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Catechism of the Catholic Church: Complete and Updated Mass Market Paperback – April 15, 1995
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Catechism of the Catholic Church is the first new edition of the catechism in 400 years. Catechism means "instruction," and this text will remain the standard reference for Catholics for many future generations. It is the authoritative summary of Catholic belief regarding the Church creeds, sacraments, commandments, and prayers. To get some idea of the level of detail with which the Catechism engages Catholic doctrine, consider that 17 pages of explanation accompany the opening words of the Apostle's Creed ("I Believe in God the Father"). The book is exceptionally well organized, with line-by-line explanations of every conceivable aspect of orthodox Catholic belief. Extensive cross-referencing, indexing, footnotes, and "In Brief" summaries of each section further ease the project of finding the precise answers to any questions a reader might have. Even the layout of information on the page is easy on the eyes, with wide margins for readers who wish to make notes. Furthermore, the back cover features a true rarity in the annals of world literature: a blurb by the Pope. --Michael Joseph Gross
"A sure and certain standard for the teaching of the faith." -- Pope John Paul II
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Top Customer Reviews
Never polemical or overly didactic, the Catechism of the Catholic Church succinctly explains the Christian faith with clarity and charity.
Even Protestants and non-Christians will find the Catechism well-documented, with copious notes and citations to Sacred Scripture, the writings of the early Christian Fathers, and other sources of impeccable authority.
Perhaps the most useful aspect of this book is its accessibility. The Catechism was written with the laity in mind. Students, laymen, and the average reader alike will find it easy to read and understand. At the same time, those interested in serious scholarship will discover a treasure trove of theology, history, and doctrine. Without the Catechism of the Catholic Church, no Christian library is complete. Whether you are a cradle Catholic, a convert, or simply have questions about the Church, you owe it to yourself to read this book.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church was approved by Pope John Paul II in 1992. Obviously, the information contained in it was not new—it is based on the Bible, documents from church councils, encyclicals, previous versions of the catechism, and other Church documents that predate it by hundreds of years.
The Catechism is meant to be used as a reference work. It’s organized clearly with an extensive table of contents and a glossary. I wouldn’t recommend trying to read it from cover to cover, though you certainly can if you’re of such a mind to do so.
The Catechism is easy to find. It’s available for free on the Vatican website, though since I hate reading on the computer, I don’t find it more beneficial for anything save the search function. Printed copies are easily available used, new, paperback, hardcover, trade paperback, mass market paperback, e-reader, and any form you could want. As long as it says “Catechism of the Catholic Church,” it’s the right book. Be aware that the
United States Catholic Catechism for Adults is a study supplement and does not contain the full text of the Catechism.
The upshot is that the editors of this book should work a little bit more!