Using The Catechism of the Catholic Church A complete summary of what Catholics throughout the world believe in common.
What is the Catechism? The Catechism is a reference book that is intended to give the reader quick access to what the Catholic Church believes and teaches. The Catechism provides summaries; footnotes provide reference to original sources which serious scholars will consult. The word “catechism” means “instruction.” This Catechism was published in 1992 under the pontificate of Pope John Paul II. It was the first new Catechism published in 400 years.
The Four PillarsThe Catechism is arranged in four sections, called “pillars”
Pillar One What Catholic Believe: The Profession of Faith: elements of the faith that are found in the Creed (creedal elements)
Pillar 2 What the Church celebrates: The Celebration of Christian Mystery: •Sacraments, including the Holy Eucharist •Sacramentals •Christian Funerals
Pillar 3What the Church lives: Life in Christ • The Beatitudes • Moral Law and Freedom • Social Justice • Grace, conscience, sin • The 10 Commandments
Pillar FourWhat the Church prays: Christian Prayer • The Scriptures • The Lord’s Prayer • Types of Prayer: petition, thanksgiving, praise, adoration • Expressions of Prayer: vocal, meditation, contemplation
The Table of Contents Located at the beginning of the book • Organized by the Four Pillars • Page numbers are given for particular sections
Inside each Pillar Sections are organized by chapters. Each paragraph is assigned a number. At the conclusion of each chapter, a section entitled “In Brief” summarizes the key points of the chapter.
Footnotes Footnotes provide reference to the Scriptures, Magisterial documents and writings of saints, Doctors of the Church, and popes. Magisterial documents are official documents that are the work of a Church Council, a conference of bishops, a committee of bishops, or an individual bishop. (Remember that the Pope is the Bishop of Rome.)
Glossary Some editions of the Catechism contain a glossary that explains some terms and expressions used in the Catechism.
Subject Index Atthe end of the Catechism, there is a Subject Index. The numbers listed here are Paragraph numbers.
Online You can access the Catechism online at • www.usccb.org • www.vatican.va • The online version is free and available in several languages.
Quick Review In which Pillar would you find: • Information about Confirmation? • Information about abortion? • Information about the Trinity? • Information about how to pray? • The 10 Commandments? • Catholic Social Teaching?
Quick Review In which Pillar would you find: • Information about Confirmation?: 2 • Information about abortion?: 3 • Information about the Trinity?: 1 • Information about how to pray?: 4 • The 10 Commandments? : 3 • Catholic Social Teaching?: 3
Quick Review When using the Table of Contents, what do the numbers listed represent? When using the Subject Index, what do the listed numbers represent? When seeking quick information, what part of the chapter should one first consult?
Quick Review When using the Table of Contents, what do the numbers listed represent? Pages When using the Subject Index, what do the listed numbers represent? Paragraphs When seeking quick information, what part of the chapter should one first consult? In Brief