Print | Share | Calendar | Diocesan Locator
|   No Spanish version at this time
FOLLOW US  Click to go to Facebook.  Click to go to Twitter.  Click to go to YouTube.   TEXT SIZE Click to make text small. Click for medium-sized text. Click to make text large.  
web-ad-myusccb-canonization-270x200-montage
 

An Overview

 

Catechism for the Universal Church:
An Overview

by Archbishop William J. Levada


Introduction

One of the most popular board games of the past Christmas season was an irreverent look at Catholicism called "Is the Pope Catholic?" Despite their irreverence, board games that center on Catholic trivia seem to surface a central and disturbing fact. Families soon discover that anyone born after the 1960's cannot answer the Baltimore catechism questions that many consider part of our Catholic heritage. Neither do they remember many of the events that most of us consider central to our own experience of Catholicism. While few persons consider knowing the mysteries of the rosary recited on Monday essential to salvation, experiences like these are enough to make parents express concern about the religious education of their children.

Concern for the transmission of the faith is not uniquely parental. Nor is it only episcopal. It is an issue that comes to the fore at any national, diocesan or parish meeting of either priests or laity called to surface primary issues of concern. I believe it is fair to say that it is just such a concern, shared by bishops from diverse parts of the world, that prompted the 1985 extraordinary Synod of Bishops to recommend a catechism for the universal church.

Whenever either bishops or publishers hear a cry that we must "return to the basics," we are also concerned from another perspective. We are concerned because neither of us would want to discard the pedagogical insights of the last 30 years. Neither would we want to support those who interpret the new developments in our understanding and expression of the faith as a denial of the truths that have nourished the faith for generations. It is important, for example, that young people be able to use a language with which they are comfortable to express the important values in their lives. Nor would we want to turn back the clock to a catechesis which seemed to ignore the recovery of our rich Catholic tradition in Scripture and liturgy. Does the universal catechism represent a useful and even necessary step in the implementation of the renewal called for by the Second Vatican Council or does it mean a "regression" of sorts to Baltimore and Trent?

Synods

Some perspective may be helpful here. At the close of the 1977 Synod of Bishops on catechetics, the delegates forwarded 34 confidential propositions to Pope Paul VI with the intention that he use them as a basis for writing his own document on catechesis as he had done earlier in Evangelii Nuntiandi, his reflections on the 1974 synod on evangelization. Pope Paul VI died before that document could be completed, as did his immediate successor, Pope John Paul I, and the task was left to Pope John Paul II, who accomplished it in the publication of Catechesi Tradendae, the document whose 10th anniversary we commemorate at this symposium.

The 1977 synod recognized the advances "in the vitality of catechetical activity and promising initiatives" that had been made in catechetics during the post-Vatican II period of catechetical renewal ( Catechesi Tradendae, 17). Nonetheless, as the Holy Father pointed out in Catechesi Tradendae, there was a deep concern expressed that the renewal in catechetics was not complete. The most serious limitation of the catechetical renewal seemed to be in the areas that might endanger integrity of content. But a catechism was not among the proposals made at the 1977 synod.

We may ask what changed between the silence of the 1977 synod and Catechesi Tradendae and the 1985 extraordinary synod to have moved the idea of a universal catechism to a proposal for action.

Recall that the 1985 synod was called to mark the 20th anniversary of Vatican II, which ended Dec. 8, 1965. The final report of this synod was a ringing affirmation of the abiding validity of Vatican II as the charter for the church in our times in the face of severe criticism bv conservative Catholics--both those aligned with Archbishop Lefebvre and others dissatisfied with the post- conciliar emphasis on the social mission of the proclamation of the Gospel in modern times -- and by liberal Catholics, who too often envisioned a church made in the image and likeness of their democratic, media-oriented society. With considerable realism the synod fathers looked back on 20 years to restate the key insights of the council and to offer guidelines about its proper interpretation. At the same time they made several recommendations, among which four were of a specific nature: 1) the completion of the Code of Canon Law for the Eastern-rite churches; 2) a study of the nature and authority of episcopal conferences; 3) a study of the applicability of the principle of subsidiarity to the internal life of the church; and 4) the preparation of a universal catechism or compendium of Catholic doctrine.

