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May 27, 1994

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= , ES SAGE i i ii SPECIAL CATECHISM INSERT WEST BEANERY EAST DEANERY Four main parts make up new book Service (CNS) -- m of the scheduled to first time in is an official, of what first corn- approved Paul II in 1992, a Standard ref- used around languages. nUmbered pars- ' arginal cross ref- to other at deal with the Y related text, over U.S. edition raore than 100 is divided L Parts. Creed is the Part 1. It Son and about such ;ion, human revelation. birth, life, ind resurrec- the hell and around the on the life -- t-- the people and worship dly through revealed and ! each new gen- first around in Christ and the Spirit and then around the 10 Commandments. It spells out Catholic understanding of the moral law that people are called to follow, but it places that within the deeper context of the law of love and the Christian belief in redemption, grace, justification and follow- ing Christ who is "the way, the truth and the life." The Lord's Prayer forms the main basis for Part 4, on Christian prayer. It talks about the meaning and impor- tance of prayer in Christian life, ways Old Testament and New Testament figures prayed and various forms and atti- tudes of prayer in church tra- dition. It then breaks apart the Our Father -- ".the most perfect of prayers" -- analyz- ing what it teaches Christians about prayer. As Pope John Paul put it in his formal announcement ordering the catechism's publi- cation: "The four parts are related to one another: The Christian mystery is the object of faith (first part); it is cele- brated and communicated in liturgical actions (second part); it is present to enlighten and sustaim the children of God in their actions (third part); it is the basis for our prayer, the privileged expres- sion of which is the Our Father ... (fourth part)." The word "catechism" comes from the Greek verb "kate- chein," which means to teach orally. Early Christians used the term to refer to instruction in the elements of the faith. Those who were being instructed were called cate- chumens. Over the centuries there ut the new catechism Service edition of the new "'Catechism of ," due out June 22, is being described as Publishing venture ever undertaken in Catechisms in the first U.S. printing are 4-foot shipping skids, they fill more With 4-foot stacks m enough to make a high as the 1,350-foot World Trade U.S. Catholic Conference Office for Services, coordinator of the pro- facts about it: pages. POunds (cloth) or 2.5 pounds (paperback). 566,250 copies. first U.S. printing: 462,060,000. (1,660,000 pounds). 1 hours for text. About 60 hours for four Brothers, Ann Arbor, Mich. 16 were many commentaries and manuals for instructing people in the faith, but "catechism" became the standard term for such texts only after the appearance of Martin Luther's "Kleiner Katechismus" ("Little Catechism") in 1529. His "Grosser Katechismus" ("Big Catechism"), a more detailed compendium for teachers and preachers, appeared the fol- lowing year. Like the new catechism, Luther's catechisms were divided thematically into four parts, but in different order. He put the commandments first, then creed, then prayer, and finally sacraments. The first official Catholic catechism for the whole church was mandated by the Council of Trent. Completed in 1566, it was called the "Catechismus Romanus" ("Roman Catechism"). It divided Christian teach- ing under the same four head- ings as Luther but rearranged them in the order of creed, sacraments, commandments and prayer. That approach put the sacraments back into a more integral place in the plan of redemption and set morality within the context of faith. The new catechism, the first official catechism for the whole Catholic Church since the "Roman Catechism," dupli- cates the basic structure.used in the 16th-century text. The 400-page "Roman Catechism" was written pri- marily for parish priests as a manual to guide them in instructing their people. Similarly, the new catechism is directed primarily to bish- ops as the first pastors and teachers of the faith in their dioceses. Paragraph 12 of the cate- chism, aRer describing bishops as its primary audience, says that after bishops it is addressed to catechetical writ- ers and publishers, to priests and to catechists. It is present- ed as useful reading for all Catholics and other Christians as well. Many older U.S. Catholics recall being taught the faith through the "Baltimore Catechism." A simplified ver- sion of the " "Roman Catechism," it was mandated by the U.S. bishops in 1884 and completed in 1885. The bishops issued a revised ver- sion in 1941. There are two major differ- ences between the "Baltimore Catechism" and the new cate- chism: The "Baltimore Catechism" was written in question-answer format: "Who made you? God made me. Who I Therefor e, I ask all the I Christian in fulfilling claiming the faith and, people to the Gospel life. I I I III is God? God is the supreme being who made all things." The new catechism is in straight expository form and gives far more detailed treat- ment of Catholic teachings. m The "Baltimore Catechism" is an example of what catechists call a "minor catechism," aimed at students and intended for classroom use. The new catechism is an example of what is called a "major catechism," a reference work for teachers rather than a text for learners. Its lan- guage, length and style are well beyond the capacities of most children, and even adults will find the organization of the material driven more by III PO October 11, 1992 I II systematic concerns for a com- prehensive presentation than by teaching methodologies. In some senses the new cate- chism combines in a single vol- ume both traditional forms of catechetical texts, the major catechism and the minor cate- chism. At the end of each the- matic section, typically several pages long, is a much shorter summary of the essential ele- ments of doctrine contained in that unit, always highlighted under the heading, "In Brief. I Someone who reads just the summaries will have a minor catechism," of less than 100 pages  a simplified exposi- tion of the essentials of what Catholics believe. I IIIIII I III III IlUl II I IIIIII I II II I I Key moments in development of Catechism By Catholic News Service WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Here is a quick glance at the his- tory of the new "'Catechism of the Catholic Church1: 1985: At world Synod of Bishops in October Cardinal Bernard F. Law of Boston suggests developing an authori- tative catechism or compendium of doctrine for the whole church. The synod proposes it to Pope John Paul II. The pope immediately agrees. 1986: The pope appoints a commission of cardinals and bishops in July to oversee preparation of catechism. Commission holds first meeting in November. m 1987: Catechism outline is developed, international team of experts critiques preliminary draft. 1989: Two more drafts are done. Second of these is sent to all bishops in November for first global consultation. 1990: Comments and more than 24,000 proposed amend- ments by world's bishops are reviewed. 1991: Four successive revisions are carried out, amending and gradually refining the whole text. 1992: Commission in February completes and approves definitive text in French to submit to pope. Pope reviews it and approves it in June. It is published in France in November. 1993: Translations in other major Western languages except English appear. 1994: Vatican completes final revisions of English transla- tion. Publication dates are set for late May in Australia, Ireland and United Kingdom, June 22 in United States and Canada. 11 II II 1111 IIIIII II III II I II IIIII I _.