of the Bible I have taken from the book of Don Cesare Bissoli and the notes of Don Corrado Pastore; I believe that I will be able to use this paper in my future work in the Philippines since this is also my first time to encounter them. At the end, I also intend to suggest a possible way to integrate the principles mentioned and the catechetical situation in the Philippines. I just feel sorry that I could not include the themes in the Bible that should be part of the study on account of the limited number of pages this report has to be made. I. HISTORICAL BACKGROUND Learning from the experience of Italy, it makes me think how in the Philippines the Bible can be studied. In Italy, there is no time in the school program allotted for Religious Instruction or Bible Study. However, they cannot study their history and other subjects related to enrichment in culture without referring to the Bible. At least, the Bible is a reference book in the study of culture. Through this, the Christian message and the values from the Bible can still be imparted. It is totally a different case in the Philippines. We are the only Catholic nation in Asia; and we are proud of that. However, in some way, we cannot follow the example of Italy of the West.
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1. We do not have a history that Italy has. Not even the name of our country was mentioned in the Bible. We are unknown in the Bible or in Biblical terms; we are found among the “world” (Remember the mandate of Jesus before He ascended into heaven: “Go out to all the world and tell the good news.”) 2. Truly, we have a little “unholy” history. Our country was colonized in the 16th century by the Spaniards. They brought religion to our land. Not only that, they brought the system of government, culture, lifestyle and even the reason why our ancestors rebelled against them. Through Christianity, the Spanish friars came, and vice versa. Philippine History books would report about the abuses of the Spaniards, most especially the friars. Little was mentioned about few friars who painted a good image of Christianity in our country. Our history was marked with slavery, discrimination, persecution and execution; despite the appreciation for religion, hatred became the overriding sentiment that led our people to pursue freedom. Therefore, in literature, there is found anti-friar sentiments passed from one generation to another. But Catholicism remains to be the major religion of the country up to this day. Sometimes, this makes me wonder. Well, perhaps my countrymen are able to look at things objectively. We are able to appreciate the Catholic faith and not those who brought it to us, and even the way it was brought to us. On account of this, I understand that there is no attempt to really integrate much the teaching of religion in history subjects; much as we want to read our own history by means of Religion, there is silence about this in order not to resurrect the feeling of hatred for the Spaniards and the friars. It will not be a good means and a point of departure to teach Religion in the schools. It would be best to teach Religion in itself, to teach a little of it in terms of culture (general arts, music, etc.) and general world history, and not so much in terms of its history in the Philippines. II. ORIENTATION OF CATECHESIS IN THE PHILIPPINES Traditionally, catechesis has been centered on Church teaching, enshrined in the Creeds, the Commandments and the Sacraments. Vatican II modified this by insisting on the central place of Sacred Scripture in all forms of ministry of the Word. Happily, this has led to change a basically a-historical, static notion of Christian truths and principles to the recognition of the historical nature of the Gospel, and of Christian faith itself as an on-going process. Memorized formulas gave way to many new teaching methods stressing the experiential dimension of the Faith. These pragmatic changes manifested a deeper attitudinal change from a primarily defensive apologetic mind-set to Vatican II’s "open the windows" to let the Spirit of ecumenism and interreligious dialogue blow through. Catechesis and religious education which had been carried out in great part by religious, now were viewed as the mission of the whole Church, all the baptized. Vatican II stressed the role of the laity and sparked many new innovative lay ministries in the Church. Right now, the Philippines is apt for a renewed catechetical planning or religious instruction, and the following concerns are given consideration: The first concerns the change from a basically school/student centered catechesis to a life-long process of adult education in the faith, emphasizing family and community-based catechesis. The second is the change within catechesis from stressing the informational, doctrinal dimension to a more experiential and contextualized
