Compendium of Catechism Due Out This Month

Prepared by a Team Headed by Then Cardinal Ratzinger

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VATICAN CITY, JUNE 15, 2005 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI soon plans to present the Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, prepared by a commission that he headed when still a cardinal.



Joaquín Navarro Valls, director of the Vatican press office, confirmed the news in a press statement today.

"The 'Compendium' of the Catechism of the Catholic Church will be presented on June 28, in the course of a solemn liturgical celebration in the presence of Pope Benedict XVI," stated the text.

"The Catechism of the Catholic Church was presented to the faithful and to the whole world by Pope John Paul II on December 7, 1992, who described it as 'a sure and authentic reference text,'" said the Vatican spokesman.

He continued: "Following the request for greater appreciation of the Catechism, and in order to meet a widespread need that emerged during the 2002 International Catechetical Congress, in 2003 the Holy Father established a special commission, presided by the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, that he charged with preparing a Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, containing a more concise and dialogic version of the same contents of Catholic faith and morals. …

"The text of the 'Compendium' will be published by the Vatican Publishing House together with the San Paolo Publishing House which will also oversee the distribution of the book in Italy. Translations and editions in the various languages will involve the respective episcopal conferences," concluded Navarro Valls.

Defending doctrine

In an interview in the April 2003 issue of 30 Giorni magazine, the then prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, said that in some circles "there is a certain opposition to any attempt to 'crystallize' a doctrine in words, in the name of flexibility."

"The post-conciliar catechetical movement accentuated the anthropological aspect of the question and believed that, if a catechism is too doctrinal, it would be an impediment to the necessary dialogue with the man of today," the future Benedict XVI noted.

"We are convinced of the contrary," he said. "To dialogue well, it is necessary to know what we must talk about. It is necessary to know the essence of our faith. For this reason, today a catechism is more necessary than ever."