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The Catechism is not ‘rigid, fixed, definitive, untouchable,’ former Vatican spokesman says

October 21, 2022

» Continue to this story on La Civiltà Cattolica (Italian)

CWN Editor's Note: Father Federico Lombardi, SJ, the director of the Holy See Press Office from 2006 to 2016, has written an article for the influential Jesuit journal La Civiltà Cattolica on the 30th anniversary of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

Father Lombardi paid tribute to the Catechism as an “extraordinary text,” an “organic synthesis” of “doctrine as presented at the time of the Second Vatican Council, supported by Scripture, by the Tradition of the Church, expressed by the Councils, by the popes, by the great ecclesiastical authors, by the saints.”

“But the Catechism should not be considered rigid, fixed, definitive, untouchable,” he continued. “An expression of the history of the Christian faith, it must remain so, and therefore dynamic and alive.”

In Depositum Fidei, his apostolic constitution promulgating the Catechism, Pope St. John Paul II wrote, “Eum declaramus validum legitimumque instrumentum pro ecclesiali communione atque firmam regulam ad fidem docendam” [We declare it a valid and lawful instrument for ecclesial communion, and an enduring rule for teaching the faith]—or in the words of the official translation, “I declare it to be a valid and legitimate instrument for ecclesial communion and a sure norm for teaching the faith.”

The above note supplements, highlights, or corrects details in the original source (link above). About CWN news coverage.


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  • Posted by: b_ulmen7713 - Nov. 01, 2022 9:07 AM ET USA

    Would be nice if Fr Lombardi was pressed to give an example of an area of the Catechism he saw as being flexible and open to change.

  • Posted by: jalsardl5053 - Oct. 27, 2022 1:51 PM ET USA

    SJ. says it all and therefore can be totally ignored.