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formation of "living the Faith." Finally, the third is turning the primary catechetical focus from an apologetic centered on the individual believers' and their commitment to their Church to the new call for openness to ecumenical and inter-religious dialogue. In catechesis, authentic education in the Faith must bring people into direct contact with the priceless heritage of Sacred Scripture, the Church’s tradition, and her Magisterium – each “missioning” all the faithful to proclaim Christ to others. The Catholic schools and universities constitute one of the most effective means for supplying the basic needs in forming mature Filipino Catholics. Therefore, the Catholic school will continue to play a major role in the "lifelong process of education in the Faith." In addition, this recognition of the continued significant catechetical role of schools is important to avoid the trap of falling into an overly devotionalistic and pietistic Christian formation, which often leaves well-intentioned adult Catholics unprepared to defend their Catholic Faith, and to commit themselves to the social concerns for justice and help for the poor that are an intrinsic dimension of authentic Faith. III. FRAMEWORK OF CATECHESIS AND THE PLACE OF THE BIBLE Generally, due to the revered “separation of Church and state”, the academic or scholastic curriculum in the Philippines is made without espousing any religious stance. If ever it would, this is done in order to respect all denominational beliefs; and if ever there is conflict, it would stand for the discoveries of science and appeals of history to ground its claim. There is an allotted time for the teaching of Catholic Religion carried out in schools; it is integrated in the scholastic schedule. In the public schools, usually one hour is allotted and this may be availed of any Religious denomination that can come to offer their time to teach. Sometimes, the school accommodates most, if not all, religious denomination who would like to teach religion, and they use the time allotted for Values Education subject. In the Catholic private schools, the teaching of Religion is just part of the Religious formation program that they offer to the students (as in the case of Don Bosco schools). Just for the religious instruction, a minimum of two hours is allotted. However, in matters of instruction, Religious education is not just received through the two hours allotted. Therefore, in the Philippines, the education in the faith happens greatly in the context of catechesis or Religious instruction in schools. There is, however, a movement in the engineering of the academic curriculum used by Don Bosco schools. It is about seeing the connection of one subject to another both belonging to the same field or of another discipline. We talk about horizontal and vertical orientation of the Curriculum. On account of the horizontal and vertical articulation of the Curriculum, we see the connection of a subject matter to all the others. The horizontal articulation deals with the connection of a particular subject matter to all the subjects in the same year level; the vertical articulation deals with the connection of a particular subject in a year level to all the other subjects of the same field in all the year levels. How is this connection done? We shall we deal with it later. But through this process, we shall see the literary, cultural, philosophical and even
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perhaps the historical value of the Bible. Somehow, it will follow what is being done in Italy, and for sure, on this account, their principles of Religious Education may also be adopted and held valid in the Philippines. IV. RATIONALE IN THE STUDY OF THE BIBLE IN SCHOOL A. Basic Approach (Don Cesare Bissoli, SDB and Don Corrado Pastore, SDB) The Bible represents – in the culture of humanity - "the book” par excellence, the one referred to when speaking of the" religions of the book and, in any case, is a text of indisputable historical and cultural bearing, for teachers of all disciplines. For Christians, the Bible is above all the “Word of God", the text takes the form in which historical and linguistic called the Divine Revelation. The Catholic Religion, more specifically, is presented as a historical religion, which began two thousand years ago and objectively with multiple documents (sources). The Bible has the singular honor of presenting Christianity in its primordial or radical origins, in organic form and open to all, guaranteed against manipulation as it is in writing. We are of interest in the biblical source and post-biblical effects, bearing in mind the scientific research (which is exegetical, historico-cultural), but even in comparison with the specific learning objectives of the Catholic Religious Education and other disciplines. Objectives will set the knowledge of Catholic Religion in the light of the source of the Bible, but also the ability to use them properly and their mutual interaction. The Bible, therefore, has a cultural relevance as a religious text, but just as a religious text, it cannot escape from a cultural approach. Certainly, it cannot be reduced to a mere cultural text, but it is alright to a cultural approach. From the epistemological point of view, we must start from this peculiarity: in the Bible the language of the faith is spoken in the language of man. This also explains why the Bible is a great literary, philosophical and civil text and as such it should be addressed. B. Reasons for Interest in Biblical Text 1. The Role of the Bible in Religious Instruction The Bible is a motivating religious document rooted in the Jewish Christian facts, as to its origins (protological), as to its historical developments, as to its conclusive outcome (eschatology). The Bible is not some kind of database, an inventory of the Christian religion, but the inspiration of profound original, as the roots to the fruits of a plant. It does not give technical answers, but indicates a choice of field, running a directive about the great questions of humanity. For this it is inherently a religious reference, it shows, according to his own language, a revelation of God's Word about a man's world and God himself. 2. Diverse Functions of the Bible The Bible is fulfilling its role as a religious document in the school through various functions:
