What the Catechism Is,and Isn’t

” I was surprised to see that the Catechism isn’t in question-and-answer form”, remarked Tony.” I was pleasantly surprised to find that it’s quite readable.” The essence of a catechism is not the question-answer format, but its teaching function. Catechism comes the Greek word catechein, which means “to teach,” and in the early Church, tose to whom the faith was being taught were called catechumens. In the sixteenth century the word catechism was coined to refer to a book or manual used to teach religious doctrine.

While many manuals for instructing people in religion have been created over the centuries, the first official Catholic catechism for the whole Church was commissioned by the Council of Trent. It was completed in 1566 and was called the Roman Catechism. (The old Baltimore Catechism wwas a simplified English version of the Roman Catechism in question-and answer form). The Catechism of the Catholic Church is the successor of the Roman Catechism.

The Cetechism is not a revision of the basic teachings of the Church. The Catholic Church believes that the “deposit of faith,” the fundamental truths necessary for salvation (eternal happiness with God in heaven) and found in the Bible and sacred Tradition of the Church, cannot be changed or added to. But the Church can grow in its understanding of these basic truths and can improve the clarity with which it expresses them. The Catechism of the Catholic Church expresses ancient truths in modern language and applies basic principles to current problems like organ transplant, artificial insemination, and the limits of medical research.

The Catechism in intended as an official statement of the Catholic Faith, and is directed primarily to bishops, priest, catechist, and publishers of local catechisms. It is not designed as a religion text for children, but it should be the doctrinal foundation for future textbooks. It can be used as a classroom reference book; a teacher, for example, might assign a topic, such as a particular sacrament, for students to look up and report on. It is appropriate reading for anyone, young or old, who wishes to know what the Church Teaches.

Encode by: Nicholai M. Lucenos— Student of Apologetics in Roman Catholic Church ( Diocese of  Dipolog)




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