The Catechism of the Catholic Church Vatican II Style

I have seen recent comments diminishing the grander due to the Catechism of the Catholic Church published after Vatican II because of subsequent changes to its content on lying and on the death penalty. It is claimed that the Catechism of the Council of Trent never went through corrections of the same sort so it shows a certain superiority in that regard.

This article is not about addressing the changes made to the post Vatican II Catechism. What this article (more to follow in the coming weeks) is about my journey with the modern Catechism and my current reading and take on the Catechism of the Council of Trent.

Over the years I have slowly read the modern Catechism front to cover twice. I grew up and learnt to pray several of my prayers from the Baltimore Catechism and have also read the Trios Rivieres Catechism (French). I have never read the Catechism of the council of Trent but will do so to write these articles.

First impressions.

I like how the Modern Vatican II catechism approaches how to begin. I talks about humanity’s desire to know God. It deals with ways of coming to know God. Then dives into how God has revealed himself before going directly to the creed. This set up is much more appealing on an apologetic note and gives modern humanity a great systematic way to approach Catholicism. Many today first need to be convinced God actually does exist and does reveal himself before they will considering talking about articles of the creed.

What I like about how the Catechism of the council of Trent starts is its passages on how we come to know God more through faith than reason. This is a deep truth which I often need to remind myself. The Trent Catechism does set itself up to meet apologetic demands by giving some sort of explanations on how we can Know God through its articles on faith.

The Trent Catechism goes right to the heart by talking directly about faith which I like better than the Vatican II catechism but I feel that the Vatican II is much more akin to modern human thinking.

I also have to note that the Trent Catechism makes note that the Apostles themselves wrote the Apostles Creed and divided into 12 parts. Although this is a pious tradition which may well be correct, we are not required to believe this and can piously debate this fact. (a catechism is not infallible dogma) The Vatican II catechism does not make the assertion that the Apostles themselves wrote the creed. Perhaps, this is one area were the Trent Catechism in its own way could have been revised. Especially, from a apologetic view point it is a bad idea to get weighed down by there type of historical debates early on before you even get to the deeper more necessary truths of salvation (like the actually contents of the creed).

So far impressed with both catechism. Stayed tuned as my thoughts develop as I read more of the Trent Catechism in coming blog posts.

Ave Maria

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