France: La Croix presents the Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

Source: FSSPX News


The French edition of the Abridged Catechism of the Catholic Church was published at the beginning of September. Here is the presentation of it given by the daily La Croix in its August 31 edition, from the pen of Nicolas Senèze:

 “Referring constantly to the Catechism of the Catholic Church whose different parts it keeps, the very content of this summary resembles only remotely the pre-Vatican II children’s catechisms. One example among many on the definition of the Church. “Who are the faithful of the Church?” asked the catechism in use at that time in the dioceses of France, before replying: “The faithful of the Church are Christians obedient to the pope and the bishops”. Adding: “It is necessary to belong to the true Church , and those who remain willingly outside of this Church cannot be saved.”

 Now let us look at the 2005 version, half a century later. “Who belongs to the Catholic Church?” asks question n° 168. The reply starts with a generously inclusive conviction: “All men, in different ways, belong, or are ordained to, the Catholic unity of the people of God.” It is only afterwards, at the heart of this vast  People of God, that the meaning of the distinctive Catholic nature is explained: “Fully united to the Catholic Church are those who, having the spirit of Christ, are united to her (the Catholic Church) through the ties of the profession of faith, the sacraments, the ecclesiastical government and communion. The baptized who do not fully realize this Catholic unity are in a certain communion, although imperfect, with the Catholic Church.” Going back to Vatican II, n° 170 recalls that “the Catholic Church acknowledges that there is goodness and truth, which come from God, in other religions.” – Note taken.


Here is Michel Kubler’s commentary:


“First of all, let us not get annoyed needlessly. For example, all those for whom the mere mention of the word ’catechism’ brings them out in a rash, are urged to remember that this concept – an “organic” presentation, that is to say structured, all-encompassing, and educational, of the Christian faith – has a well known inventor: Martin Luther. The great reformer knew how to provide his community with tools for educating themselves: the “Grand Catechism”, destined for pastors and theologians, and the “Little Catechism” for use by families for instructing children. The latter, a popular book which had an extraordinary circulation, made a great contribution to spreading the ideas of Luther, giving clear answers to simple questions on each section of the doctrine: What do these words mean? What do I have to do? The Council of Trent, seduced as much as annoyed by such a success, decided to produce its own as a counter measure.

 Then, as a consequence, let us not mistake its objective. For Catholics as well as Protestants, from the sixteenth century to the present day, the aim of a catechism is not to bombard people with simplistic dogmas (even if a concern about religious identity is generally present), but to better understand the faith and to make it better understood, in order to put it into practice in a better way. Knowing, according to need, how to distinguish the readers concerned. It is thus that the Catholic “Abridged”, available from now on, could be to its elder “Complete” of 1992, what the “Little Catechism” of Luther was to the “Grand”: the noble vulgarization of a more technical work”. – No comment.

 This Compendium will be the object of a conference in Paris on Wednesday September 28, at 8pm. At the church of St. Nicolas du Chardonnet.