Baltimore Catechism...


I hope this is the right sub-forum for this, if not, hopefully it will get moved…

I’m wondering what kind of authority the Baltimore Catechism has/had? I used it once to work out the gravity of a sin I had committed (I could not find the answer in the CCC), and am still happy with the conclusion I drew from that. But I was wondering, what kind of authority does/did it have? Before the CCC was published, did it have as high a status as that? Was it authoritative only in the U.S. or universally? Is it still O.K. for me to use if I absolutely can’t find the answer in the CCC?



It is not a universal Catechism. It is a local one for the US only.


I see, but would it be O.K. to use it for guidance like in the example I gave?



Yes, it is ok to use the Baltimore Catechism.


Thank you both, those replies answered my question perfectly. :slight_smile:



Please excuse the dumb question from a relative Catholic newbie … but, given this, what is the relationship between the Catechism of the Catholic Church and the Baltimore Catechism? In case of a difference of opinion (and, hopefully, there are none), is the *Catechism of the Catholic Church *the authority?

I appreciate the clarification … the term Baltimore Catechism is relatively new to me (I’ve heard of it, but that’s about it)…


The CCC is a new universal catechism for the world wide Church. It covers the teachings of the Church quite thoroughly and has many footnotes and references to original sources including Sscripture, Church Councils, and the Early Church Fathers. The Baltimore Catechism was a nineteenth century document writteh for the American Church under the auspices of the American Bishops who authorized it at a localized meeting of the American Bishops in Baltimore Maryland. It was published in four versions from the very simple Number 1 for First Communicants to the more complex number 3 for Confirmationn Candidates and adults. There was also a number 4 for instructors of Religion. It covers the essentials sometimes in slightly differenr emphasis thann the CCC. There are some parts of Canon Law and Church Discipline that have changed since it was last revised otherwise it is still an orthodox source of knowledge Catholique. There have also been other less well known Catechisms published in the US, some of which can also be found on line with both the Baltimore and the CCC.I


By seeking out Catholic teaching in both the CCC and the Baltimore Catechism you have made an honest and earnest effort to insure that your conscience is properly formed on the issue. That is all any person can do.


My understanding the authority of the document was by the Bishops of North America ( around 1850?) which is the Bishops agree this is a representative translation ( Latin to English) of the teaching of the Church Magisterium.


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