Baltimore Catechism

What is the differance of the Baltimore Catechism and Catechism of the Catholic Church? Why the Change? Does the Baltimore Catechism have something wrong with it? Is it alright to use the Baltimore Catechism? Thanks and God bless.

The format is different. The B.C. uses a question and answer process to teach the faith…the answers to those questions never quite get away from you.

Since Church Doctrine has always been the same, there is nothing wrong with using the B.C. In fact, many of us believe that it is an easier way of learning the faith. I grew up with it and I can’t say anything bad about it. :thumbsup:

I saw one that was entitled Baltimore Catechism No.1, How many numbers are there? And what is the sig.?

I think it is 0,1,2,3, and 4. The “0” is the First Communion Catechism that we still use for Sacrament prep at our parish. #1 is the one that people of a “certain age” such as myself remember word for word even now.

The Baltimore Catechism came out of one of the plenary councils in the US. It is a US Cathecism similar in intent to the new US Cathecism for Adults released this past year. If you read the intro to the CCC, you will see it was intended that local Bishops’ conferences use it to develop and publish national versions. Hopefully, we will get a good children’s (and teen) version someday. :slight_smile:

What age groups go to which numbers? How much of a diffrence is there in each edition?

The difference is the level of understanding

There are some things that are out of date, ember days, fast for communion etc.

0-First Commuion

1-What age group/level of understanding

2-What age group/level of understanding

3-What age group/level of understanding

4-What age group/level of understanding

5-What age group/level of understanding

Sorry about being so nit picky but, I would like to take a look at one and I would like to get the most approriate edetion.

The BC was an initiative of the American Bishops, not the Vatican.

Also, the BC has a much greater emphasis on mortal sin.

How much of a diffrence is there between versions?

I don’t know about that. The CCC is a much more in-depth Catechism than the Baltimore Catechism.

The CCC is a wonderful learning tool but was not set up to be one used to teach. You can look at the CCC as more like an encyclopedia; a source to look information up in and learn things from but not as a textbook. The Baltimore Catechism on the other hand is a textbook and as such is a good tool for any Catechist and student (whether a homeschooler or a Religious Education teacher).

I don’t know what each number stands for but I am sure if you googled it you could get some information somewhere that would help.

Brenda V.


Apart from its educational advantages, the progressive plan aims at lessening the expense in providing children with Catechisms, by furnishing just what is necessary for each grade; it aims also at encouraging the children to learn, by
affording opportunity for promotion from book to book.

These Catechisms are intended to furnish a complete course of religious instruction, when, used as follows:

No. 1 for First Communion classes.
No. 2 for Confirmation classes.
No. 3 for two years´ course for Post-Confirmation classes.
No. 4 for Teachers and Teachers´ Training classes.

The question and answer format will be useful to anyone who wants to grow in their knowledge of the Faith of the Catholic Church.

I am using a small part of #3 for my gr. 7 (post Confirmation) class.


Click Here for Baltimore Catechism Part One

Click Here for Baltimore Catechism Part Two

Click Here for Baltimore Catechism Part Three

Click Here for Baltimore Catechism Part Four


The Baltimore Catechism is extremely clear and simple to understand. It is set up in a Q and A format that communicates the truth to the intellect simply and clearly.

In my opinion the new catechism is too ecumenical and thus gives the impression that heretics and schismtaics are part of the Catholic Church, although “imperfectly”. The truth is exactly the opposite. Heretics and schismatics are separated from the Church. The new catechism seems to have no problem with false religions, and can be interpreted as saying that the Muslims worship the true God.

I was listening to Catholic Answers a few months ago when someone called in with a question about the death penalty. Jimmy Akin said one version of the new catechism was in favor of it, while another version of the same catechism was against it. Which is it? The truth doesn’t change.

Now, what happens when a Catholic who has the older version gets into a discussion with a Catholic who has the newer version? If they base their faith on the new catechism, they will be in direct contradiction to one another.

Personally, I avoid the new catechism. Some will may shocked to hear anyone say that since it is praised continuously by people on EWTN, and by the late John Paul II (who had “profound respect” for false religions) but it is the truth.

Why form your faith with the new Catechism which is not clear, and which is interpreted by about 99.999% of the people who read it as saying that heretics and schismatics are part of the Church? And is used by others to show that the Muslims worship the true God.

In my opinion, it is a catechism that reflects the day it was written. It was written in a day of modernism, liberalism, doctrinal confusion, and ecumenical madness, and as such contains elements of each, and reflects them all. Unless you know the faith before you begin studying it, beware.

Like the Vatican II documents, it often impresses on the mind something that is false, while not exactly saying what is untrue. It has some great information, but also some parts that are almost always understood in a heretical way.

