The Liturgy itself is prayer; the confession of faith finds its
proper place in the celebration of worship. Grace, the fruit of the
sacraments, is the irreplaceable condition for Christian living, just
as participation in the Church’s Liturgy requires faith. If faith is
not expressed in works, it is dead (cf.
2:14-16) and cannot bear
fruit unto eternal life.
In reading the
Catechism of the Catholic Church
perceive the wonderful unity of the mystery of God, his saving will,
as well as the central place of Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son
of God, sent by the Father, made man in the womb of the Blessed
Virgin Mary by the power of the Holy Spirit, to be our Savior.
Having died and risen, Christ is always present in his Church,
especially in the sacraments; he is the source of our faith, the model
of Christian conduct, and the Teacher of our prayer.
The Doctrinal Value of the Text
Catechism of the Catholic Church,
which I approved June
25th last and the publication of which I today order by virtue of my
Apostolic Authority, is a statement of the Church’s faith and of
catholic doctrine, attested to or illumined by Sacred Scripture, the
Apostolic Tradition, and the Church’s Magisterium. I declare it to
be a sure norm for teaching the faith and thus a valid and legitimate
instrument for ecclesial communion. May it serve the renewal to
which the Holy Spirit ceaselessly calls the Church of God, the Body
of Christ, on her pilgrimage to the undiminished light of the
The approval and publication of the
Catechism of the Catho
represent a service which the Successor of Peter wishes
to offer to the Holy Catholic Church, to all the particular Churches
in peace and communion with the Apostolic See: the service, that
is, of supporting and confirming the faith of all the Lord Jesus’
22:32), as well as of strengthening the bonds of
unity in the same apostolic faith.
Therefore, I ask all the Church’s Pastors and the Christian
faithful to receive this catechism in a spirit of communion and to
use it assiduously in fulfilling their mission of proclaiming the faith
and calling people to the Gospel life. This catechism is given to
them that it may be a sure and authentic reference text for teaching
catholic doctrine and particularly for preparing local catechisms.
It is also offered to all the faithful who wish to deepen their
knowledge of the unfathomable riches of salvation (cf.
is meant to support ecumenical efforts that are moved by the holy
desire for the unity of all Christians, showing carefully the content