In his 1988 book The Reshaping of Catholicism, Father Avery Dulles, SJ, suggests that the synod's recommendations represent an "unfinished agenda" of Vatican II. I think his assessment is essentially correct, and I want to cite his own words of analysis:

"The four major agenda items bequeathed by the extraordinary synod are instructive. They reflect some of the deepest tensions in contemporary Catholic ecclesiology. A decade ago most American Catholic theologians would have taken it for granted that in fidelity to Vatican II the autonomy of local and regional communities was to be promoted at the expense of the central authority of the universal pastoral office. It was assumed that in the brave new church then emerging there would no longer be any need for a universal 'Roman catechism'; that the Eastern Catholic churches should somewhat distance themselves from Rome so as to avoid unhealthy Latinization; that episcopal conferences should become more active in adapting Catholicism to local conditions; and that subsidiarity in the church was authorized and demanded by the spirit if not by the letter of Vatican II.

"Today, however, the problems are seen to be more complex. The theological liberalism of the past two decades is no longer triumphant. Efforts are being made to reread Vatican II in the context of the entire tradition. The tensions of our time have made it increasingly evident that for Catholicism to endure in the 'global village' visible structures of unity are essential. A vibrant sense of Catholic unity seems to require not only an inner union of spirit but a measure of common catechesis, common legislation, common customs, common symbols and common ministerial oversight." 1

It is interesting to note that Dulles picks up the same metaphor of "global village" used by Cardinal Bernard Law in his 1985 synod intervention, the first to call for a new universal catechism:

"I propose a commission of cardinals to prepare a draft of a conciliar catechism to be promulgated by the Holy Father after consulting the bishops of the world. In a shrinking world a global village-national catechisms will not fill the current need for clear articulation of the church's faith." 2

The idea of a universal catechism was not new to 1985. Indeed Father Berard Marthaler says "for several years it had been a topic of discussion and even the center of some controversy. The synod's recommendation raises, moreover, a question about the relationship of the extraordinary synod to the Second Vatican Council, which rejected proposals for a universal catechism in favor of a General Catechetical Directory!" He goes on to ask, "In calling for a universal catechism did the extraordinary synod implicitly repudiate a position taken by Vatican II? Or (as Marthaler thinks) is its recommendation different from the proposals rejected by the council?" 3


Brief history

A brief historical overview will help here. The First Vatican Council (1869-1870) had proposed for the vote of the bishops the drafting of a new "small catechism" to be used in the instruction of children, along the lines of that written three centuries before by Cardinal Robert Bellarmine, and the so-called catechism of the Council of Trent, which inspired many classical catechisms such as the Baltimore catechism.

When the fathers of Vatican I had to leave Rome with the approach of Garibaldi's troops, they still had not voted on this proposal. It was only natural that Vatican II -- one of whose aims was to complete the work of Vatican I -- would be asked by some to address the issue of a "small catechism." The council Commission on Discipline reviewed the idea of a children's catechism from a twofold perspective: the difficut1ty of drafting a single catechism for all the various cultural and ethnic groups in the church, and the need to focus on catechesis at an adult level. Both perspectives recommended against forwarding the proposal made at Vatican I. Instead the commission favored a proposal for a general catechetical directory which would establish general rules and norms to be observed in compiling individual catechisms. One explicit goal of such guidelines was to provide a sure of uniformity in the proliferation of catechisms which would be the anticipated result of each diocese preparing its own catechism.

At the first Synod of Bishops after the council in l967, the question of a catechism was raised again; several bishops asked for some means of clarifying confusion establishing a "rule of faith." While no action was taken at the synod, the discussion showed that the focus of attention on the need had shifted largely to a concern for adult catechesis and away from the idea of the children's catechism rejected by Vatican II. This same concern evidently lay behind the "Credo of the People of God," which Pope Paul Vl issued the following year (1968). In 1971 the General Catechetical Directory was issued, and work began in many places on the national catechetical directories which it called for. "Sharing the Light of Faith," the U.S. national directory, was published in 1977.

A few episcopal conferences, moreover, have published national catechisms, either for adults or for children at one or other age level. Yet it is clear that the task of preparing a truly suitable catechism, which respects both the insights of modern pedagogical theory and is able to convey clearly the basic message of Christianity, is no easy task, particularly for the diocesan bishop and his staff, whose resources are often stretched thin in implementing effective catechetical programs, much less in designing such a basic component as a catechism.