For example I was in a doctrinal discussion withe a fellow Catholic once. She had learned her faith from the new Catechism only. To support my position, I asked her to read and old Catechsim. She searched her house and located her grandmothers old catechism. She read through it and concluded that the Church must have changed what it teaches. Why did she conclude this? Because she “interpreted” the new Catechism in a way that was contrary to the Catholic faith, and so do 99.9% of those who their faith from it alone.

Study an old catechism and you are on safe ground. Use the new one at your own risk.

I mean, the same can be said of other catechisms. Why the Catechism of St. Pius X? Wasn’t the Roman Catechism (of Trent) good enough? Why was St. Peter Canisius’ Summe of Christian Doctrine revised after the Council of Trent? Why the Baltimore Catechism when the Catechism of St. Pius X was available? Why was the Doctrinal Catechism revised after Vatican I? And so forth and so on.

The fact is, there’s nothing wrong with any of them, but later ones will include the most recent doctrinal developments.

The fact is, the latest CCC was issued in a response to Neo-Modernism which seeks to subjectify religion, whereas a Catechism provides an objective norm.

As for the death penalty, the Catechism still states that the state can have recourse to it, but that the conditions for it are rarely present. I am currently working on a paper for a law and economics class doing a cost benefit analysis of the death penalty, and there really is no use for it these days.

Likewise, the Church has always taught that the state can wage war. But, as Pope Pius XII said, the use of war has become out of date:

  1. No one could hail this development with greater joy than he who has long upheld the principle that the idea of war as an apt and proportionate means of solving international conflicts is now out of date.

You are forgetting the most important reason for the death penalty: justice. Read Josua, chapter 7 (5th or 6th book of the Bible), and you will see that God Himself demands this justice. If you ar writing a paper on the death penalty, I think you need to consider this aspect.

[quote=Gen 3:15]Likewise, the Church has always taught that the state can wage war. But, as Pope Pius XII said, the use of war has become out of date:

  1. No one could hail this development with greater joy than he who has long upheld the principle that the idea of war as an apt and proportionate means of solving international conflicts is now out of date.

There are just war principles that will always apply. The Pope is not saying that war is no longer allowed, or that any of the just war principles are now “out of date”. All he is saying is that “using war as a means of solving international conflicts is now out of date”.

I don’t think “solving international conflicts” was ever a principle that justified war.

The just war principles will always apply; and as such, a nation will always have the right to go to war to defend itself.

( BTW, I am not arguing that our current war in Iraq is just, only that a just war is always allowed).

In my opinion, the Baltimore Catechism is much better written than the Catechism of the Catholic Church and much easier to understand. The Catechism of the Catholic Church is more “scholarly” in the sense that it cites the Fathers of the Church, Doctors of the Church, etc. I don’t think it’s as clear because the authors adopted contemporary theological language or language that’s common to other Christian denominations rather than traditional Catholic terminology.

There are two different Baltimore Catechisms available. One is the St. Joseph’s Baltimore Catechism with the pictures (from the early 1960s). The explanations are quite good as are the pictures, but the answers are not as precise as the earlier Baltimore Catechism.

The earlier Baltimore Catechism has more precise answers, but lacks pictures. Generally, 0-Baltimore Catechism is for First Holy Communion. 1-Baltimore Catechism is for grades up to 6th. 2-Baltimore Catechism is for grades 7-8. 3-Baltimore Catechism is for high school. I believe that 4-Baltimore Catechism is for teachers.

I think you are reading something into this Chapter that is not there. The Ban was to be used by Joshua, not for justice, but to remove those within and without the tribes who could lead the Jewish people astray.

I’ll quote it so you can see what I was referring to.

Josue, Chapeter 7: “Israel hath sinned, and transgressed my covenant… I will be no more with you, till you destroy him that is guilty of this wickedness… thou [Israel] canst not stand before thy enemies, till he be destroyed out of thee that is defiled with this wickendess… And whosoever he be that shall be found guilty of this fact, he shall be burnt with fire with all his substances, because he hath transgressed the covenant of the Lord, and hath done wickendess in Israel… And Achan answered Josue, and said to him: Indeed I have sinned against the Lord the God of Israel, and thus and thus have I done… And all Israel stoned him: and all things that were his, were consumed with fire. And they gathered together upon him a great heap of stones…** And the wrath of the Lord was turned away from them”**.

God demands justice. God withdrew from the entire nation of Israel until they killed the “evil doer”. This is a good example showing that the death penalty is not merely for the benefit of society, but to satisfy the justice of God.

Please stick to the topic of the thread. If you wish to discuss scriptural interpretation, start a thread in the Sacred Scripture Forum. Thank you. :slight_smile:

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