Baltimore Catechism


Is this still a valid tool for study? I’ve read loads of Catholic books, and I’ve seen references to it but was wondering if it is still used/usable. It’s certainly more concise than the CCC:)



Of course it is.


Yes, the CCC does not replace any local catechisms.


You may certainly use and study the Baltimore Catechism. And there is much to admire in it.

I will probably be roasted for saying this: I would not recommend only the Baltimore Catechism. The BC is not without its faults, and we should expand our sources, if possible.

One example: BC3 Q632 states flatly:

“Persons, such as infants, who have not committed actual sin and who, through no fault of theirs, die without baptism, cannot enter heaven; but it is the common belief they will go to some place similar to Limbo, where they will be free from suffering, though deprived of the happiness of heaven.”

This theory was commonly held in the church for many, many years, but was never more than a “probable” theological speculation. It was never dogma. This subtlety is not mentioned in the BC because the BC is a child’s catechism. In recent years, the weight attached to this speculation has been diminishing.

Catholics are still free to hold that this limbus puerorum exists, and Catholics are still free to prefer another answer. But if all we study is the BC, we would never know this.

If you are looking for a lightweight and reliable Catechism, you might consider the Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. ( ) I wish that everyone knew about this one… it is simply marvelous!



Great info folks, thanks for the prompt replies:thumbsup:


I’ll second that:

Of course it is!


It is wonderful, excellent, except for one important teaching.
It gives a semi-Protestant view of salvation, in which it teaches that the primary reason Jesus became man, suffered and died was to “open the gates of heaven”

The Church teaches the primary reason for our salvation was to free us from everything that oppresses us, especially from sin and the devil, in giving ourselves to Jesus.

In other words, Jesus suffered and died to earn the grace that frees us from the slavery of sin, so that we can love God and our neighbor the way He intended, in this life. If we continue to persevere, this will lead to eternal salvation.
Nevertheless, the primary meaning of salvation is to free us from the slavery of sin so we can love God and our neighbor and thus share in God’s life here and now.

 The primary purpose of the mass is to make available this grace that frees us from the slavery of sin, (the grace of salvation)  so that we can love God and our neighbor in this life, the way we should. 

The Baltimore Catechism misses these very, very important points and instead equates salvation with primarily eternal salvation. The Church on the other hand emphasizes salvation as liberation from the slavery of sin, starting in this life, and eventually ending in heaven.


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