It is in this context of a service to the teaching ministry of the diocesan bishop, then, that we should understand the proposal made by the 1985 synod. The idea of a catechism was already contained in synod preparatory reports from the bishops of Korea, Senegalge and Mauritania. It was introduced on the floor by Cardinal Law and repeated by Archbishop Ruhana of Burundi and the Latin patriarch of Jerusalem, Archbishop Beltriti; and it was recommended in nine working- group reports.

The proposal contained in the Final Report was the following:

"Very many have expressed the desire that a catechism or compendium of all Catholic doctrine regarding both faith and morals be composed; that it might be, as it were, a point of reference for the catechisms or compendiums that are prepared in the various regions. The presentation of doctrine must be biblical and liturgical. It must be sound doctrine, suited to the present life of Christians." 4

Father Marthaler gives the following assessment of this synod recommendation: "In the context of both the interventions of individual bishops and the discussions in the language groups, it is evident that the 'catechism or compendium' requested by the extraordinary synod is quite different from the small catechism proposed at Vatican I and rejected by Vatican II in favor of the General Catechetical Directory." 5

There are two significant differences in the current proposal which distinguish it from the idea of a "small catechism" reviewed by the Vatican Council's Commission on Discipline: 1) It is not aimed at children, but rather its primary audience is the bishops themselves and their catechetical staffs; and 2) it acknowledges the need for adaptation to diverse cultural groups and age levels.

Hence, Marthaler insists, "the recommendation of the 1985 synod does not run contrary to any action taken at Vatican II. Insofar as it makes allowance for cultural differences and implies that the catechesis of adults is the chief form of all catechesis (General Catechetical Directory, 20), the 'catechism or compendium of Catholic doctrine' is in the best tradition of the General Directory, which, as Pope John Paul II has said (in Catechesi Tradendae, 2), 'is still the basic document for encouraging and guiding catechetical renewal throughout the church.'" 6

The synod's recommendation was not long in receiving a favorable reception. In his closing address to the synod, Pope John Paul II took up the proposal of the synod fathers when he said, "As regards the valuable suggestions which have emerged during this synod, I wish to underline . . . the desire expressed to prepare a compendium or catechism of all Catholic doctrine to serve as a point of reference for catechisms or compendia on this theme in all the particular churches; this desire responds to a real need both of the universal church and of the particular churches." 7


Catechism commission

On July 10 of the following year (1986), the Holy Father established a commission of cardinals and bishops from various parts of the world and from the Roman Curia, with Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, as its president, to carry out the task of preparing a draft of a "catechism for the universal church." The American members of this commission are Cardinal William Baum, prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education, and Cardinal Bernard Law, archbishop of Boston. 8

The commission proceeded to its task by organizing a working secretariat, served by the offices of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith; and by the appointment of a group of some 44 consultors worldwide, among whom are the Americans Bishop Donald Wuerl of Pittsburgh and Father Francis Kelly of this association.

The commission further decided to ask a committee of bishops to write the catechism. There are seven of us -- Estepa of Spain's military vicariate: Honore, of Tours. France; Konstant, of Leeds, England; Maggiolini, of Como, Italy; Karlich, of Parana, Argentina; Medina, of Rancagua, Chile; and myself. Austrian Dominican Father Christophe von Schonborn, professor of theology at the University of Fribourg, Switzerland, serves as editorial secretary of the drafting committee.

The choice of a drafting committee composed of bishops may seem unusual until one reflects on the primary audience envisioned for the catechism: As Cardinal Ratzinger told the 1987 synod, "catechism is directed to those who have the task of composing and/or approving the national and/or diocesan catechisms. It is destined, therefore, especially for the bishops, insofar as they are doctors of the faith: To them this catechism is offered as an instrument for performing their prophetic office among the people of God, which is their own and which they cannot abdicate." 9

In this report the cardinal also expressed the hope that the text might be presented to the 1990 synod and be ready for publication, after papal approval, on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council. It is now clear that this timeline was too optimistic. While Cardinal Ratzinger will no doubt give an updated report on the project at this fall's synod, any realistic new target date will have to await the results of the consultation of the world's bishops currently under way.


