Catechism of Council of Trent 2018-03-07

Catechism of Pius V

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    Extract from Preface:

    The Church at the Council of Trent, assembled December 13, 1545, seeing the need of a uniform and comprehensive manual which would supply parish priests with an official book of instruction for the faithful, ordered the preparation of the work which has ever since been variously known as the Catechism of the Council of Trent, the Catechism for Parish Priests, the Roman Catechism, or the Catechism of Pius V. It was some months, however, after the opening of the Council before mention was made of any kind of catechism. This was during the fourth session, on April 5, 1546. Eight days later the draft of a decree was read proposing that there be published in Latin and in the vernacular a catechism to be compiled by capable persons for children and uninstructed adults, "who are in need of milk rather than solid food." The purpose of such a manual was to afford instruction for beginners in the primary duties of a Christian life and to prepare them for further and higher religious education. The idea met with general approval, but as the Council was occupied with matters more pressing, we hear nothing further about it until sixteen years later, in 1562. According to some the question of the Catechism was brought up by St. Charles Borromeo during the eighteenth session and a commission actually appointed on February 26, 1562. What is certain is that the Papal Legates, after a protracted discussion, had named a committee before the end of that year; for on January 3, 1563, they informed the procurators of Charles IX and of Ferdinand I of the existence of such a committee and assured them that work on the Catechism was already under way.....