New York Catechism...?

I came across some anti-Catholic rantings that cited the New York Catechism. The quotes were pretty “out there” to say the least, and I have been trying to locate any information I can on what I believe to be a non-existent New York Catechism.

Does the New York Catechism exist ? If not (which I believe is the case) what is the history of the references to it ? I know alot of a-c propogandists can ultimately be traced back to Boettner, but all I come up with when I google it are hits to other a-c sites, and a few other forum entries in which people like me are trying to validate the source.

Your hunch is correct, there is no such thing as the New York Catechism. Catchy title, however;). Below are most of the recognized publications which are approved by the Church:

Catechism of the Catholic Church
Baltimore Catechism
Catechism of the Council of Trent
The Douay Catechism of 1649
Catechism of St. Pius X
Compendium to the Catechism of the Catholic Church
US Catechism for Adults

Many copies of Catechetical materials were printed in New York, but none are referred to the New York Catechism in any Catholic documentation. Some information may be found on this page in regard to Catholic Catechetical publications.

Could it be my second favorite Catechism of all time? :smiley: (my first being one written by St. Peter Canisius):

The above is a great apologetics Catechism from 1876 published in NY with the approval of the Cardinal Archbishop of NY at the time :thumbsup:

I have several “Catechisms” that were produced in the US in the late 1800 to early 1900’s. I believe one is from NewYork.

Thanks guys. Maybe this will help. I’m looking specifically to validate this quote:

"The New York Catechism calls the Pope, “the arbiter of the world, the supreme judge of heaven and earth, the judge of all, being judged by no one, God Himself on earth.” "

Br. Rich, Genesis (anyone else)…have you seen this before ?

I only seem to find it on anti-Catholic sites. If it did exist, it is probably from the time when ultramontanism was relatively widespread. Just as we have certain liberals in the Church today who publish questionable catechesis tools, so did the ultramontanists in their day–they had a very extreme view of papal authority. Cardinal Newman worried that they would do something crazy at the First Vatican Council, but after reading the Council’s decrees, he said in relief, “They have left the Pope just as he was before.”

In these Catechisms two from New York and one from Chicago have language close to but not exactly like this.

The Pope is called “the arbiter of the world, the supreme judge of heaven and earth, the judge of all, being judged by no one, God Himself on earth.”

Im a little confused. Is this quote from the text, or is it simply the one I gave ? I think my posting history speaks for itself in regard to my feelings for Catholocism (some would consider me “hyper-Catholic”) and I will defend the Papacy and papal infallability with vigor, but even I have a problem with that.

It was just a reiteration of your quote.

Here are the three books I have:

Our Faith and The Facts - by the Reverend C.F. Donovan, Chicago 1922

The Glories of the Catholic Church - by Rev. Henry A. Brann,
New York 1895

Catholic Gems or Treasures of the Catholic Church - by Very Rev. Francis DeLigney, S.J.
New York 1887

Gotcha…so you don’t have any reference to that ? (I’m fairly certain its nothing more than a product of the propoganda machine at this point ) If noone can find official reference to this in any Catholic document, then is there ANYONE who can point me to the original source of this ? Its quoted by several different authors as an authoritative source, but I can’t seem to trace it to its beginnings like we can with most of the Boettner/Chick/Hyslop stuff.

Thanks to everyone who has contributed thus far. Anyone thinking this may be a cause to go to the “Ask an Apologist” forum?

FYI, this is currently an issue (the infamous quote was used) in another thread:

See posts 34, 43, 50

Two of us have called for the quote poster to let us know where we can find the book. I’m sure we’ll have the answer very soon! :rolleyes:

[Edit: joshua, you already know this. I just noticed that you are the one who asked the first time in the other thread :thumbsup:]

So, I’m intrigued enough to try and force the issue. I picked out 3 sites (one blog and two church sites) that use the quote and I’ve contacted them. I picked out those three because they did more than just quote it, but used extra commentary like:

“Now friends, that’s not an accusation, that’s a quotation. DON’T DENY YOUR OWN SIGNATURE!” (a Baptist church)


“These are facts which should be studied and their implications thought through very carefully indeed. There is no misrepresentation - Rome speaks for herself.” (a Free Presbyterian church)

I sent them the follow polite e-mail:

[quote=Wampa]"Pastor x,

Hi, I’m doing some online research on the supposed “The Pope takes the place of Jesus Christ on earth” quotation from the New York Catechism and I came across your online sermon in that process.

