As I further delve into the dogmas and doctrines of the Catholic Faith, I have a few questions. Today I purchased my first CCC, as I got tired of reading internet sources, and wanted to be able to read the CCC “up close and personal.” I bought the Catechism of the Catholic Church Second Edition Revised in Accordance with The Official Latin Text Promulgated by Pope John Paul II. Is this Catechism the most up-to-date English version? Are there any Catholic critics of this Catechism? Does anyone use any other Catechisms, because either they are easier to read, more accurate, or any other reason?

Thanks, Semper Fi


I use and suggest the Baltimore Catechism, also the Catechism of the Council of Trent, aka. The Roman Catechism.


Here is another good Catechism.


I think that one is the most recent edition. As far as critics, there are a few who call theirselves Catholic that criticize some of it. :wink:


Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church

I have that too to cross refeerence. Although I don’t think this is quite what you were looking for but thought I would through it out to you


Sorry to bring this thread back from the dead, but I have another question that I think fits here. Is the old Roman Catechism considered not valid anymore by the Vatican? What I mean is does the new Catechism have anything added to it, or is there anything in the new one that has been changed from the old Catechism? Thanks.


I use the Catechism of the Council of Trent


I have a copy of the one which you describe in the first post, but have not taken the time to compare. I believe the new one has new stuff in it not found in the old one. IT is probably that the efficaciousness is not as it was due to the alterations of the wording.


The Catechism of Trent doesn’t deal with the definitions found in Vatican I and Vatican II, i.e. on the structure and nature of the Church, and social doctrine issues. Otherwise the Catechism of Trent actually serves as a foundation for the modern Catechism in many places (it’s referenced a ton in the new one). Think of the modern Catechism as the updating of the Catechism of Trent; you won’t find anything contradictory.

Some have recommended the Baltimore Catechism, but I recommend against it. It is a local catechism, not a universal one, and IMO its style isn’t conducive to an in-depth understanding of the Faith (and it’s not designed for that, either). While it was a staple of U.S. Catholic education for a while, it’s value as a guide to the Catholic Faith in general is questionable, IMO. It’s not a bad work, it’s just not a universal guide; it’s more like a “missionary” tool for teaching children.

Peace and God bless!


I recommend the Liturgical year by Dom Prosper Gueranger.


the “new american catechism (high school ed)” by lovasik is a good summary and IMHO way easier to read than the big green 2nd ed catechism

published by these people

it is based on USCCB guidelines “basic teachings for catholic religious education” which are summarized here

and this is good too, it has the 2nd ed CCC numbers & paragraphs with summaries


Thanks for the response Ghosty, this is exactly the answer I was looking for. I very much like the catechism I’ve got. I know some people say it is easier to read the Balitmore Catechism, but I haven’t had any problems with the one I’ve got, plus I feel like it goes a little more in-depth. I just wanted to know if it contradicted the Council of Trent Catechism in any way, and if it had anything added to it.


I think the only people who would tell you that the new Catechism contradicts the Catechism of the Council of Trent are sedevacantists and some of the more radical traditionalists. To be Catholic is, by definition, to be obedient to the current Magisterium of the Catholic Church including its authoritative statements on the Faith, a category to which the Catechism belongs.


Ditto on that - I really like it. I also really like This is the Faith, by Canon Francis Ripley, which came out in a new edition a couple of years ago, with updates.

Both of these books are very clear and easy to understand. :thumbsup:

The print version of the Compendium also has some really nice artwork in it. :extrahappy:


I have this one and it is by far the best in my view.
I don’t like the question and answer type of Catechism. The CCC gives detailed explanations and references to the relevant scripture passages and other Church documents.


Yes that is the most up to date version of the CCC.

There used to be critics, most have faded away.

There are many other Catechisms.

I would suggest also having a Compendium of the Catechism.

You might also consider getting the United States Catholic Catechism for Adults from the U.S. Bishops.


No, changes to Doctrine or Dogmas. What is found in the Roman Catechism will also be found in the CCC. However because of the dating, you will not find the Immaculate Conception or the Assumption as specific as you will in the CCC. The language will also be different. You will notice that the CCC is patterned after the Roman Catechism, that was not by coincidence.


I forgot to even mention the stylistic similarity between the Catechism of the Catholic Church and the Catechism of Trent (also called the Roman Catechism). You’re absolutely right, it’s not a coincidence that they are styled the same.

I was actually WARY of the Catechism of Trent for awhile because of the “sedevacante” types who said it was SOOOOO much better than the modern Catechism, and represented the “true Faith”. It made me nervous that the Catechism of Trent must be nutty, because the modern Catechism does so much citation of previous Councils and Church Fathers and such, and is clearly very well established in the whole Tradition of the Faith. When I actually got around to reading the Catechism of Trent, however, I realized that aside from the “dated” language and the absence of certain doctrinal reflections it is really just an earlier version of the modern Catechism. It doesn’t cite the Fathers and such, but it’s from an age when explicit citations and footnotes weren’t the norm, and one just understood that these things were part of Tradition.

Read the Catechism of Trent online and I think you’ll quickly see what I mean about it being the circa-1600 Catechism of the Catholic Church.

Peace and God bless!


Yeah, I’m not a big fan of the q & a format either. When I want to get the Church’s official teaching on something I just head to the index and search for it there. I’ve used the Baltimore Catechism online, and I like the other format better, but to each his own.


RCIA catechists and team are unanimous, we will buy the new US Catechism for adults for RCIA next year. just ordered in case lot from our textbook publisher who gave us a good discount. most Catholic book publishers retail it, or you can get it directly from the bishops website. I am very pleased with it, expensive, so if candidates want to keep it they will have to pay for it. We still have a lot of the white pocket size CCC in English and Spanish, which we do give to every Confirmation and RCIA candidate. I like the compendium, and got one for each catechist for reference, but it does not lend itself to classroom teaching.

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