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Laity and the catechism

March 27, 2015
Jean Doten
Palo Alto

I recently submitted an essay entitled “What’s a Catholic to Do,” which concluded: Look to the Catechism of the Catholic Church for church doctrine to guide your behavior with today’ complex issues. But you, sir, “tend to demur on catechism commentary by the laity.”

So what’s your answer? “What’s a Catholic to do?”

What is the point of the CCC if the laity cannot use it to guide their decisions? Pope St. John XXIII intended the catechism to “guard and present better the precious deposit of Christian Doctrine in order to make it more accessible to the Christian faithful and to all people of good will.” Pope St. John Paul II authorized the finished version in 1994. not just a reference text, but “also offered to all the faithful who wish to deepen their knowledge of spiritual life.”

You and I and your readers, and all of the clergy and all of the laity are the Christian faithful. Two popes, both saints of the church, want us to read and be guided by the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

Your “tendency” to demur on catechism commentary by the laity seems odd. Opinion based on official church teaching is good, right? You’re the editor – you can’t trust yourself to evaluate the content?

In the meantime, “What’s a Catholic to Do?” A lot of us want to know. 

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