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a. The Bible must be met as it is the primary and indispensable witness to the JudaeoChristian religion. Through the Bible, we come to know the origins of Jewish people, of Jesus, the first Christian community with their people’s world, events, institutions, thought… It is the basic role and therefore prior to any other. In our school curriculum for secondary students, little is mentioned about the Bible unless we talk really of the Bible history (especially for College students who are taking Bachelor’s degree in Religious Education). Perhaps in dealing with arts and music in the subject called Humanities being taken by College students, they would gain a little more knowledge on the influence of the Catholic religion, and perhaps of the Bible. b. The Bible must be met as it is the original and wide matrix of post-Biblical history. (History of the effects) Thanks to the Bible, we do not only know the Bible, but also what it produced for twenty long centuries, primarily in the Northwest, but is successively producing the spread of Christianity and European culture. These effects fall into religious influences (as it is a church), but even laymen (as they are the foundations of the many declarations of human rights), and are encoded in the literary and artistic works, in institutions and in particular in living persons (the community of believers inspired by the Bible as a book of life). Not to say that the effects are always in full correspondence to the biblical source, but will suffer in some aspects. c. The Bible must be met as a broad and accredited hermeneutical criterion of existence. Being the result itself of many human experiences that lasted for several centuries, the Bible has the advantage of easily entering into a dialogue with fundamental human experience; those that are invariably proposed are linked to questions of meaning, life and death, good and evil, the origin and the end… It embodies the wisdom and depth of response, age-old proven experience of generations that were put together (see the history of the effects) to be universally esteemed as a masterpiece of humanity, the Great Code, worthy of being listened to, by the believers through conviction of faith, by all through the richness of humanity. In subjects like Homeroom Guidance for those in Elementary and Secondary Levels which is geared towards the education of the students in good manners and right conduct, we cannot but avoid students asking questions about the meaning of life, the relevance of doing good and avoiding evil. I believe in this context, the Bible must be met as the reference. d. The Bible must be met as a deposit of a rich and prestigious expressive language. It is typical of great literature to closely match what it says with how he says it. In the Bible, for its antiquity and worldwide diffusion, it is recognized the value of a fascinating language to a homogenous content, mediation essential to the message. These are great choices of story, symbol, figurative language as the parables, re-readings… in a word of literary genre used. It can be considered the greatest (largest) linguistic-religious heritage of humanity, with evident postbiblical effects in the area of thought, poetry, storytelling. Subjects about literature and communication would have to deal with literary genre. The Bible as a text is also rich in literary genre. In so many textbooks written, they would employ famous literary pieces in talking about literary genre and figurative languages. True, we cannot avoid those treasures of the world, but I would suggest including a little more examples taken from the Bible. For example, when dealing with parables, we can get more from the parables of Jesus; about short stories, there are more from the Old Testament; and many more including proverbs, songs, poetry, stipulations, myths, legends, apocalyptic writings, etc. Not only in this term, but we can also talk about Biblical
