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Introduction • xvii




, 1992

Eventually, it became clear that the development of a new universal cate­

chism would be beneficial, especially since there had been significant

growth in issues and insights in the Church and in society since 1566. In

1985, a synod of bishops was convened in Rome to celebrate the twen-

tieth anniversary of the conclusion of the Second Vatican Council. Many

of the synod fathers expressed the desire for a universal catechism that

would be a reference book for the catechisms that would be prepared in

various regions. The proposal was accepted, and the outcome was the

Catechism of the Catholic Church

, published in 1992. A new edition,

which contained some modifications, was released in 1997.


Catechism of the Catholic Church

is arranged in four parts:

“The Profession of Faith”; “The Celebration of the Christian Mystery”;

“Life in Christ”; and “Christian Prayer.” Its content is faithful to

Apostolic Tradition, Scripture, and the Magisterium. It incorporates

the heritage of the Doctors, Fathers, and saints of the Church. At the

same time, it illuminates, with the light of faith, contemporary situa-

tions, problems, and questions.



begins with God’s Revelation, to which we are called

to respond in faith, worship, moral witness, and a life of prayer. The

entire text is guided by the fact that Christian life is rooted in the creative

and providential outpouring of the Holy Trinity. The



ters itself on the saving life, teachings, death, and Resurrection of Jesus

Christ, the Son of God and Son of Mary. This text is a work by and of

the Church.

The goal of the

Catechism of the Catholic Church

is to help facili-

tate the lifelong conversion of the whole person to the Father’s call to

holiness and eternal life. At its heart is the celebration of the Christian

mysteries, especially the Eucharist and the life of prayer. Users of the


are called to witness Christ, the Church, and God’s Kingdom

of salvation, love, justice, mercy, and peace in the world.

While the


is addressed to a number of audiences—bish-

ops, priests, teachers, writers—it is meant for all the faithful who wish