Regarding the Catholic Catechism

I’m reading the above and thinking it is admirably written even in translation (it flows as if it was written in English, which is remarkable for a translation). The following questions arise in my mind:

  1. Are Catholics bound to believe everything in it without exception?

  2. Are Catholics bound to believe anything outside of it?

  3. Are statements to be understood each by itself, singly, as a universally true statement, or are statements considered as measured and bound by other statements, so that this is a tapestry rather than single threads? It sounds like I am answering my own question but those who understand it rightly will know what I am after.

  4. If I were fluent in Latin (I wish!), having the academic creds to do so authoritatively in any context outside the Church, and I compared the translation and the Latin original and I had a better translation, is the translation before me mandated or can I scratch out their translation of say mulier as woman and maintain a more failthful translation would have been wife in context, how would that be regarded? IOW is it authoritative only in Latin or is the translation equally authoritative? And I admire you for going through that tangled sentence to reach this point. I would have struck it but it seems to help in expressing what I am after.

  5. Can it be rightly studied by itself or should it only be studied under the guidance of a spiritual director of some kind?

  6. Where does it stand in the “infallibility scale” against other church documents? Should documents deemed infallible be read in light of the CC or vice versa? And the same for the ordinary teaching of the church? Or is it the ordinary teaching of the church? And if a pope or saint says something contrary to it, do you go with the CC?

Read the first two documents at the beginning and then the full prologue.


Should give an answer to much of what you asked.

You mean, like, start at the beginning? Who woulda thought it?


in addition to what has already been said,

Here’s a popular question, define the 3 D’s and how to distinguish them

use the search function ] for any term, you’re interested in seeing how the CCC explains it.

for example

search for doctrine

you’ll get 35 entries with doctrine in the search result.

start by

                                 []("")Clicking on the book, for Table of Contents

For questions, :wink:

This Catechism was the work of JPII. He approved and promulgated this work

Here’s another handy resource [on the Vatican’s website]Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church

Yes those beginning sections prior to rest :slight_smile:

As mentioned above, this is answered in the Apostolic Letter at the start of the CCC.

However, I wanted to clarify, the original was in French. The English and the Latin are both translations from the French. Once the Latin was promulgated, some minor changes were then made to the English and French to align them more closely with the Latin, which became the authoritative editio typica.

Not an answer to your question, but merely a curiousity. The catechism was originally written in French* in 1992, from which other editions were translated, including English in 1994 and Latin in 1997. The Latin has, however, been designated the *editio typica *by which translation into other languages must be judged. This led to revised “second editions” of the extant translations and even a revised French edition.

(* This was the most useful common language of those charged with producing the document, fluency in Latin having eluded many bishops and theologians in the years since the Second Vatican Council :frowning: )


I would venture to say that a greater familiarity with this document would be of immense benefit to everyone on this forum.


Yes issued by Pope Benedict XVI
It too is splendid.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit