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May 27, 1994     The Message
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May 27, 1994

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B The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana Scanning the C00techism: Apostles creed summarizes basic beliefs By JERRY FILTEAU his people, divine revelation in Christ and Chisms CO Catholic News Service It is divided into two sec- in Scripture. Cate i WASHINGTON (CNS) -- The Apostles' Creed, a profes- sion of faith used tbr Christian instruction in the West for many centuries, forms the basis for Part 1 of the new "Catechism of the Catholic Church." The English version of the catechism will be available in bookstores June 22. Part 1, which takes up 264 of the volume's 800-plus pages, summarizes basic Christian beliefs about God, creation, humanity, and the history of God's saving relationship with tions -- the first a general treatment of belief itself and the second a specific look at Christian beliefs expressed or implied in the profession of faith. Section 1 discusses: --"Man's capacity for God": the human desire for God, knowledge of God and ability to speak about God. -- "God comes to meet man": God's self-revelation in cre- ation, to his chosen people and in Christ Jesus; the transmis- sion of revelation in apostolic tradition and its relation to Scripture; the character of Catechisms compared: Creation By Catholic News Service WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Here are a few selected pas- sages on creation from the "Baltimore Catechism No. 3," the text generally used until the 1960s with U.S. Catholic children in the upper elementary grades, and parallel pas- sages from the new "Catechism of the Catholic Church": BALTIMORE CATECHSIM CATECHISM OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH WHO IS God is the supreme being, infinitely perfect, who made all things and keeps them in existence. (No. 2) I WHO DID G4 God made us to show forth his goodness and to share with us his everlast- ing happiness in heaven. (No. 3) GOD? The God of. our faith has revealed himself as he who is; and he has made himself known as "abounding in steadfast love and faithful- ness" (Ex. 34:6). God's very being is truth and love. (No. 231) God alone created the universe freely, directly and without any help .... God created the universe and keeps it in existence by his Word, the Son "upholding the universe by his word of power" (Heb. 1:3) and by his Creator Spirit, the giver of life. (Nos. 317, 320) )D MAKE US? In the creation of the world and of man, God gave the first and universal wit- ness to his almighty love and his wisdom, the first proclamation of the "plan of his loving goodness," which finds its goal in the new cre- ation in Christ.., God creat- ed the world to show forth | ! and Communicate his glory..| ! That his creatures should i. I -I share in his truth, goodness | ' i and beauty.-this is the | :ii = : ! glory: for which  created | : i : | them. (Nosi 315, 319) : i -- "Man's response to God": the response of faith, both of individuals and of the commu- nity, the church. Section 2 takes apart the individual elements or articles of the Apostles' Creed, spelling out not only the beliefs explic- itly professed in the creed, but related beliefs as well. Under "creator of heaven and earth," for example, it includes a three-page discus- sion of angels, spiritual beings whose existence is "a truth of faith" about which "the wit- ness of Scripture is as clear as the unanimity of tradition." The creed serves as a frame- work for spelling out Catholic teaching on God and the Trinity, on creation, the fall, God's promise to Israel and salvation in Jesus, Son of God and savior. Not surprisingly, about 75 pages -- more than one-tenth of the entire catechism text -- is devoted to what Catholics believe about Jesus Christ, the central figure in all Christian faith. Nearly as much -- about 60 pages -- is devoted to the Hly Spirit and the church, in which "the mission of Christ and the Holy Spirit is brought to completion." The church is described as the universal sacrament of sal- vation, the people of God, the body of Christ and the temple of the Holy Spirit. Its four chief characteristics -- one, holy, catholic and apostolic -- are discussed. Next comes a treatment of the church's hierarchical con- stitution, the laity and those in consecrated life. The final elements of the article on the church concern the communion of saints and Mary, mother of Christ and mother of the church. In the article on "forgiveness of sins," Part 1 gives only a brief introductory discussion. It refers the reader to Part 2, on the sacraments, for a much fuller treatment of the place of baptism, penance and the other sacraments, especially the Eucharist, in the forgive- ness of sins. Part 1 concludes with dis- cussions of the resurrection of the body -- Christ's and ours and life everlasting Those articles review Catholic teaching on death, particular judgment, heaven, hell and purgatory, and the last judgment "when Christ returns in glory" and "the righteous will reign forever with Christ, glorified in body and soul." Chu By Catholic News WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Here area'. sages on the church and the Catechism No. 3," the text with U.S. Catholic children in the and parallel passages from the BALTIMORE CATECHSIM WHY IS THE CATHOLIC CATHOLIC OR UN The Catholic Church is catholic or universal because, destined to last for all time, it never fails to ful- fill the divine command- ment to teach all nations all the truths revealed by God. (No. 158) The HOW CAN : IN HER CARE OF The laity can help the church in her care of souls by leading lives that will reflect credit on the church and by cooperating with their bishops and priests, especially through Catholic Action. (No. 151) CI wor sense totality" the whole, catholic First, catholic present in is C.' subsists Christ's head .... Secondly! catholic be! been mission "By re cial the dom of baptism they ha message ' be known the i i,!i! ! What the Catechism is and is not By Catholic News Service Here are a few examples of what the new "Catechism of the Catholic Church" is and is not: -- It is not new church teaching or revelation or an analysis of current theo- logical trends and arguments. It is a comprehensive, authoritative statement of what the Catholic Church already teaches and believes. It is not a classroom text for children. It is a reference ops and those in catechetical work, but also for anyone =: more about the Catholic faith. -- It is not an apologetics text, trying to defend truth. It is a positive, objective, declarative exposition  It is not a substitute for local or national catechisms. It is  . ence for writing and evaluating local or national catechismS"