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Apostolic Constitution

Fidei Depositum


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

we can

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

lic Church

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’

disciples (cf.


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.


3:8). It

is meant to support ecumenical efforts that are moved by the holy

desire for the unity of all Christians, showing carefully the content