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Catechism of the Catholic Church


23 The Catechism emphasizes the exposition of doctrine. It seeks to help deepen understanding of faith. In this way it is oriented towards the maturing of that faith, its putting down roots in personal life, and its shining forth in personal conduct.17

24 By design, this Catechism does not set out to provide the adaptation of doctrinal presentations and catechetical methods required by the differences of culture, age, spiritual maturity, and social and ecclesial condition among all those to whom it is addressed. Such indispensable adaptations are the responsibility of particular catechisms and, even more, of those who instruct the faithful:

Whoever teaches must become 'all things to all men' (I Cor 9:22), to win everyone to Christ. . . Above all, teachers must not imagine that a single kind of soul has been entrusted to them, and that consequently it is lawful to teach and form equally all the faithful in true piety with one and the same method! Let them realize that some are in Christ as newborn babes, others as adolescents, and still others as adults in full command of their powers.... Those who are called to the ministry of preaching must suit their words to the maturity and understanding of their hearers, as they hand on the teaching of the mysteries of faith and the rules of moral conduct."18

Above All — Charity

25 To conclude this Prologue, it is fitting to recall this pastoral principle stated by the Roman Catechism:

The whole concern of doctrine and its teaching must be directed to the love that never ends. Whether something is proposed for belief, for hope or for action, the love of our Lord must always be made accessible, so that anyone can see that all the works of perfect Christian virtue spring from love and have no other objective than to arrive at love."19


1. Jn 17:3.

2. I Tim 2:3-4.

3. Acts 4:12.

4 Mt 28:18-20.

5 Mk 16:20.

6 Cf. Acts 2:42.

7 Cf. John Paul II, Apostolic Exhortation Catechesi tradendae 1; 2.

8 CT 18.

9 CT 18.

10 CT 13.

11 Cf. CT 12.

12 CT 13.

13 Extraordinary Synod of Bishops 1985, Final Report II B a, 4.

14 John Paul II, Discourse at the Closing Of the Extraordinary Synod of Bishops § December 1985: AAS 78, (1986).

15 Extraordinary Synod of Bishops 1985, Final Report II B a, 4.

16 Cf. Mt 10:32; Rom 10:9.

17 Cf. CT 20-22; 25.

18 Roman Catechism, Preface II; cf. I Cor 9:22; I Pt 2:2.

19 Roman Catechism, Preface 10; cf. I Cor 13 8.


17 Cf. CT 20-22; 25.

18 Roman Catechism, Preface II; cf. I Cor 9:22; I Pt 2:2.

19 Roman Catechism, Preface 10; cf. I Cor 13 8.

English Translation of the Cathechism of the Catholic Church for the United States of America © 1997, United States Catholic Conference, Inc.

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