catechism question

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The big Cdl. Raymond Burque said in 2016, “Catholicism is in the grip of the worst crisis in its entire history”.

He further noted that “decades of thin and even false catechesis had created a situation in which many Catholics…were left in confusion and error concerning the most fundamental principles of the Catholic faith and of the moral law”.

But although the faithful have been deprived of truth by their shepherds for so long, there are resources from which individuals and parents can learn the eternal teachings of the Church and pass them on to others.

The Baltimore Catechism is the original and classic 1614-based “American” catechism of St. Robert Bellarmine Small Catechism. It was approved by the American bishops in 1885 at the Third Council of Baltimore and was the main catechism in common use until the late 1960s.

Its four volumes make it suitable for a wide range of students, from young children making their First Communion to secondary school students.

The New Catechism St. Joseph Baltimore, first published in 1964, is a three-volume version of the traditional catechism with excellent explanatory illustrations, discussion, test questions, and Bible notations. It is considered the most accessible edition of the Baltimore Catechism for homeschooled children.

A catechism based on Baltimorebut more suitable for older teenagers and adults – is my catholic faith. He is concise but very complete in his explanations of the Faith. The information presented is broken down into Credo: what a Catholic should know and believe; Commandments: what a Catholic must do; and Sacraments: the means of grace.

The foundation of each of these catechisms is the Roman Catechismalso known as Catechism of the Council of Trent. It was first published in 1566 in response to the Protestant revolt. It was the first church-wide catechism and the main catechism of the Catholic Church until it was replaced by the Catechism of the Catholic Church in 1992.

The Catholic dictionary Remarks the Roman Catechism was “primarily written for parish priests”, but “was also intended to give a fixed and stable program of instruction to the faithful”.

It was designed to be a manual for seminarians, priests and teachers of the Faith. Pope Leo XIII designated that all seminarians should have two books, the Roman Catechism and the theological masterpiece of Saint Thomas Aquinas, the Theological sum.

One of the best and most comprehensive breakdowns of the Roman Catechism is the 1899 The Catechism Explained: A Comprehensive Explanation of the Catholic Religion. It was recently touted by modern theologian and exorcist Fr. Chad Ripperger as his go-to manual for the Faith. It provides an exhaustive commentary on all aspects of the faith, but in a very understandable way.

While so many shepherds have been silent for decades, the Faith is still transmitted by faithful priests and bishops, lay people and many of those good books.

Another resource incorporating catechisms from the past are two books by the faithful Jesuit theologian, Fr. Jean Hardon. His Catholic dictionary and The Catholic Catechism: a contemporary catechism of the teachings of the Catholic Church include many modern papal and ecclesiastical documents to further explain theological concepts. His dictionary is clear, concise and accurate. It has over 2,000 entries in the fields of faith, worship, morals, history, theology and spirituality.

While so many shepherds have been silent for decades, the Faith is still transmitted by faithful priests and bishops, lay people and many of those good books.

Learn more by watching Downloading—Question on catechism.

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