Pope Launches New Catechism for YouthPosted by in Apostles of the New Media | Faith & Culture | Pope Benedict XVI
The Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC), the official text of the teachings of the Church, will soon have a new companion, and Pope Benedict is unabashed in his enthusiasm for the project.
Refreshingly the new catechism doesn’t shy away from talking about both the beauty and the challenges of an authentic Christian life. Rejecting the view that young people are superficial and not interested in questions about truth or goodness, the Pope said adolescents are searching for answers now more than ever. “Young people want to know what life truly consists of,” he said, and this “fascinating, extraordinary” book can help them discover their true destiny as children of God. If they know the truth they have the courage to embrace it, he said.
In that sense the new book has the same goal as the adult catechism, prepared under the auspices of the then Cardinal Ratzinger. In fact, commenting on the publication of the CCC back in 1994, Ratzinger had used words very similar to those he used now:
“The problem of what we must do as human beings, of how we should live our lives so that we and the world may become just, is the essential problem of our day… This is the problem of man: What should we do? How does life become just? What can give us and the whole world a future which is worth living?”
The Christian faith, the Pope says, doesn’t give easy answers to these questions. Instead “it calls for a new life; it presents the message of the Gospel as the ‘precious pearl’ for which one needs to give everything.” But if accepted and lived with generosity, it alone has the power to truly change our lives and transform the world around us.
Here are a few quotes from the Pope’s preface to YouCat (read the full version here), testimony to the great hope he places in the ability of this book to talk to a new generation:
“You must know what you believe; you must know your faith with the same precision with which a specialist in information technology knows the working system of a computer; you must know it as a musician knows his piece; yes, you must be much more profoundly rooted in the faith of the generation of your parents, to be able to resist forcefully and with determination the challenges and temptations of this time.”
“You have need of divine help, if you do not want your faith to dry up as a dewdrop in the sun, if you do not want to succumb to the temptations of consumerism, if you do not want your love to be drowned in pornography, if you do not want to betray the weak and the victims of abuse and violence.”
“I ask you: Study the Catechism with passion and perseverance! Sacrifice your time for it! Study it in the silence of your room, read it together, if you are friends, form groups and study networks, exchange ideas on the Internet. Remain in dialogue on your faith”
The English version of ‘YouCat’ will be published by Ignatius Press and is due to be released March 1st preparing the way for the Pope’s visit to Madrid for World Youth Day in August this year.
You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 Both comments and pings are currently closed.