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Protocol for Assessing the Conformity of Catechetical Materials

The Protocol for Assessing the Conformity of Catechetical Materials with the Catechism of the Catholic Church is the instrument used for the evaluation of catechetical materials as to their conformity to the Catechism of the Catholic Church. For reference purposes, please find the reformatted version below, i.e., including all the text but without the columned boxes used for evaluation.

Word-version of the Protocol with the columned boxes

The Protocol for Assessing the Conformity of Catechetical Materials with the Catechism of the Catholic Church

Introduction: Important caveats
Part One: Principles for Assessing the Conformity of Catechetical Materials to the Catechism

Part Two:



In his apostolic constitution, Fidei depositum, Pope John Paul II points out that the Catechism of the Catholic Church "is meant to encourage and assist in the writing of new local catechisms, which take into account various situations and cultures, while carefully preserving the unity of faith and fidelity to Catholic doctrine" (Pope John Paul II, Fidei depositum, #3). In light of this objective and the charge of the Administrative Committee of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Subcommittee on the Catechism is reviewing catechetical materials voluntarily submitted as to their conformity with the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

To guide this process and to provide as objective an instrument as possible, the Subcommittee on the Catechism has developed this Protocol. The Administrative Committee of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops gave initial approval of this Protocol to be used ad experimentum for a year. After a survey consultation of publishers, bishop reviewers and their consultants, the Protocol was revised and submitted to the Administrative Committee.

In September, 1997, the Administrative Committee approved the Protocol for Assessing the Conformity of Catechetical Materials with the Catechism of the Catholic Church as the standard review instrument for the Subcommittee on the Catechism.

The following points introduce some important caveats in the use of the Protocol in the review of catechetical materials:

  • As far as possible, the evaluative points of reference employ the language of the Catechism of the Catholic Church in order to underscore its dependence on the Catechism
  • The review process is primarily intended for a complete series of catechetical materials which encompass, for example, K-8, 9-12 or a Catechumenate program. The review process, however, can be adapted for a single work or portions of a complete catechetical series
  • The assessment is concerned only with the content of the catechetical materials and, like the Catechism, "does not consider the adaptation of doctrinal presentations and catechetical methods"(Catechism of the Catholic Church, #24)
  • The review process and assessment presume that all catechesis is a gradual unfolding of the deposit of faith and consequently that the Church's teaching can be presented on a basic level in the early years and on a more advanced level in the later years


Part One

According to our Guidelines for Doctrinally Sound Catechetical Materials, the first principle for assessing the conformity of catechetical materials to the Catechism of the Catholic Church is "that the Christian message be authentic. For expressions of faith and moral teachings to be authentic, they must be in harmony with the doctrine and traditions of the Catholic Church, which are safeguarded by the bishops who teach with a unique authority"(Guidelines for Doctrinally Sound Catechetical Materials, United States Catholic Conference, p.7).



In order for catechetical materials developed from the Catechism to be authentic, the following criteria should be observed:

  • Minimally, the catechetical materials should contain nothing contradictory to the Catechism
  • They should encourage and assist in the development of a common language of faith within the Church
  • They should promote a healthy and vital Catholic identity in such a way that the believer is encouraged to hear the message clearly, live it with conviction and share it courageously with others
  • Since the Catechism should not be reduced to its in brief sections, catechetical materials should evidence the wider context of teaching from which the in brief sections are drawn

In order for catechetical materials developed from the Catechism to be authentic, the theological structure as indicated below should be at least implicit in the catechetical materials:

  • Trinitarian organization

    The Catechism does not simply treat of the Holy Trinity when it treats of God or expounds the creed. The creative and saving initiative of God the Father, the salvific mission of God the Son and the sanctifying role of God the Holy Spirit permeate the Catechism's treatment of worship and liturgy, the life of grace underpinning the moral life and the life of prayer.

  • Christological centrality

    The Catechism breathes the person, life and mission of Jesus Christ. The entire Catechism is a breaking open of the mystery of the Word made flesh. Christ is presented as fully God and fully man.

  • Ecclesial context

    The Catechism's treatment of the Church is not restricted to a commentary on the article of faith in the Creed that focuses on the Church. The entire Catechism presents the continuing presence and mission of Christ in and through the Church by the power of the Holy Spirit. Adherence to Christ through faith involves immersion in the life of the Church.

  • Treatment of the sacraments within the paschal mystery

    The Catechism presents as an underlying and unifying motif in its treatment of the sacraments the Christian's participation in the paschal mystery of Jesus Christ. Sacraments receive their origin and receive their efficacy in relationship to the paschal mission of the Savior and his presence in the sacramental encounter with his people.

