Who wrote the catechism???

Hey all…anyone know the history of the catechism? I’ve tried to search this forum and have been googling and wiki-ing and everything else-ing…and I keep finding the answer that Pope John Paul 2 put it together in the 90’s…but what about before that?
There was a catechism before that, was there not? Who wrote that one? Or, if there wasn’t one, what did catholics follow?

Thanks in advance for your smarts!


It was the Cathechism of the Council of Trent. Here’s a link to give you some facts.

JPII “promulgated” it, which means he brought it into being, into Church use. He did not write it. Basically, he made it official, by his command.

See here. Start on page 5.

If you are talking about the “CATECHISM of the CATHOLIC CHURCH” - which in the USA it is called “CATECHISM of the CATHOLIC CHURCH, Second Edition” and first published in the the USA in March 2000 (dark green cover) - - -
it is from the Church Magisterium and promulgated by Blessed Pope John Paul II.

This is the only Catechism being published today for use by the Church, with copyright held by the Holy See, at this time in history.
Here is a link on the Vatican web site.

For more info read the first 12 pages starting with the “Apostolic Letter” at the beginning of the link.

" The Catechism of the Catholic Church, which I have approved…and the publication of which I order by virtue of my Apostolic Authority, is a statement of the Church’s faith and of Catholic Doctrine, attested to or illumined by Sacred Scripture, the Apostolic Tradition, and the Church’s Magisterium.
I declare it to be a sure norm for teaching the Faith and thus a valid and legitimate instrument for ecclesial communion. " - Pope John Paul II, with Imprimi Potest by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger. (pg 5 of CCC 2nd Ed)

The first edition was written by the Council of Trent much more than 400 years ago. The content of this first edition is incorporated into the second edition.

The Didache (written between 50 AD and 100 AD) could be construed as the earliest catechism, although not specifically defined as that.

Thanks everybody! I will check all those links!

**it is in the prologue of the Catechism… and an excellent questioon… you should make s pecial effort to read it.

I have a question: Is the catechism infallible? The Pope along with the magistrium Ok’d it.**
Some friends and I meet every sunday morning a go through a few paragraphs. It is one of the best things I have ever done including intensive bible studies. You must read the prologue.


Does this statement confirm the Catechism’s infallible nature. i said it did and others tell me otherwise. If this statement does not then when does something indicate infallible nature? Looking forward to your response. **

The way I have understood it is technically the Catechism in and of itself is not infallible in that the Pope did not promogulate the *physical *book that way, however the Catechism does contain infallible teachings of the Church.

In order for something to be infallable, the Pope uses certain language. For example see, Munificentissimus Deus, the infallable decree on the Assumption of the Virgin Mary.

Since this langauge is not used in the Catechism Apostolic Letter the book is not infallable however that does not negate that infallable teachings that it contains.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church per se is not infallible but it does contain a summary of Church doctrines (both infallible and non-infallible) and Church disciplines.

To find the answer to your question "but what about before that?’ read the footnotes at the bottom of the page you are interested in. For a complete list of the sources for the Catechism, check out the “Index of Citations” which follows paragraph 2865 in the hard copy of the Catechism.


Who wrote the catechism???

Some theologians.


There have been all sorts of Catechisms; the one most well known in the US was the Baltimore Catechism. Other countries have had theirs. And other centuries have had theirs.

The question as asked is not really answerable. There was not “one” catechism before the current world-wide one of JP2.

And there still isn’t just “one” catechism. As the introductory remarks to the CCC explain, it is actually “intended to serve as a point of reference for the catechisms or compendia that are composed in the various countries” (CCC no. 11; internal quotation omitted). One example of that happening is the United States Catholic Catechism for Adults. We also now have YouCat, issued by the Church and aimed at young people. These are all official catechisms. The true nature of a catechism is simply that it is a teaching tool, not that it is an exhaustive, infallible compendium of Church dogmata.

No wait, I’m a member of the Western Rite East Antiochene Syro Malabar Orthodox Assyrian Anabaptist non-denominational Overseas Greek Russian Ukraine church. :rolleyes:

There is only one Catechism recognized as the** OFFICIAL “Catechism of the Catholic Church**”.

All other lessor Catechisms sold are supposed to conform to the current CCC.
Lessor Catechisms are used for Children and those who are unable to understand - as determined by the Bishop in his Diocese.
(Sometimes I think some Bishops under-estimate their own people, at least in the USA, and thus the lack of good catechesis in this Country.
More and more people are purchasing the “CCC 2nd Ed” and demanding that their own Bishop promote it for all those over age 15 .)

This is the Vatican link to the only official CCC.
(Note that it is the “CCC 2nd Ed”, not some other lessor Catechism.
It is the only catechism that the Church and Pope call - “Catechism of the Catholic Church”. It is the only catechism permitted to have this title.

From APOSTOLIC CONSTITUTION “FIDEI DEPOSITUM” which is not only on the Vatican webs site but also in the front of your “CCC 2nd Ed”.
“ The Catechism of the Catholic Church, which I approved … and the publication of which I today order by virtue of my Apostolic Authority, is a statement of the Church’s faith and of catholic doctrine, attested to or illumined by Sacred Scripture, the Apostolic Tradition and the Church’s Magisterium.
I declare it to be a sure norm for teaching the faith and thus a valid and legitimate instrument for ecclesial communion. “ – Pope John Paul II.


of the SUPREME PONTIFF BENEDICT XVI clearly states:

" 11. In order to arrive at a systematic knowledge of the content of the faith, all can find in the Catechism of the Catholic Church a precious and indispensable tool.
It is one of the most important fruits of the Second Vatican Council.
In the Apostolic Constitution Fidei Depositum, signed, not by accident, on the thirtieth anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council, Blessed John Paul II wrote: “this catechism will make a very important contribution to that work of renewing the whole life of the Church … I declare it to be a valid and legitimate instrument for ecclesial communion and a sure norm for teaching the faith.”

It is in this sense that that the Year of Faith will have to see a concerted effort to rediscover and study the fundamental content of the faith that receives its systematic and organic synthesis in the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
Here, in fact, we see the wealth of teaching that the Church has received, safeguarded and proposed in her two thousand years of history.
From Sacred Scripture to the Fathers of the Church, from theological masters to the saints across the centuries, the Catechism provides a permanent record of the many ways in which the Church has meditated on the faith and made progress in doctrine so as to offer certitude to believers in their lives of faith.

In its very structure, the **Catechism of the Catholic Church ** follows the development of the faith right up to the great themes of daily life.
On page after page, we find that what is presented here is no theory, but an encounter with a Person who lives within the Church. The profession of faith is followed by an account of sacramental life, in which Christ is present, operative and continues to build his Church.
Without the liturgy and the sacraments, the profession of faith would lack efficacy, because it would lack the grace which supports Christian witness.
By the same criterion, the teaching of the Catechism on the moral life acquires its full meaning if placed in relationship with faith, liturgy and prayer.

  1. In this Year, then, the Catechism of the Catholic Church will serve as a tool providing real support for the faith, especially for those concerned with the formation of Christians, so crucial in our cultural context. "

Anyone who discourages other from reading the 'CCC 2nd Ed" also known as - the “Catechism of the Catholic Church” is comitting heresy or is schismatic. And have their own sinful reasons for others not to know the Doctrine of the Faith as contained in the CCC.
All Catholics must do their best to adhere to this CCC.

Americans (including myself) have a propensity for wanting to know “WHY”.
At the bottom of each page in the official CCC you will find footnotes leading to the Bible passages or another Church Document if you choose to read them.
"No other lessor catechism is this complete.

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