Consultation

In the light of the purpose of the catechism just referred to, it would be wrong to underestimate the importance of the consultation process. This process is directed to each bishop individually as a doctor of the faith; it is also designed to elicit a response from each episcopal conference, with the idea that the conference will best be able to arrange for the input of catechetical institutes and theological faculties and others whose expertise in catechetical work will be helpful to the project. Archbishop Oscar Lipscomb has been appointed chairman of an ad hoc committee to prepare an evaluation on behalf of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Some bishops have told me they approach the task with some foreboding, claiming no personal expertise in matters catechetical. I have offered them my personal opinion: Catechetical expertise will be offered through the episcopal conferences and individual consultants; but it is also important that you as a bishop assess and evaluate this project from your perspective as a teacher of the faith. This input is indispensable for the next step of the commission's work, because the catechism is designed primarily as an instrument for the bishops' catechetical mission.


Doctrine

It is only to be expected, to be sure, that the period of consultation will also be a time of public questioning and critique. In outlining the background and genesis of the project for a catechism for the universal church, I hope I have provided some focus for what will be useful in an evaluation of the project. There is no hidden agenda other than a concern for the accurate transmission of the faith to future generations of Catholics.

I suppose there are some who would question the very idea of a faith which has a message or content. Discussion with people who have that concern may well be necessary, but the catechism we are discussing here can perhaps be forgiven if it presumes that sound catechesis necessarily involves the handing on of a saving truth. Cardinal Basil Hume summed up the classic Catholic position at the 1977 synod on catechetics:

"Doctrine without the experience of Christian living is sterile, and any attempt to live as a Christian without attention to doctrine will lead to confusion. Doctrine is best learned within the experience of Christian living, and Christian living must be inspired by and rooted in authentic Christian doctrine. Doctrine as the intellectual gateway to thinking about the mysteries of faith is an important aspect of a total formation that should lead to a commitment of the whole person to the person of Christ. A true catechesis will both inform the mind and effect a radical transformation a deeper turning toward God in those catechized." 10

In a similar vein, our Holy Father, in his first address to the catechism commission, emphasized the importance of the catechism as a tool for a complete catechesis:

"Certainly the catechism is not catechesis, but only a means or an instrument of it ( Catechesi Tradendae, 28). In fact, while the catechism is a compendium of the doctrine of the church, catechesis, 'being that ecclesial action which leads the community and individual Christians to maturity in the faith' (General Catechetical Directory, 21), transmits this doctrine -- with methods adapted to the age -- so that the Christian truth may become, with the grace of the Holy Spirit, the life of the believers. Yet, the importance of the catechism in catechesis is great, as is amply demonstrated in the church's experience of many centuries. In effect, even if the thing we call a 'catechism,' as we understand it today, came into common use only in the time of the Reformation, its essence as a fundamental structure for the transmission of the faith is as old as the catechumenate, one could even say as old as the church and, in its substance, it is unrenounceable." 11


Structure

One of the early decisions made by the Catechism commission set the structure of the catechism. After reviewing possible format and style, the commission members decided in favor of the classical catechism structure of creed, sacrament and commandment, with an additional section on prayer. Thus the plan of this catechism is based on the great tradition of the catechisms both of the Protestant Reformation (for example, Martin Luther's) and of the Catholic Reformation of the 16th century. The exposition of the faith is structured around four pillars: the Apostle's Creed for the faith we profess, the sacraments for the faith we celebrate, the commandments for the faith we live out in witness, and the "Our Father" as an epilogue. The text is preceded by general introduction which examines the nature of faith -- what it means to say "I believe."

The commission further decide that in addition to the text of the catechism a glossary should be prepared. As Cardinal Ratzinger indicated in his remarks to the 1987 synod there were two reasons which prompted the inclusion of a glossary: easier access to the topics of the catechism and the development of a common, fundamental basic language in catechetical use.

The catechism also contains series of brief summary texts whose purpose is to convey the essential teaching in a condensed formula. These "in brief" texts provide some suggestions for the composition of comprehensive memorable formulas for local adaptation.

In his 1989 address to the members of the catechism commission and drafting committee, Pope John Paul indicated that "the church feels the necessity and urgency of a clear exposition of the essential and fundamental contents of Catholic faith and morality--an exposition which takes into account the Second Vatican Council." 12 The purpose of the catechism therefore, by definition is a clear and comprehensive presentation of the doctrine of the faith of the Catholic Church. It is clearly not its intention supply the adaptations demanded by inculturation of the Christian faith, nor to propose catechetical methodology nor to substitute for catechisms on the national, regional or diocesan level nor to engage in theological discussion or speculation.