  • Presentation of the moral life in the personal and social teachings of the Church as a new life in the Holy Spirit

    The Catechism makes clear that the moral life is not a merely human endeavor nor is it simply a series of dos and don'ts. It is rooted in a real new life made possible by the presence of the Holy Spirit and the gift of grace within the human person.

  • The Church's teachings on the dignity of human life related to the section on the 5th Commandment

The Church's teaching and commitment to life should be integrated into the treatment of moral life, and the nuances provided should show both the distinctiveness and the relationship of the various life issues to one another.

  • The Church's teachings on human sexuality related to the section on the 6th and 9th Commandments

    The Catechism treats human sexuality within the context of education in sexual morality. This arrangement now supersedes the development of separate segments on education in human sexuality apart from the moral teaching.

  • The Church's teaching on social justice related to the section on the 7th and 10th Commandments

    The Catechism offers a succinct presentation of the Church's teaching on social justice both in the introduction to the Commandments and in the treatment of the 7th and 10th Commandments. This presentation also preserves the relationship between teaching and social justice with the rest of the moral teaching of the Church.



The second principle for assessing the conformity of catechetical materials to the Catechism is "that the Christian message be complete" (Guidelines, p.7).

In order for catechetical materials developed from the Catechism to be considered complete, the doctrines of the Church should be presented as an integrated whole and there should be an intrinsic cohesiveness to the presentation of the faith:

  • The materials should reflect the four pillars of the Catechism: such materials should include the articles of the Creed, the sacraments, the Commandments and the petitions of the Lord's Prayer
  • They should also include an appropriate presentation of the rootedness of the teaching in Sacred Scripture
  • They should reflect in an appropriate manner the variety and multiplicity of the sources of the faith found in the Catechism, for example, the teachings from the Councils, the Eastern and Western Fathers, liturgical texts and spiritual writings
  • They should show that God's love is revealed primarily in the Word made flesh, Jesus Christ
  • They should give proper importance to the biblical, anthropological, liturgical, moral and spiritual, as well as to the ecumenical and missionary dimensions of the Catechism

These principles and criteria are the most fundamental ways in which catechetical materials should reflect the Catechism of the Catholic Church. They touch the underlying theological teaching and give spirit to the specific content which Part Two fleshes out in a more concrete way.



Part Two

The points of reference are intended to guide both reviewers and publishers in assessing the conformity of the catechetical materials to the Catechism of the Catholic Church. On the pages that follow, the first column, marked Evaluative Points of Reference for Authenticity and Completeness, contains the doctrine which should be treated in the materials. The number in parenthesis at the end of each point of reference is the paragraph from the Catechism that is the source of that particular point of reference. The following instructions should assist you in completing the review.


Reviewer Instructions

The Protocol is the standard instrument of review. It should be used in tandem with the publisher's own assessment of the materials, which is also based on the Protocol.

When an item of the Protocol is covered adequately, a "Yes" in the second column, marked Conformity, will suffice.

When an item is not covered or is only partially covered, please write either "No" or "Partial" in the Conformity column. In addition, please note in the third column, marked Required Changes, Recommendations, Suggestions, where in the material you believe the publisher could efficiently address the deficiency.

You can also note in the third column any recommendations or suggestions you believe would strengthen the presentation of the doctrine.

Publisher Instructions

Even though the third column is titled Required Changes, Recommendations, Suggestions, you should use this column to cite the text and/or page reference where the specific Protocol item is treated in your materials.

If possible, mark the actual text and/or page of the materials where the specific Protocol items are correlated.


Evaluative Points of Reference

Part One: The Profession of Faith

Catechetical texts in conformity with the Catechism should:

present man as a religious being by nature and vocation.(44)

teach that man is made to live in communion with God in whom he finds happiness.(45)

explain that when he listens to the message of creation and to the voice of conscience, man can arrive at certainty about the existence of God, the cause and end of everything.(46)

teach that the one true God, our Creator and Lord, can be known with certainty from his works, by the natural light of human reason.(47)

teach that by love, God has revealed himself and given himself to man.(68)

teach that God has revealed himself to man by gradually communicating his own mystery in deeds and in words.(69)

teach that beyond the witness to himself that God gives in created things, he manifested himself to our first parents, spoke to them and, after the fall, promised them salvation and offered them his covenant.(70)

teach that God made an everlasting covenant with Noah and all living beings and that it will remain in force as long as the world lasts.(71)

teach that God chose Abraham and made a covenant with him and his descendants and that by the covenant God formed his people and revealed his law to them through Moses.(72)

teach that God has revealed himself fully by sending his own Son, in whom he has established his covenant for ever.(73)

explain that what Christ entrusted to the apostles, they in turn handed on by their preaching and writing, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, to all generations, until Christ returns in glory.(96)

teach that "Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture make up a single sacred deposit of the Word of God," in which, as in a mirror, the pilgrim Church contemplates God, the source of all her riches.(97)

explain that "The Church, in her doctrine, life, and worship, perpetuates and transmits to every generation ... all that she believes"(98)

explain that God is the author of Sacred Scripture because he inspired its human authors.(136)

explain that interpretation of the inspired Scripture must be attentive above all to what God wants to reveal through the sacred authors for salvation. What comes from the Spirit is not fully "understood except by the Spirit's action."(137)

teach that the Church accepts and venerates as inspired the 46 books of the Old Testament and the 27 books of the New.(138)

teach that the four Gospels occupy a central place because Christ Jesus is their center.(139)

present the faith as a personal adherence of the whole man to God who reveals himself. It involves an assent of the intellect and will to the self-revelation God has made through his deeds and words.(176)

present faith as a supernatural gift from God. In order to believe, man needs the interior helps of the Holy Spirit.(179)

teach that "believing" is a human act, conscious and free, corresponding to the dignity of the human person.(180)

teach that "believing" is an ecclesial act. The Church's faith precedes, engenders, supports, and nouishes our faith.(181)

present faith as necessary for salvation.(183)

teach that our faith is monotheistic. "Hear, O Israel, the LORD our God is one LORD...."(228)

teach that faith in God leads us to turn to him alone as our first origin and our ultimate goal, and neither to prefer anything to him nor to substitute anything for him.(229)

explain that even when he reveals himself, God remains a mystery beyond words.(230)

teach that the God of our faith has revealed himself as He who is. God's very being is Truth and Love.(231)

present the mystery of the Most Holy Trinity as the central mystery of the Christian faith and of Christian life. God alone can make it known to us by revealing himself as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.(261)

explain that the divine persons are inseparable in what they are and are also inseparable in what they do. But within the single divine operation each shows forth what is proper to him in the Trinity, especially in the divine missions of the Son's Incarnation and the gift of the Holy Spirit.(267)

teach that in the creation of the world and of man, God gave the first and universal witness to his almighty love and his wisdom, the first proclamation of the "plan of his loving goodness," which finds its goal in the new creation in Christ.(315)

explain that though the work of creation is attributed to the Father in particular, it is equally a truth of faith that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit together are the one, indivisible principle of creation.(316)

teach that God alone created the universe freely, directly, and without any help.(317)

explain that God created the world to show forth and communicate his glory. That his creatures should share in his truth, goodness, and beauty -- this is the glory for which God created them.(319)

teach that God created the universe and keeps it in existence by his Word, the Son "upholding the universe by his word of power" and by his Creator Spirit, the giver of life.(320)

explain that the fact that God permits physical and even moral evil is a mystery that God illuminates by his Son Jesus Christ who died and rose to vanquish evil.(324)

present angels as spiritual creatures who glorify God without ceasing and who serve his saving plans for other creatures.(350)

teach that God willed the diversity of his creatures and their own particular goodness, their interdependence, and their order. He destined all material creatures for the good of the human race. Man, and through him all creation, is destined for the glory of God.(353)

teach that man is predestined to reproduce the image of God's Son made man, the "image of the invisible God."(381)

explain that "Man, though made of body and soul, is a unity." The doctrine of the faith affirms that the spiritual and immortal soul is created immediately by God.(382)

teach that "God did not create man a solitary being. From the beginning, 'male and female he created them.' This partnership of man and woman constitutes the first form of communion between persons."(383)

explain that revelation makes known to us the state of original holiness and justice of man and woman before sin: from their friendship with God flowed the happiness of their existence in paradise.(384)

teach that "Although set by God in a state of rectitude, man, enticed by the evil one, abused his freedom at the very start of history. He lifted himself up against God and sought to attain his goal apart from him."(415)

explain that by his sin Adam, as the first man, lost the original holiness and justice he had received from God, not only for himself but for all human beings.(416)

explain that Adam and Eve transmitted to their descendants human nature wounded by their own first sin and hence deprived of original holiness and justice; this deprivation is called "original sin."(417)

teach that as a result of original sin, human nature is weakened in its powers; subject to ignorance, suffering, and the domination of death; and inclined to sin.(418)

teach that "Original sin is transmitted with human nature, 'by propagation, not by imitation,' and that it is . . . 'proper to each.'"(419)

teach that the name Jesus means "God saves."(452)

explain that the title "Christ" means "Anointed One"(Messiah).(453)

explain that the title "Son of God" signifies the unique and eternal relationship of Jesus Christ to God his Father: he is the only Son of the Father; he is God himself.(454)

explain that the title "Lord" indicates divine sovereignty. To confess or invoke Jesus as Lord is to believe in his divinity.(455)