You make some strong statements, including: “x”

Would you be so kind as to provide information on how to locate this book and also give a pinpoint citation (page # or other) within the book?

All evidence I’ve been able to discover seems to suggest it’s a fabricated quotation. Since it’s quoted so frequently online, it shouldn’t be terribly difficult to say how one might locate the book to verify the quotation themselves. If my church were to actually teach such a repugnant idea, I’d definitely have to rethink by religious affiliation. So, I’d love to take a look at the actual book and read that for myself.

In Christ,


You think I’ll get any replies? What the heck. It’s two in the morning and I should be studying for school, but this is much more interesting :smiley:

I thought the suggestion that I might rethink the Church (and I would if we really believed that!) might tap into their desire to convert me and increase the odds of a reply :stuck_out_tongue:

I’ll post if I get anything substantial back. I think the"Ask an Apologist" might be a good route.

Update: I know this will come as a giant shock ;), but they never replied. The pastors didn’t reply to my e-mails and the blogger never approved my comment (however, he had no problem approving this comment: “Excellent scholarship, sir.”).

Also, Daro never posted again in the CA thread I linked.

There’s so many valid points upon which we can debate. It’s too bad these guys won’t even fight fair and instead argue against fabricated quotes. Has intellectual honesty disappeared? If not disappeared, I think the Net does quite a bit to send it into hiding.

Apparently there might have been such a thing.

However, as you can see, it was:

a) an Episcopal document

b) used for children

Pax Christi

If it only it coukld be identified - this would help us, & those who talk about the book.

A thought :newidea: - a Robert M. Zins is going to write, or has written, a defence of Boettner’s volume - & Boettner quotes the “NYC”. Maybe Zins knows something we don’t. Alternatively, Boettner was referring to a catechism not by its its title, but by its place of origin - IOW, he may have meant, “that well-known Catholic catechism published in New York”. Just a guess.

I did a little more research based upon your suggestion.

I came up with this out of print document from 1932:

And another Episcopal reference:,M1

Another hit for Christ Church Episcopal School in Boston.

Ok, I think that I have a plausible theory:

John de Innes Bishop of Moray from 1406 may have written a catechism:

It was supposedly brought to the US by an Episcopal Bishop Seabury.

The document was then “claimed” by the Episcopal Bishop Hobart in the early 1800s for his diocese.

Basically, if the document can be found (and I will keep looking), it was a reprint of a reprint of an original private catechism that may or may not have existed.

At this point though, quod gratis asseritur, gratis negatur.

I found the Catholic Answers’ thread from finding this video above, with Fr. Pacwa. The host quotes this New York Catechism, and Fr. Pacwa doesn’t address the issue with the book. Maybe call into EWTN live and ask?:confused:

I have Boettner in my collection - the quote is direct from him:

"The New York Catechism says;

‘The Pope takes the place of Jesus Christ on earth . . . By divine right the pope has supreme and full power in faith and morals over each and every pastor and his flock. He is the true Vicar of Christ, the head of the entire church, the father and teacher of all Christians. He is the infallible ruler, the founder of dogmas, the author of and the judge of councils; the universal ruler of truth, the arbiter of the world, the supreme judge of heaven and earth, the judge of all, being judged by no one, God himself on earth.’"

Since Boettner is notorious for fabricating sources and quotes to serve his purpose, I would submit that until and unless someone produces a copy of said “New York Catechism” and can show that it was actually published by and approved by the Catholic Church, anyone who comes across this quote call it out as false witness.

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