Evaluation

Given the catechism's structure and purpose, what sort of evaluation during this consultation period would seem most appropriate? In sending out this project to the bishops, the commission suggested that their recommendations will enable it to "complete what is lacking, to abbreviate what may too detailed, and to unify the style and the presentation."

I have no doubt that the many criticisms and suggestions made will genuinely improve this working draft and I am quite confident that I speak for all of the members of the drafting committee and the commission in saying this. The editorial secretary has already made plans to ensure that every suggestion will be taken into account and be able to be evaluated by the committee.

Rather than address myself to specific criticisms, I think it would be more to the point for me to offer some comments of a more general nature about the evaluation of the catechism draft.

In the first place, it is important not to be distracted by the name universal catechism. This is a shorthand term for the actual title of the project "A Catechism for the Universal Church." The distinction is subtle, but important. By universal catechism some people are led to suppose a book to be placed in the hands of every Catholic or Catholic-to-be in the world. I think it should be clear from all I have documented above, however, that this compendium or catechism is an instrument for catechists, publishers, priests -- and especially bishops to use in preparing suitable catechetical materials for the needs of the various people to whom they must minister. Hence the title universal catechism may be misleading without proper explanation. It is intended as the only, worldwide catechism; it is a resource which will be used as a "point of reference" by which any catechetical material can be judged for the soundness and comprehensiveness of its approach. As a result, it will supply a measure, "canon" or rule, which has been lacking in contemporary catechetics in regard to the content of catechesis.

Already in 1986 Pope John Paul addressed the issue in these terms, in his remarks to the new catechism commission: "The catechism which you are called to plan is situated within the church's great tradition, not as a substitute for diocesan or national catechisms, but as a 'point of reference' for them. It is not meant to be, therefore, an instrument of flat 'uniformity,' but an important aid to guarantee the 'unity in the faith' that is an essential dimension of that unity of the church which 'springs from the unity of the Father, of the Son and of the Holy Spirit' (St. Cyprian, On the Lord's Prayer)." 13

In stressing unity of faith, but not uniformity in expression, the Holy Father's statement suggests that we reflect carefully on the popular correlative concept: pluralism of faith or plurality of expression. While plurality is required by the very nature of giving expression to the teachings of the faith, we could probably all cite examples of a "pluralism of faith expressions" (meaning doctrinal diversity or division) which have not been clearly distinguished from legitimate plurality in catechetical materials.

Another important point for consideration is how the catechism will relate to the teachings of Vatican II. In his July 1989 address to the catechism commission and drafting committee, Pope John Paul quoted the remark of Pope Paul Vl that the Second Vatican Council is "the great catechism of our times." 14 In this group of publishers I am sure it will be no surprise to say that integrating the teachings of Vatican II with the patrimony of our faith tradition is more difficult than it would seem at first.

Vatican II responded to the challenge of our age it was a council self-consciously focused on the concept of church. But the vast output of the council like any council did not pretend to present an exhaustive overview of the contents of the Catholic Christian faith. It presumed the heritage of Chalcedon's treatment of Christology and of Trent's sacramental theology in addressing itself to themes related to the church in today's world. The task of integrating the insights and conclusions of Vatican II into the heritage of a living tradition of faith is a task which has confronted those of us called to draft a new catechism in the line of Vatican II's teaching. It is a task which is both important and necessary for the church in our day.

Conscious of this task, our Holy Father already charged the new catechism commission to a special sensitivity in this area when he said: "As is natural, this project of a catechism, in its turn, will have to have as a constant point of reference the teachings of the Second Vatican Council, considered in their continuity and complementarity with all the preceding magisterium of the church. This is a fundamental necessity so that the catechism, in due respect for the hierarchy of Christian truths, will be truly 'complete,' and may become thereby a valid instrument for a catechesis that 'seeks to adapt its teaching to the capacity of those who receive it, but not attribute to itself the right to conceal or to suppress a part of the truth that God himself wanted to communicate.'" 15

From the earliest discussions of catechetical teaching in the light of Vatican II, it has been a point of insistence that contemporary catechesis including catechisms be sensitive to the biblical and liturgical emphases of the council. The present draft not only fulfills this demand, but presents to the reader an extraordinarily rich insight into the teachings of the fathers of the patristic age of the united church; its sensitivity to the traditions of the Eastern churches shows how we can learn to "breathe with both lungs," in the graphic phrase of Pope John Paul II.


