Introduction to the Catechism of the Catholic Church

The latest edition of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, revised by a committee headed by His Holiness Benedict XVI, contains the teachings of the Roman Catholic faith between its two covers. Though this nearly 800 page work may appear daunting, its rich history, essential information, and easy reference guide make it a must for anyone curious about the Roman Catholic Church.

What is a Catechism?

“Catechism” originates from the Latin meaning “to teach by word of mouth.” The term “catechumen”, also a derivative, means “one entering the Church.” Though the term “catechumen” has been a part of the Church’s tradition for over two millennia, the term “catechism” is much more recent in the life of the Roman Catholic Church.

The term “catechism” came into common usage in Europe during the Protestant Reformation, when many considered heretics by the Church began to teach and preach their own Christian creeds, known as catechisms, in question and answer format.

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