I’m trying to become a good apologist. I just wanted to clarify something- I have been using the catechism from the vatican.va site. Is there a name for this current version- i.e. is the ‘current’ version that of the Council of Trent?
I understand there is the Baltimore Catechism which was for North America (I am in the UK).
Is there a definitive version I should use- and what is the name of the one codified on the vatican.va site?
The current Catechism as it is published on Vatican.va is officially titled “The Catechism of the Catholic Church”. It is the definitive version and should be the exact same as what you find in printed copies at Catholic bookstores. Sometimes it is called “the Catechism published by Pope John Paul II” to distinguish it from previous catechisms.
The Catechism of the Council of Trent is known either by the name I just called it in this sentence or by the name “The Roman Catechism”. It is a good Catechism too, but it is 400 years old and didn’t contain the developments of Vatican I or Vatican II, which is why Pope St. John Paul II wanted a new one.
The current catechism on line at the Vatican website was compiled after Vatican II Council, and contains all the teachings therein from that Council, together with the truths of our faith. There is a shorter “compendium” of the Catechism, that many prefer to use, but for a good apologist, I would suggest you stick with the full version, called CCC (Catechism of the Catholic Church).
***[size=][size=2]FIDEI DEPOSITUM [/size]***[/size]on the Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1992 has:The *Catechism of the Catholic Church, *lastly, is offered to every individual who asks us to give an account of the hope that is in us (cf. 1 Pt 3:15) and who wants to know what the Catholic Church believes.
This catechism is not intended to replace the local catechisms duly approved by the ecclesiastical authorities, the diocesan Bishops and the Episcopal Conferences, especially if they have been approved by the Apostolic See. It is meant to encourage and assist in the writing of new local catechisms, which must take into account various situations and cultures, while carefully preserving the unity of faith and fidelity to Catholic doctrine.
***LAETAMUR MAGNOPERE, ***1997, Latin Catechism of the Catholic Church
I therefore strongly urge my Venerable Brothers in the Episcopate, for whom the Catechism is primarily intended, to take the excellent opportunity afforded by the promulgation of this Latin edition to intensify their efforts to disseminate the text more widely and to ensure that it is well received as an outstanding gift for the communities entrusted to them, which will thus be able to rediscover the inexhaustible riches of the faith.
MOTU PROPRIO for the Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2005In its structure, contents and language, the Compendium faithfully reflects the Catechism of the Catholic Church and will thus assist in making the Catechism more widely known and more deeply understood.
I entrust this Compendium above all to the entire Church and, in particular, to every Christian, in order that it may awaken in the Church of the third millennium renewed zeal for evangelization and education in the faith, which ought to characterize every community in the Church and every Christian believer, regardless of age or nationality.
United States Catholic Catechism for Adults**, 2006*The bishops of the United States responded to this invitation in June 2000 and, after years of work, have now issued the United States Catholic Catechism for Adults. They’ve worked as quickly as their Roman counterparts to prepare a volume designed for post-Vatican II U.S. Catholics, who grew up in a time of transition in the Church. Other Catholics will find it equally useful.
Each chapter in the United States Catholic Catechism for Adults includes stories, doctrine, reflections, quotations, discussion questions, and prayers to lead the reader to a deepening faith. The United States Catholic Catechism for Adults is an excellent resource for preparation of catechumens in the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults and for ongoing catechesis of adults. The United States Catholic Catechism for Adults is an aid and a guide for individuals and small groups to deepen their faith.
Well, I would be careful about saying “all catechisms.” Anyone could publish a book and throw the word “catechism” in the title.
There are universal catechisms and local catechisms, though. The Roman Catechism (AKA the Catechism of the Council of Trent) and the current Catechism of the Catholic Church (the one on the Vatican website) are both universal catechisms (for the whole Church). The Baltimore Catechism and the United States Catholic Catechism for Adults are both local catechisms (written for specific locales).
Any local catechism that is approved is going to get recognition (a recognitio) from the Holy See.
Things like the Compendium or the YouCat (youth catechsim) don’t quite fall into either category.
You are welcome, I am glad it was helpful. The first CCC was in French, and had to be revised after the Latin edition. So the English CCC 2nd Edition (1997, and 2000 with glossary) and the Compendium (2006) in English are the most recent universal English language editions. The 2011 YouCat has errors according the the Vatican, I understand, so I would avoid it until they are corrected.
I think the local editions may be more elaborated and presented in the local cultural context. This may make them easier to understand for the common person.
Only the original German version has the imprimatur, and every other translation was done by various publishers. I read that since some statements were ambiguous in German the translations were incorrectly in Italian and French editions (2011).
Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, president of the Austrian Bishops’ Conference and a director of the project, told assembled journalists that the Italian edition of the book, “YouCat,” contains errors on the Church’s teachings on euthanasia, as well as contraception.
The “errors” were only in the Italian and French version and are referred to as “bumps in the road” and were already in the process of being corrected even at the moment of the book’s release.
There never was and never has been a problem with the English translation (or other language editions). And even the Italian and French editions have long since been fixed. We should not let a momentary translational hiccup lead us to insinuate that there is something wrong with the text. There is not. There is no reason for any Catholic to distrust the YouCat.