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values in other subjects. Right now, the trend in education is not just to give information but to teach values. True, values are caught not taught; however, if we do not give the basic information or a little experience of valuing process, then knowledge serves for nothing. Even in academic subjects, values are infused. And once values are being dealt with, the supreme source of illustrations of the basic to the most sublime values is the Bible. e.) The Bible must be met as a theological source or source of faith of Jewish and Christian religion. Clearly, we do not intend to propose the Bible by the believers, according to the participative dynamics proper of the faith, but to come to know as the believers intend the Bible, that is in the logic that derives from Revelation and in the context of the faith of the Christian community, making this course according to a specifically scholastic procedure, approaching as cultural object of the same faith of the believers. Whoever merits it, it is enough to remember that the Bible is the book widespread to the world because two religions share and spread it, Jews and Christianity. It is mainly thanks to them that the Bible expresses the values laid down above, which it connects, as the motive for its cause, this theological understanding of the Scriptures as understood, welcomed and lived as the Word of God, with an extraordinary speculative and operative richness , in ethical, spiritual and artistic fields. 3. More Holistic Study and Use of Scripture in the Context of Religious Instruction in Philippine Schools There is a growing search for a more holistic approach to the study and use of Sacred Scripture in catechesis. For the past half century, the over-riding concern of the historical, critical method for the "literal sense" defined uniquely in terms of the original author and context, ruled the Catholic approach to Scripture. This dominant approach, characterized by its almost complete reliance on the historical critical method alone, is now seriously questioned. A more inclusive, holistic approach, especially for catechesis and religious education, is coming into vogue. The historical-critical method certainly remains a major source of Biblical learning, but the unique stress on the "literal sense" defined in terms of the original author and context, has been substantially modified by the insistence on the new context and consequent present meaning of the text. This broader "literal sense" is in part due to the renewed interest in the Scriptural "spiritual senses" of Catholic tradition. The newer approach' can be outlined in four comparisons. First, from an academic focus primarily on much information on Scripture's historical past, divorced from current faith life, to the new emphasis on Scripture as the living Word of God, written from Faith, about Faith, toward nourishing the life of Faith today. This, of course, responds directly to the catechetical goal of bringing the catechized to truly "hear the Gospe1." Second, from a predominantly secular critical study of Scripture, which minimizes its religious content, the new approach studies Scripture with a pneumatic exegesis sensitive to the spiritual senses of Scripture, as the powerful Word of God, the rule of Faith, which instructs and grounds the critical study. The broader "literal sense" carries an excess of meaning (the "fuller" [sensus plenior]) through, for example, canonical hermeneutics, which studies the meaning of a particular book in relation to other books of the Bible; or some form of reader-response in which
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the original text is read within the new context and environment of today's reader. These approaches have revealed significant inadequacies of the historical literary approach alone. Third, from studying much historical factual information about Scripture through the commentaries of individual experts, with little unity and less pastoral effectivity, the new stress, brought out, for example, in "performative exegesis” is on the essential ecclesial dimension of the Scripture, with its formative goal of conversion. This strongly supports the insistence on both the nature and function of Scripture as the actual channel of God's Self-revelation NOW. Fourth, from the growing recognition that the present hermeneutical pluralism will never create any broad consensus on both meaning and truth of Scripture, the new approach views Scripture as sacramental, as a work of art (not scientific history). Its basic purpose is the spiritual transformation of the hearers/readers, through the use of symbol and ritual, and calling forth a response involving the whole person-- mind, will, imagination and emotions. The importance for catechesis of this more holistic approach to Scripture cannot be overemphasized. This new stress implies a relatively radical change in forming catechists and religion teachers in the skill of accurate and fruitful Scriptural interpretation. The new criteria for such interpretation, that is, for the proper use of Scripture in catechesis and religious education, rests on a deeper appreciation for Scripture as the living Word of God, and its sacramental nature. Given the depth and extent of this new study and use of Scripture, it is reasonable to assume that it will take decades for this new use to spread out and "take root” in a sound, accurate way among ordinary catechists and religion educators. An unforeseen consequence of this more holistic approach is to relativize the charge by the Scripture “experts” of the older approach, of "proof texting” in the catechisms (Catechism of the Catholic Church and Catechism for Filipino Catholics) - i.e. using Scripture texts detached from their historical critical meaning, merely to "prove" some Church doctrine or moral position. From the newer, more holistic approach to Scripture, this charge is now recognized as more revelatory of the significantly different perspective of these Scripture "experts” on the nature and function of the Bible compared to more holistic approach of catechists and religious educators. Their charge as a reprimand against catechists for mishandling Scriptural texts has been significantly defused. Rather it now serves to "wake up" catechetical leaders and religious educators to the serious inadequacies of a purely technical, academic, historical-critical study of Scripture, for grounding an effective and fruitful use of the living Word of God in catechizing. But again, prudential balance is needed. The historical critical method is still basic for any adequate Scripture study. These new approaches merely aim at a fuller, more holistic study and use of Scripture. But they can be abused like any other positive advance. For example, after high accurate praise of this new appreciation for God's living Word, the FABC document rightly stresses the need for the catechist to internalize these insights and live them out, so their Godexperience and Christ-experience can be shared. Yet this is followed immediately by reducing catechists to mere "facilitators," "making things easier," thus undermining the high spiritual ideal just presented. A more serious misuse of these new approaches to Scripture would be to turn their insistence of Scripture as the living Word of God into some alleged guaranteed means for an "out-of-this world God-experience." Such an attempt to use God's Self revelation as a self-serving gimmick
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for achieving some other-worldly psychological "high" can be interpreted as a thinly veiled "original sin" all over again - "you will be like gods" (Gen.3:5) V. BIBLICAL DIDACTICS A. Realizing Indications As to measure the knowledge of the Bible, we gather some forms of knowledge and skills that best correspond to those functions that we have recognized the Bible as a source of Religious Instruction, applicable for each grade in school. 1. Have the basic notions of the Bible as a document that is to the origins of Jewish religion and Christian movement. This includes: - Knowing the essential features of the historical- geographical-cultural world of Israel, Jesus, the beginnings of the Church. - Having basic but updated information on the Bible as literature, particularly the variety of literary genres and the genesis of the Torah or Pentateuch and the Gospels. - Gaining a large understanding of the message of the Bible: how to read and to express the experience from the part of the biblical man; the genesis and formation of religious belief; the pattern of historia salutis; key terms of the biblical understanding of reality (promise, covenant, kingdom, exodus ...). 2. Grasping the link between the biblical datum and some major expressions of its effects, namely the contribution given to make itself the identity of Italy and Europe. This includes: - Obtaining adequate information on the relevance of the Bible today in the Christian religious world (reception, use, valuing process, ecumenical collaboration). - Be "aware, albeit in an elementary way, of the historico-juridical, linguistic-literary and artistic roots, that connect us to the classical and Judeo-Christian world ". - Seizing concretely the influence of the Bible specifically on ethical-human world (constitutions, historical processes, great systems of thought ...) and generally in Western culture (literature, theater, painting, cinema ...). 3. Being able to see the reality of man, personal and collective, in correlation with the biblical man. It is also possible to express this: knowing how to read biblically the experience and existentially the Bible, to illuminate with the biblical significance the problems of life, and to illuminate the Bible with current experiences of life; or to recognize that the Bible is a mode of fundamental and universal human experiences, which is relevant to every man who reflects the ultimate meaning of life, or even, to recognize that human life brings a set of experiences, questions, attempts to answer that converge with similar problems of the biblical man. This includes: - Having the ability to confront oneself with the Bible at the level of some existential problems of man: work, power, conflict, eros, death, game ... - Discerning the relationship at several levels: the convergence in the question, the genuine
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thought of the biblical man, his specificity in relation to other religious responses, the trace of biblical motives embodied in the experience of the people. - Reaching an existential reading or actualization of the Bible: from the Bible to life, from life to the Bible; the necessary cultural mediation. 