Catechisms,...."Council of Trent", or "Second Edition"

From the standpoint of a “newbie traditionalist”, (man, if only I had been educated enough to come up with a better one than that), I’d like to know what many of you think are the differences between these two Catechisms, and how you feel about those differences.

I just received my copy of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Second Edition, (and haven’t had a chance to go through it yet),…and was wondering if I should pick up a copy of the Catechism of the Council of Trent also?

What is contained in the new catechism that pertain to faith and morals, must agree with the older catechisms. I.E. you MUST interpret what is said in the new by what is said in the older versions.

There are however items of discipline, and lower case “tradition” that have changed since the Catechism of Trent or Second Edition has been compiled.


In addition to what is in the Roman Catechism, the latest CCC also takes into account developments that took place in the Magisterium of the Pontiffs since Trent as well as the last two Ecumenical Councils, as well as Catholic Social teaching and more detailed moral teaching, especially on important issues in our day that did not really exist (or at least were not prevalent) back in the time of Trent.

You will notice in the footnotes that the Roman Catechism (Catechism of Trent) is cited quite often in the CCC. The CCC, however, is broader in scope. It is the most comprehensive Catechism out there.

I use a variety of Catechisms myself: the CCC, Baltimore Catechism, Catechism of Pius X, Fr. Stephen Keenan’s Doctrinal Catechism , Douay Catechism, Roman Catechism, St. Peter Canisius’ Catechism, St. Thomas Aquinas Summa, St. John Damascene’s “Exposition of the Faith”, St. Augustine’s Catechism of Christian Doctrine, St. Ambrose’s “De Fide”, St. Cyril of Jerusalem’s “Catecheticals,” and even the Didache.

They all have their strengths and weaknesses, but the CCC is by far the most comprehensive. I would say if you were going to have only one, choose that one. Next I would add a recent short Q&A type–like the Baltimore Catechism or the Catechism of Pius X. And then if you have room, the Roman Catechism–and then the rest. :thumbsup:

I would disagree, the CCC is overly complicated and doesn’t distinguish between doctrinal truths and editorial comments. (the editorials on homosexuals and jews are disturbingly vague)

I recommend Trent: Pius X: This is the Faith by Canon Ripley, A practical commentary on Holy Scriptures by Bishop Knecht and a Catechism of Modernism.

This is the Faith by Canon Ripley has been updated with the current post Vatican II laws and practices indicated as such. I would substitute the CCC with that one.

For those who can’t, or don’t want to get a copy of all the various Catechisms, here is a link the the “Nazareth Master Catechism”. At this link one can read: The Catechetical instructions of St. Thomas Aquinas, The Roman Catechism (Trent), The Baltimore Catechism, The Catechism of Pope St. Pius X, and the latest Catechism of the Catholic Church.

Here’s my favorite -

Baltimore Catechism and Mass No. 3: The Text of the Official Revised Edition 1949 with Summarizations of Doctrine and Study Helps,204,203,200_PIsitb-dp-500-arrow,TopRight,45,-64_OU01_AA240_SH20.jpg

The Baltimore Catechism #3 is the “teen/adult” Baltimore Catechism, “more advanced” than the #1 and 2 Baltimore Catechism. And this edition of the #3 has even more still - a summary of each doctrine after each lesson. Good stuff. Additional biblical references, artwork - and a great little “Catechism of the Mass” added on in the back too.

That catachism of the mass addition was one of the things that drew me to my first TLM - just out of curiosity. I’d get this to go along with the new Official one. The older ones like this just seem a bit more direct and to the point in my humble opinion.

Peace in Christ,


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