Bringing you the "Good News" of Jesus Christ and His Church While PROMOTING CATHOLIC Apologetic Support groups loyal to the Holy Father and Church's magisterium
Home About
AskACatholic.com
What's New? Resources The Church Family Life Mass and
Adoration
Ask A Catholic
Knowledge base
AskACatholic Disclaimer
Search the
AskACatholic Database
Donate and
Support our work
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
New Questions
Cool Catholic Videos
About Saints
Disciplines & Practices for distinct Church seasons
Purgatory and Indulgences
About the Holy Mass
About Mary
Searching and Confused
Contemplating becoming a Catholic or Coming home
Homosexual and Gender Issues
Life and Family
No Salvation Outside the Church
Sacred Scripture
non-Catholic Cults
Justification and Salvation
The Pope and Papacy
The Sacraments
Relationships and Marriage situations
Specific people, organizations and events
Doctrine and Teachings
back
Specific Practices
Church Internals
Church History

Henrik wrote:

Hi, guys —

I find the (CCC) Catechism of the Catholic Church to have been poorly written. It doesn't explain the faith. It is just something like a flowery poem.

  • Why did the Church even write it?
  • What was the purpose of writing it this way?
  • Do people get something out of this?

Henrik

  { Why did the Church write the Catechism of the Church and what was the purpose of writing it? }

Bob replied:

Henrik,

You may prefer the older more traditional style of the Baltimore Catechism:

which is essentially in a question and answer format.

  • Are you familiar with it?

You should get one if you don’t have it.

I agree that often the style of the New Catechism is not the best, but it is an attempt to make it more readable to this current time and culture. Sadly, since Vatican II, the whole business of theological writing has taken a turn for the worse. Still, it is an excellent resource to get answers to the fundamentals of Catholic teaching, despite the styles' weaknesses.

Peace,

Bob Kirby

Mike replied:

Dear Henrik,

In Pope St. John Paul's II introduction to the Catechism of the Catholic Church in:

Apostolic Constitution: Fidei Depositum
— On The Publication of the Catechism of the Catholic Church

In paragraph 3. The Doctrinal Value of the Text, he stated:

3. The Doctrinal Value of the Text

The Catechism of the Catholic Church, which I approved 25 June last and the publication of which I today order by virtue of my Apostolic Authority, is a statement of the Church's faith and of Catholic doctrine, attested to or illumined by Sacred Scripture, the Apostolic Tradition and the Church's Magisterium. I declare it to be a sure norm for teaching the faith and thus a valid and legitimate instrument for ecclesial communion. May it serve the renewal to which the Holy Spirit ceaselessly calls the Church of God, the Body of Christ, on her pilgrimage to the undiminished light of the Kingdom!

The approval and publication of the Catechism of the Catholic Church represent a service which the Successor of Peter wishes to offer to the Holy Catholic Church, to all the particular Churches in peace and communion with the Apostolic See: the service, that is, of supporting and confirming the faith of all the Lord Jesus' disciples (cf. Luke 22:32 as well as of strengthening the bonds of unity in the same Apostolic faith. Therefore, I ask all the Church's Pastors and the Christian faithful to receive this Catechism in a spirit of communion and to use it assiduously in fulfilling their mission of proclaiming the faith and calling people to the Gospel life. This Catechism is given to them that it may be a sure and authentic reference text for teaching Catholic doctrine and particularly for preparing local Catechisms. It is also offered to all the faithful who wish to deepen their knowledge of the unfathomable riches of salvation (cf. Ephesians 3:8). It is meant to support ecumenical efforts that are moved by the holy desire for the unity of all Christians, showing carefully the content and wondrous harmony of the Catholic faith. The Catechism of the Catholic Church, lastly, is offered to every individual who asks us to give an account of the hope that is in us (cf. 1 Peter 3:15) and who wants to know what the Catholic Church believes.

This Catechism is not intended to replace the local Catechisms duly approved by the ecclesiastical authorities, the diocesan Bishops and the Episcopal Conferences, especially if they have been approved by the Apostolic See. It is meant to encourage and assist in the writing of new local Catechisms, which take into account various situations and cultures, while carefully preserving the unity of faith and fidelity to Catholic doctrine.

At the conclusion of this document presenting the Catechism of the Catholic Church, I beseech the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Incarnate Word and Mother of the Church, to support with her powerful intercession the catechetical work of the entire Church on every level, at this time when she is called to a new effort of evangelization. May the light of the true faith free humanity from the ignorance and slavery of sin in order to lead it to the only freedom worthy of the name (cf. John 8:32): that of life in Jesus Christ under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, here below and in the Kingdom of Heaven, in the fullness of the blessed vision of God face to face (cf. 1 Corinthians 13:12; 2 Corinthians 5:6-8)!

Given 11 October 1992, the thirtieth anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, in the fourteenth year of my Pontificate.

Joannes Paulus PP II

Hope this helps,

Mike

Please report any and all typos or grammatical errors.
Suggestions for this web page and the web site can be sent to Mike Humphrey
© 2012 Panoramic Sites
The Early Church Fathers Church Fathers on the Primacy of Peter. The Early Church Fathers on the Catholic Church and the term Catholic. The Early Church Fathers on the importance of the Roman Catholic Church centered in Rome.