Not your father's Baltimore Catechism!

There's a new addition to the links in the sidebar: Catechism of the Catholic Church.

Some of us remember the Baltimore Catechism, the paperback text used for religious education for decades in the United States up until the mid 1960's and Vatican Council II.

The Baltimore Catechism would fit in a coat pocket, certainly in a school bag (this was in the days before backpacks). The Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC), even in paperback, is a much more ambitious work. It was written as a guide to church teaching for bishops, pastors and catechists. The introduction to the CCC indicates the Vatican's intention that different Conferences of Catholic Bishops would design other editions of the Catechism accessible to and intended for adults in general. The American bishops have thus produced the US Catholic Catechism for Adults. The Vatican has produced yet another edition of the CCC, this one the Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. What's the difference between these three editions? I'm glad you asked! The US Conference of Catholic Bishops offers this response:
The United States Catholic Catechism for Adults is designed to complement the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Each chapter in the USCCA directs the reader to those places in the Catechism where they can learn more about a particular topic. It follows a similar four part structure – Creed, Sacraments, Moral Life, Prayer – but is arranged in a somewhat simpler chapter structure. The chapters in the USCCA also contain sections designed not only to teach the reader about the faith but also to reflect on that teaching and how it might apply to their lives. While the Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church is also designed to complement the Catechism of the Catholic Church it does so in a manner different from the USCCA. The Compendium is a universal document while the USCCA is meant for adults in the United States. While the Compendium also follows the same four part structure as the Catechism and the USCCA, it is arranged differently, in a question and answer format. The primary intended audience for the Compendium is youth and young adults. In the appendices of the Compendium there appear traditional prayers and formulas of Catholic doctrine which places more emphasis on the importance of learning certain basic information about the Catholic faith and the practice of that faith through memorization.
The link in the sidebar is to the complete CCC, online, with a handy search feature to help you find what you're looking for. The Vatican has an online version of the Compendium, unfortunately without a search feature. You can order the USCCA here.

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