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Subcommittee on Catechism

 

The Subcommittee on the Catechism assists the bishops, both collectively and individually, in fulfilling their role as chief catechists in their dioceses.The primary work of the Subcommittee on the Catechism is the implementation of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. This work is accomplished through the review of catechetical materials as to their conformity to the Catechism of the Catholic Church

The Conformity Review  process is outlined and provided as a reference for catechetical publishers.

The Conformity List is a cumulative listing of catechetical texts and materials which are in conformity with the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and are currently available from publishers. The Conformity Listing is updated on a regular basis.

What's New?

Please visit the Conformity Review page to see various updated documents which have been made available!


Chairman of the Subcommittee

Archbishop Leonard P. Blair
Archbishop of Hartford


Members of the Subcommittee

Archbishop Michael O. Jackels
Archbishop of Dubuque 

Archbishop Alexander K. Sample
Archbishop of Portland (OR)

Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron
Archbishop of Detroit

Bishop Michael J. Byrnes
Auxiliary Bishop of Detroit

Bishop Frank J. Caggiano
Bishop of Bridgeport

Bishop Arthur J. Serratelli
Bishop of Paterson


Consultant to the Subcommittee

Archbishop Alfred C. Hughes
Archbishop Emeritus of New Orleans


USCCB Staff

Peter Murphy, Executive Director
Carlos Taja, Coordinator of Assessment
Jennifer Beckmann, Administrative Assistant


Mandate/Goals for the Subcommittee

The subcommittee is under the direction of, and assists the Committee by evaluating catechetical materials vis-à-vis the Catechism of the Catholic Church and by overseeing copyright permission for use of the Catechism.The subcommittee provides consultation to the standing committee on issues and topics related to the Catechism of the Catholic Church and the United States Catholic Catechism for Adults, including issues of pastoral use.

This mandate includes the following areas of particular responsibility:

On its own authority:

  • Reviews catechetical materials voluntarily submitted by publishers to determine if they conform doctrinally to the Catechism of the Catholic Church
  • Invites bishops to participate in conformity reviews and identifies reviewers to assist them;
  • Oversees copyright permission for usage of the Catechism


Mission Responsibilities

  1. Assists the standing committee by overseeing the use of the Catechism of the Catholic Church especially in regard to the development of catechetical materials that present Church teachings authentically and completely
  2. Assists the standing committee by overseeing copyright permission for use of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church and United States Catholic Catechism for Adults.
  3. In consultation and agreement of the standing committee maintains and evaluates guidelines for permission to use of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
  4. Provides consultation on the use of the Catechism to the Committee on Evangelization and Catechetical and other conference committees on issues related to the Catechism when requested, including advising and representing the bishops
  5. Assists the standing committee by keeping bishops informed of matters related to the Catechism of the Catholic Church.


Mission Relationships

  1. With bishops and diocesan offices concerning the Catechism
  2. With conference committees for permission use and publication of the Catechism
  3. With catechetical organizations and associations concerning use of the Catechism
  4. With Catholic publishing houses
  5. With the Holy See and with other episcopal conferences at the request of the standing committee and under the direction of the Conference officers.


What is a Catechism?

A Catechism is the name given to a written work that contains a summary of all the beliefs of the faith that is used as a teaching tool.

A Catechism is the name given to a written work that contains a summary of all the beliefs of the faith that is used as a teaching tool.

Until the second half of the twentieth century, for millions of Catholics in the United States the word catechism meant the Baltimore Catechism, which originated at the Third Plenary Council of Baltimore in 1884 when the bishops of the United States decided to publish a national catechism.  The Baltimore Catechism contained 421 questions and answers in thirty-seven chapters and gave unity to the teaching and understanding of the faith for millions of American Catholics.  Its impact was felt right up to the dawn of the Second Vatican Council in 1962.

At that time, Blessed John XXIII articulated a vision for the Fathers of the Second Vatican Council that charged them to guard and present more effectively the deposit of Christian doctrine in order to make it more accessible to the Christian faithful and all people of goodwill in the contemporary world.

In 1985, at a Synod of Bishops in Rome convened to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of the conclusion of the Second Vatican Council, a proposal to develop a universal catechism for the Catholic Church was made and accepted.  The fruit  was the Catechism of the Catholic Church, first published in 1992. Subsequent language editions were published in 1994. A new edition with some modifications was released in 1997.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church is arranged around four pillars or parts:

§The Profession of Faith

§The Celebration of the Christian Mystery

§Life in Christ

§Christian Prayer

The content of the Catechism is faithful to Apostolic Tradition, Scripture and the Magisterium. It incorporates the heritage of the Doctors, Fathers, and Saints of the Church and illuminates with the light of faith, contemporary situations, problems and questions.

For further background on the Catechism of the Catholic Church, see the Informative Dossier from the Catechism Editorial Commission.

Conformity Review


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