Catechism and catechesis

Perhaps a final word about catechisms and textbooks would be appropriate. I have little doubt that some will criticize the universal catechism because it does not conform to standards of contemporary religious education textbooks. Many of you will remember, no doubt, a time a couple of decades ago when religious education textbooks were judged and criticized by the standards of catechisms.

The catechism is not the same thing as a textbook. It is a comprehensive statement of doctrine which should guide the formulation of textbooks with their presentation of doctrine in a manner adapted to the pace of learning and age levels, with appropriate commentary and context.

At the same time, I want to say that this catechism should not too soon be consigned to a shadowy life on the shelf in a reference library. I personally have no doubt that it will serve as a major resource even a text in the preparation of ministers from priests to catechists who will be called to hand on the faith.

Once again quoting Father Berard Marthaler, "It has been said that the most significant action taken by the extraordinary synod of bishops commemorating the 20th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council was its recommendation that a 'catechism or compendium of all Catholic doctrine regarding both faith and morals be composed.' If it sees the light of day and if it is well done, such a compendium as its advocates expect will shape the mind of the church for decades, perhaps centuries, to come." 16

While prophecies are always risky, I can certainly agree with Father Marthaler that the project is a very important one, and I will do my best to see that "it is indeed well done." Even so, once the catechism has been approved by the Holy Father and published, its success will depend upon people like you. If bishops, religious educators and publishers begin a process of dialogue and collaboration about the catechism and its integration into modern catechetics, it can be the opening of another window for the Holy Spirit like the famous window that Pope John XXIII threw open in calling the Second Vatican Council.

In our country for the past two generations and more, religious publishers have done a unique service for the catechetical work of the church. The publication of the universal catechism will mark an important moment in our catechetical ettorts in the post-conciliar church, and it is a time for a renewed sense of collaboration. Through the process of the consultation on the universal catechism and the foreseen implementation of it when it is published, the bishops individually and as a conference of bishops will necessarily become more interested in and attentive to the process and content of catechesis. To approach this new period in a spirit of cooperation, calling on the talents of our best resources in religious education and publishing, I am sure that together we will be able to accomplish a great service for the church of future generations in this country and indeed throughout the world by giving them the best possible tools to assist them in knowing what it means to profess, to celebrate and to live out our Catholic faith.


Footnotes

1

Avery Dulles, SJ, The Reshaping of Catholicism, San Francisco, Harper and Row, 1988, p 205.

2 Cardinal Bernard Law, Origins 15 (Dec. 19, 1985), p. 443.

3Berard Marthaler, "The Synod and the Catechism," Concilium: Synod 1985 An Evaluation, G. Alberigo and J. Provost, eds., p. 91. For the historical overview I am indebted to Marthaler's article.

4The 1985 extraordinary Synod of Bishops, Final Report, 11, B, a, 4.

5 Marthaler, p. 97.

6 Ibid.

7 John Paul II, Closing Address at the 1985 Synod of Bishops, 6.

8 Members of the catechism commission: Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith; Cardinal Jozef Tomko, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples; Cardinal William Baum, prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education; Cardinal D. Simon Lourdusamy, prefect of the Congregation for the Eastern Churches; Cardinal Antonio Innocenti, prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy; Cardinal Bernard Law, archbishop of Boston; Archbishop Jan Schotte, general secretary of the Synod of Bishops; Archbishop Henry S. d'Souza of Calcutta, India; Archbishop Jerzy Stroba of Poznan, Poland; Coadjutor Archbishop Isidore de Sonza of Cotonou, Benin; Archbishop Neophytos Edelby of Alep (Greek Melchite); Bishop Felipe Benitez A., of Villarica, Paraguay.

9Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, Origins 17 (Nov. 5, 1987), p. 381.

10Cardinal Basil Hume, ibid. 17 (Oct. 13, 1977), p. 263.

11John Paul II, ibid. 16 (Dec. 11, 1986), p. 487.

12L'Osservatore Romano (Feb. 8, 1989), p. 5.

13John Paul II, Origins 16, p. 487.

14Ibid., L'Osservatore Romano, (Feb. 8, 1989), p. 5.

15Ibid., Origins 16, p. 487.

16Marthaler, p. 91.



By accepting this message, you will be leaving the website of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. This link is provided solely for the user's convenience. By providing this link, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops assumes no responsibility for, nor does it necessarily endorse, the website, its content, or sponsoring organizations.

cancel  continue