4. An understanding of the major linguistic expressions in the Bible and individuate their relationship with the religious content that they transmit. Let us now articulate this objective: • Understanding at least basically that the biblical language offers the objective possibility to express the religious transcendent. • Because of this, recognizing that the multi-dimensionality of such language, analyzing the elementary forms of the literary tradition of the Bible. • Being able to approach the texts along the linguistic way with which they reach us. This includes: - Practicing to identify some features/functions of the language of a text (first, second, third person) and get the diversity of incidence in analogy to everyday experiences. - Recognizing major literary forms and their power of mediation in relation to content. For example, the parable, the story, the story-the saga, the story of a miracle ... - Allowing ourselves to be touched, to better understand, by the major symbols of the Bible (light, water, bread ...) - Knowing the convergence and difference between biblical language, religious language and human language (scientific, practical, poetic) 5. Knowing how to use physically/materially the biblical text. This includes: - Knowing how to find a passage quoted, recognize the traditional abbreviations, to read with sense a particular passage, to have a personal Bible. - Allowing ourselves to be asked by the text; able to work on it, react to it. - Knowing how to complain in actual, proper, terms, the gathered major significance from the words and facts of the Bible, using all languages that may be convenient, verbal, nonverbal, imagery, dramatic ...) 6. Knowing the elements that characterize a believer’s reading of the Bible. This includes: - Recognizing the features constituting the encounter of faith with the Bible and learn to give motivated reasons from the Bible itself. - Having knowledge of the relationship between the Bible and the ecumenical movement from the Protestant Reformation to our day. - Distinguishing the Jewish and Christian understanding of scriptures. - Recognizing identity and difference between the Bible and the holy books of major religions (in general and on specific issues). - Implementing initiatives for discussion and collaboration between Biblical data and knowledge of other disciplines.

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B. A Proposed Integration of Academic Subjects and the Religion Subjects As mentioned in the framework of the study of religion, there is a proposal to take seriously the use of the riches of the Bible as it is studied in the context of Religious instruction and as it is integrated in other subjects of both the same and different disciplines. This is accomplished through the re-engineering of the Curriculum following the principle: The Religion is the core of the curriculum. Thus, we speak of the vertical and horizontal articulations of the school curriculum. What is the vertical articulation of the curriculum? This is the articulation of a particular competency of one subject matter in relation to all the subjects of the same field or area. For example, if I talk about Creation in the Religion subject to the first year students in Secondary Education, I must make it sure that it has connection with how Creation was discussed when the student was studying Religion in Preparatory level, in Grade 1 level, in Grade 2 level, and so on until in the Grade 6 level of elementary education. Also, this is discussed in reference also to how it will be tackled in the Second, Third and Fourth Year levels of Secondary Education. This is to provide the students the consistency in looking at Creation and how it is discussed according to their level. What is the horizontal articulation? This is the articulation of a particular competency of a subject matter in relation to all the other subjects of the same year level. The manner of doing this is by way of examples, illustration and greatly of values. For example, if I talk about Creation to the first year students in the Religion subject, I must see its connection to the topics/values dealt with in other subjects of the same year level. 1. In Religion, we discuss about Creation. 2. In English, we talk about Creation story as a literary genre, or in the topic of short stories, or simile and metaphor and other figurative languages, etc. 3. In Science, we talk about Creation and the value of respect for creation as we deal with Ecosystem, global warming, etc. 4. In Social Studies, we talk about Creation and the importance of creation in discussing the use and value of natural resources; also its connection with industrialization; etc. 5. In Physical Education, we talk about Creation when we discuss about the wonders that the nutrients of vegetables and healthy food give to the body; also, the care for the body; etc. 6. In Filipino subject, we can talk about Creation and its value for the people as we discuss the “Pinagmulan” (Origin) through myths or legends; etc. 7. In Mathematics, we can talk about Creation and its value as we discuss the operations. (For example, you can only add something if there are items to add and once you give away a part of the total, it becomes diminished; but only in God does it happen that when He creates He is not diminished nor something is added to his glory. 8. In Drafting, we can talk about Creation when we make a sketch or a draft of a structure that we want to build. When God created the world, He also has a plan not just for the entire creation but for each creature and for every person. Here we talk of the value of planning and purpose. Surely, these vertical and horizontal articulations will be accomplished when all the religion teachers sit with the academic teachers and plan well the curriculum and the integration of the subject matter. This will require that all the teachers must have a good education about the Bible.
