Catechesis [on penance and reconciliation]
26. In the vast area in which the church has the mission of operating through dialogue, the pastoral ministry of penance and reconciliation is directed to the members of the body of the church principally through an adequate catechesis concerning the two distinct and complementary realities to which the synod fathers gave a particular importance and which they emphasized in some of the concluding propositions: These are penance and reconciliation. Catechesis is therefore the first means to be used.
At the basis of the synod’s very opportune recommendation is a fundamental presupposition; What is pastoral is not opposed to what is doctrinal. Nor can pastoral action prescind from doctrinal content, from which in fact it draws its substance and real validity. Now if the church is the pillar and bulwark of the truth'(132) and is placed in the world as mother and teacher, how could she neglect the task of teaching the truth which constitutes a path of life?
Excerpt from Apostolic Exhortation on Reconciliation and Penance