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Catechism of the Catholic Church. (CCC)
A catechism has been defined as "a summary of principles, often in question-and-answer format"
The decision to publish a catechism was taken at the Extraordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops that was convened by Pope John Paul II on 25 January 1985 for the 20th anniversary of the close of the Second Vatican Council, and in 1986, put a commission composed of 12 bishops and cardinals in charge of the project. The commission was assisted by a committee consisting seven diocesan bishops, experts in theology and catechesis.
The text was approved by John Paul II on 25 June 1992, and promulgated by him on 11 October 1992
The Catechism of the Catholic Church, for which the usual English-language abbreviation is CCC, is instead a source on which to base such catechisms (e.g. Youcat and the United States Catholic Catechism for Adults) and other expositions of Catholic doctrine, called a "major catechism." It was given, as stated in the Apostolic Constitution Fidei depositum, with which its publication was ordered, "that it may be a sure and authentic reference text for teaching Catholic doctrine and particularly for preparing local catechisms." The CCC is in fact not in question and answer format.
CCC is arranged in four principal parts:
- The Profession of Faith (the Apostle's Creed)
- The Celebration of the Christian Mystery (the Sacred Liturgy, especially the sacraments)
- Life in Christ (including The Ten Commandments in Roman Catholic theology)
- Christian Prayer (including The Lord's Prayer)
This scheme is often referred to as the “Four Pillars” of the Faith. The contents are abundantly footnoted with references to sources of the teaching, in particular the Scriptures, the Church Fathers, and the Ecumenical Councils and other authoritative Catholic statements, principally those issued by recent popes.
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