"It: is a common complaint, only too well founded, that among Christians there are large numbers who live in utter ignorance of the truths necessary for salvation.
And when we say among Christians, we mean not only the masses and those in the lower walks of life, who are sometimes not to blame owing to the inhumanity of hard taskmasters whose demands leave them little time to think of themselves and their own interests, but we include, and indeed more especially, all those who, while endowed with a certain amount of talent and culture and possessing abundant knowledge of profane matters, have no care nor thought for religion. It is hard to find words to describe the dense darkness that environs these persons; the indifference with which they remain in this darkness is the saddest sight of all. Rarely do they give a thought to the Supreme Author and Ruler of all things or to the teachings of the faith of Christ. Consequently they are absolutely without knowledge of the Incarnation of the Word of God, of the Redemption of mankind wrought by Him, of grace which is the chief means for the attainment of eternal welfare, and of the Holy Sacrifice and the Sacraments by which this grace is acquired and preserved. They fail to appreciate the malice and foulness of sin. They have, therefore, no care to avoid it and free themselves from it....
"Now, if what we have said so far demonstrates the supreme importance of religious instruction, it follows that we ought to do all that lies in our power to maintain the teaching of Catechism, and where the practice of so doing has fallen into disuse there should be a revival of the teaching of Catechism, which Benedict XIV has described as 'the most effective means for spreading the glory of God and securing the salvation of souls' (Const., Etsi Minime 13)....
"In each parish the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine is to be canonically instituted. Through this Confraternity the parish priests, especially in places where there is a scarcity of priests, will find valuable helpers for catechetical instruction in pious lay persons who will lend their aid to this holy and salutary work, both from a zeal for the glory of God and as a means of gaining the numerous indulgences granted by the Sovereign Pontiffs....
"We pray and conjure you to reflect on the ruin of souls which is wrought solely by ignorance of divine things. Doubtless you have done many useful and certainly praiseworthy things in your respective dioceses for the benefit of the flock entrusted to you, but before all else, and with all the diligence, all the zeal, all the assiduity that it is possible for you to employ, see to it that the knowledge of Christian doctrine penetrates and pervades through and through the minds of all: Let everyone (these are the words of the Apostle St. Peter), 'According to the gift that each has received, administer it to one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God' (I Peter 4: 10)."
(Translation from The Ecclesiastical Review: June, 1905, Vol. XXXII, pp. 601-610)
It is the duty of the diocesan Ordinaries to see to it that the Confraternities of the Blessed Sacrament and of Christian Doctrine be established in every parish. Once legitimately erected, these confraternities are ipso jure aggregated to me Archconfraternities of the same name established by the Cardinal Vicar in the city of Rome.
The Confraternity or Christian Doctrine is established only by a formal Decree of Erection by the Ordinary of each Diocese.