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In our national school system, the Department of Education had this in mind – these vertical and horizontal articulations - in drafting the Curriculum; however, I do not think that they will use the Bible as the major source for the creation and revision of curriculum. In the Philippines, the schools of the Salesian Province in the North are in the process of implementing this articulation and it is a tedious process that will need years for its accomplishment. CONCLUSION What I know of the Bible, way back then, in its place in Catechesis or Religious Instruction is to be the center of the whole education to the faith. It is a tall order but I am convinced about it. However, I did not precisely know how it is to be seen in concrete and other principles that should enthrone the Bible really as the center of the education to the faith. Thanks to the principles I have learned because I have found more reasons to be convinced about it. The Philippines, despite being a Catholic nation, is home to many other religious denominations which are so aggressive in the work of proselytism. They also use the Bible to claim their legitimacy as a Religion; but surely, it is self-serving. On this account and on account of the principles stated in this paper, it is really necessary to study the Word of God. That study, according to the Catholic Bishops in the Philippines, must help Filipinos appreciate, understand better, use for spiritual nourishment and live the Bible in their context. It cannot just be used to defend the faith; nor it is studied only to know the Bible in itself through historic-cultural criticism; nor to use it only for spiritual nourishment. The Bible is more than any one or two reasons combined. It is the Word of God that answers all our deepest longings, and makes possible our encounter with our savior both as individuals and as a community. The Bible was not meant to be a source of schism or any form of division; thereto, the Lord has declared that He came that “we may all be one”. Thus, it is to be a source of unity for all those who believe in Christ. To this joint, the third purpose of the CBCP is right, that the knowledge of the faith and of the Bible may become an instrument for ecumenism to realize the vision of Christ for the world, i.e., “that we may be one”. BIBLIOGRAPHY

1. Bibliographies in Italian Text Bissoli C., Và e Annuncia. Manuale di Catechesi Biblica, Elledici, Leumann (Torino) 2006, 272278. Bissoli C., La Bibbia “Grande Codice” Della Cultura Nella Scuola. Il Contributo dell’Insegnamento di Religione Cattolica, Orientamenti Pedagogici , 55(2008)4, 629-653.
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Leggere La Bibbia A Scuola: Strategie Educative e Didattiche, Questa è la dispensa di Don Corrado Pastore SDB Salvarani, B., Schema Dell’Intervento: Per Una Pedagogia Capace di Fare I Conti Col Pluralism Religioso http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search? q=cache:ToRo4I2fyVoJ:www.ipbz.it/FileComuni/Download.aspx%3Fentita%3D30%26id %3D320+sCHEMA+dell'intervento+di+Brunetto+Salvarani&cd=3&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us

2. Bibliographies in English Text CBCP POSITION PAPER ON THE SYNOD THEME: "CATECHETICS IN OUR TIME" http://www.cbcponline.net/documents/1970s/1977-catechetics_time.html NORMS AND GUIDELINES FOR THE MINISTRY OF CATECHESIS http://www.cbcponline.net/documents/1980s/1980-norms_guidelines.html, 1980 Legaspi, Leonardo Z., O.P., D.D, The Trends and Challenges in Catechesis http://www.eccceonline.org/programs/Consultation_Meetings/ncc2/talks/Legaspi.htm

Zappella, L., Tolle Lege: Per Una Didattica Operativa della Bibbia http://bicudi.net/didattica/tolle_lege_didattica_narrativa.pdf

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