Responsive image

The Catechism of whom?

February 03, 2021.

The Catechism of whom?

Prompted by the differing theological ideologies from within the church, later to be known as the Reformation, an ecumenical council was held in Italy in the city of Trent. In short, an ecumenical council is a gathering of church dignitaries and theologians in order to discuss and settle matters of doctrine and liturgy in the Church. It took place between 1545 and 1563 and was the 19th council of the Catholic church.

The outcome of the council was very significant in terms of liturgical practices and rituals, most of which became standardized across the Catholic sphere. The process of standardization would see current non-Latin Rites be incorporated into the Latin Rite, and any potential future Rites be halted. It made the Roman liturgy the one and only liturgy.

The liturgy in Rome had been in use since at least the 3rd century, as described by Hippolytus' in his treatise "Apostolic Tradition." The words of the presiding Pope Pius IV sums things up in a simple and concise way "It is most becoming that there be in the Church only one rite for the celebration of Mass." However, there were flourishing Rites that existed prior to the council of Trent, and for that reason, Pope Pius IV issued a papal bull which made clear that an exception is made for Rites that could prove to be at least 200 years old. They can continue as per their practices, rituals, and liturgies. For those that could not prove their ancient heritage, they had to adopt the new Roman liturgy. The idea was to prevent schismatic liturgies and thought from arising, in addition to liturgical malpractice.

Although being used since its writing in the 4th century by St. Jerome, the council of Trent made The Vulgate the official bible of the Catholic church, in addition, it made the Catechism of the Council of Trent the official rulebook for priests to properly observe, celebrate, and administer the liturgy with precision and competence. Although primarily written for priests, this Catechism was seldom used by non-clergy, mostly because the text was extremely rigorous, hard to read, and tailored specifically for clergy.

In 1908 Saint Pius X, who was the Pope from 1903 to 1914, wrote a condensed version of the Catechism of Trent. His intention was to deliver the message of Trent to all Catholics around the world, not just the clergy. A Catechism that everyone could relate to and comprehend. The Catechism of Saint Pius X is simplified and comprehensive, tailored specifically for non-clergy. His Holiness Pope John Paul II promulgated a new Catechism in 1992 which is the one currently being used. One interesting fact is that a Catechism cannot lose its validity, the Catechism of Trent is just as valid as the current Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC). This is the beauty of the Catholic Church, its fidelity to tradition and history. We should share the beauty of our faith, not just the beauty of the past but also the present.

blogImage
January 22, 2021.
The Mass of the ages

It was in 1969, four years after the Second Vatican Council. The current Pope at the the time Pope Paul VI would introduce sweeping reforms, one of wh...

Read More
blogImage
January 20, 2021.
A light to guide the way!

Have you ever been to a church and wondered about all the symbols, and various things in hard to reach places? What they mean, how old they are, do th...

Read More
blogImage
February 19, 2021.
The miracle at Fatima

Over the centuries, there have been many Marian apparitions and miracles, some of which have gone unnoticed and others that completely altered the fab...

Read More
Home