How to locate a particular sentence in the Catechism of the Catholic Church

There are probably many who have tried to find a particular sentence/s in the Catechism;
you know you read it, but where :confused:

1. **CCC Word Search **
There is a great online tool where you can search for particular words in the CCC. If you can remember for certain one of the words, then you can find the sentence. The more unusual the word, the quicker you’ll find it. Here is the link:

Directions for use are given. After clicking on the letter, you can use the “control F” method, or you can just scroll down the list that comes up until you come to your word. The CCC paragraph # appears to the left of the word. When you click on it, it brings up the Catechism section in which the word appears. The word will be lightly highlighted and most often is in the first sentence at the top of the screen.

Another site:
Just type the word in the search box.

I usually use the Vatican site first because more findings are visible at a time on the computer screen. However, for some reason, the Vatican site doesn’t give links for a few words. Those words will appear in bold print. Nothing will happen when you click on it. In those cases I go to the borromeo site.

2. Index of Citations - Sacred Scripture CCC search
If you can’t find it with the word search but know a Scripture passage that you think might be referenced in a footnote, you can do a search on the Catechism’s “Index of Citations - Sacred Scripture” at this site. Be sure to use the same abbreviations for the books of the Bible that the Catechism uses.

3. Index of Citations - Ecclesiastical Writers CCC searchThis would be where you could locate any references to where there were footnote references to works of various writers - eg. Augustine, Aquinas, …

If you have the Libreria Editrice Vaticana Second Edition of the Catechism of the Catholic Church (dark green binding) the Index of Citations is in the back of the book right after the last page of the Catechism text.

I’ve been unable to find an online Ecclesiastical Writers search. Does anyone know of one? Here’s another resource where you can type in a bible verse and then it will show you a part of the Catechism that explains it to you.

I don’t know where you can search Ecclesiastical Writers quotes at.

Thanks myway. Good site.

Looks like its a work still in progress - still getting the later paragraph texts loaded, but the paragraph numbers are all there.

If you mean the Early Church Fathers then nothing compares to the hardcopy doctrinal index found in the back of Jurgens’ Faith of the Early Fathers. The three-volume set is very useful, but, at a minimum, Volume 1 is essential to any Catholic apologist.

Jurgens is one of the few books (remember books?) that has not become obsolete in this Internet age.

I have the Jurgens’ paperback 3 volume “Faith of the Early Fathers”. The paperback also has a doctrinal index. But that wasn’t what I was after.

What I was after:
At the back of the CCC there is an Index of Citations. One of the sections contained in the Index is titled “Ecclesiastical Writers”. It’s an alphabetical listing of the EWs who are quoted or referenced in the Catechism text along with the paragraph #'s that contain his quotes. So, for instance, if you remember that you read a quote of St. Ambrose somewhere in the CCC, but can’t remember where it was, you can go to the
“Ecclesiastical Writer’s” section of the “Index of Citations”, and find Ambrose. Under his name is a listing of every CCC paragraph that contains a quote from him.
It’s easy enough to do manually when there are only one or two quotes for a particular writer, but for some the list of quotes is quite long (eg. Augustine, Thomas Aquinas). It sure would be quicker and easier if it could be done on the computer where all it took was a click on the paragraph number to bring up the CCC text that contained the quote — a format like the Vatican website’s CCC word search and also their Bible word search.

I just google the following: vatican catechism [whatever sentence I’m looking for]

It’s usually the first result.

The problem occurs when you remember the concept, but don’t remember the particular words.
For example, I started this thread as a result of a problem someone mentioned in another thread. She knew in the CCC there’s “a paragraph which states that thru only God’s understanding even men doing good could come to salvation”, but she was not able to find that paragraph. She wasn’t giving a verbatim quote - just the sense of what she’d read. That’s where the CCC word search helped find what I think was the paragraph she was looking for.

It’s not what you’re looking for, but you might be interested in the Compendium to the Catechism, available on the Vatican’s website. It does give some additional topographical structure to the Catechism.

For some reason, though, the paragraphs cited are not linked to the CCC. I would be happy to update the Compendium to cross-link everything with the CCC (I would write a little program to do it), but I see no way to offer my services.

You know, I once had that small book, but never used it. When we moved and I had to downsize, that was one of many books that didn’t make the move. Also gave away a whole 38 volume set of the ECF’s. With New Advent’s website I no longer needed them.
You’re so right about books becoming “obsolete in this Internet age”.

There’s also the (much larger) Companion to the Catechism. This gives the context of every footnote.

The Catechism has the unfortunate tendency to cite Saints and Fathers from Denzinger-Schonmetzer, which few laypeople have (and probably couldn’t read it anyway, since it’s in Latin).

You’re so right about books becoming “obsolete in this Internet age”.

I’ve given away, literally, thousands of dollars worth of books.

But, hey, I just found out that Denzinger-Schonmetzer is available online in ENGLISH. But it’s not the 1965 edition (used by the Catechism) so none of the numbers are gonna match up. You would need a cross-reference. (why is that? It seems dumb.)

That book I kept.

But, hey, I just found out that Denzinger-Schonmetzer is available online in ENGLISH. But it’s not the 1965 edition (used by the Catechism) so none of the numbers are gonna match up. You would need a cross-reference. (why is that? It seems dumb.)

For Denzinger I go to Also have the book.

I don’t know why the Catechism uses a different edition than most other Catholic writings I’ve come across. And I’ve been unable to find a cross-reference for the different numbering systems. Do you know of one?

You would think that later editions would cross-reference earlier numbering systems (DUH). Or just not change the numbering (DUH). Alas, this is not the case.

I kinda assumed that such a cross-reference must exist. There is a LOT of overlapping content between editions, so it seems pretty crazy that NO cross-reference exists. But, I have looked for one, and I cannot give you a link.

You actually HAVE this? In Latin? You rock!

Sorry, I gave the wrong impression. I have the Denzinger book that’s on the link I use. In English. :slight_smile:
It’s the Denzinger-Rahner, 31st edition, translation by Deferrari.

Oh well, I’m too old to rock anyway!

Hi Nita,

Try scrolling down about 65% of the way down the page here

This link above is the

Index of Citations pt. 3

Of this link below


Thank you John. That is exactly what I was looking for.

For others like me who were not aware of this site for Catechism searches, here is the Catechism’s (green binding) opening “Cover” page. It provides links to everything in the Catechism, even the very final “Glossary” section which the (green) Catechism contains.

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