teach that "The only-begotten Son of God, wanting to make us sharers in his divinity, assumed our nature, so that he, made man, might make men gods."(460)

teach that at the time appointed by God, the only Son of the Father, the eternal Word, that is, the Word and substantial Image of the Father, became incarnate; without losing his divine nature he has assumed human nature.(479)

teach that Jesus Christ is true God and true man, in the unity of his divine person; for this reason he is the one and only mediator between God and man.(480)

explain that the Incarnation is the mystery of the wonderful union of the divine and human natures in the one person of the Word.(483)

teach that Mary is truly "Mother of God," Theotokos.(495)

teach that from among the descendants of Eve, God chose the Virgin Mary to be mother of his Son. "Full of grace," Mary is "the most excellent fruit of redemption": from the first instant of her conception, she was totally preserved from the stain of original sin and she remained pure from all personal sin throughout her life.(508)

teach that Mary is truly "Mother of God" since she is the mother of the eternal Son of God made man, who is God himself.(509)

explain that Mary "remained a virgin in conceiving her Son, a virgin in giving birth to him, a virgin in carrying him, a virgin in nursing him at her breast, always a virgin": with her whole being she is "the handmaid of the Lord."(510)

teach that "the whole of Christ's life was a continual teaching: his silences, his miracles, his gestures, his prayer, his love for people, his special affection for the little and the poor, his acceptance of the total sacrifice on the Cross for the redemption of the world, and his Resurrection are the actualization of his word and the fulfillment of Revelation."(561)

explain that Jesus did not abolish the Law of Sinai, but rather fulfilled it with such perfection that he revealed its ultimate meaning and redeemed the transgressions against it.(592)

teach that our salvation flows from God's initiative of love for us, because "he loved us and sent his Son to be the expiation for our sins." Jesus freely offered himself for our salvation.(620-21)

explain that to the benefit of every man, Jesus Christ has tasted death. It is truly the Son of God made man who died and was buried.(629)

teach that in his human soul united to his divine person, the dead Christ went down to the realm of the dead. He opened heaven's gates for the just who had gone before him.(637)

teach that faith in the Resurrection has as its object an event which is historically attested to by the disciples, who really encountered the Risen One.(656)

teach that Christ, "the first-born from the dead," is the principle of our own resurrection.(658)

explain that Christ's ascension marks the definitive entrance of Jesus' humanity into God's heavenly domain, whence he will come again.(665)

teach that when he comes at the end of time to judge the living and the dead, the glorious Christ will reveal the secret disposition of hearts and will render to each man according to his works and according to his acceptance or refusal of grace.(682)

teach that from the beginning to the end of time, whenever God sends his Son, he always sends his Spirit: their mission is conjoined and inseparable.(743)

explain that in the fulness of time the Holy Spirit completes in Mary all the preparations for Christ's coming among the People of God. By the action of the Holy Spirit in her, the Father gives the world Emmanuel, "God-with-us."(744)

explain that the Holy Spirit, whom Christ the head pours out on his members, builds, animates, and sanctifies the Church.(747)

explain that the Church is the sacrament of the Holy Trinity's communion with men.(747)

teach that the word "Church" means "convocation." It designates the assembly of those whom God's Word "convokes," i.e. gathers together to form the People of God, and who themselves, nourished with the Body of Christ, become the Body of Christ.(777)

teach that the Church is both the means and the goal of God's plan.(778)

explain that the Church is both visible and spiritual, a hierarchical society and the Mystical Body of Christ. She is one, yet formed of two components, human and divine. That is her mystery, which only faith can accept.(779)

explain that the Church in this world is the sacrament of salvation, the sign and the instrument of the communion of God and men.(780)

teach that one enters into the People of God by faith and Baptism. "All men are called to belong to the new People of God," so that, in Christ, "men may form one family and one People of God."(804)

teach that the Church is the Body of Christ.(805)

explain that in the unity of this Body, there is a diversity of members and functions.(806)

explain that the Church is this Body of which Christ is the head: she lives from him, in him, and for him; he lives with her and in her.(807)

teach that the Church is the Bride of Christ: he loved her and handed himself over to her.(808)

teach that the Church is the Temple of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit is the soul, as it were, of the Mystical Body, the source of its life, of its unity in diversity, and of the riches of its gifts and charisms.(809)

teach that "the universal Church is 'a people brought into unity from the unity of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.'" (810)

teach that non Catholics "who believe in Christ and have been properly baptized are put in a certain, although imperfect, communion with the Catholic Church."(838)

teach that the Jewish faith, unlike other non-Christian religions, is already a response to God's revelation in the Old Covenant. Materials should also emphasize that neither all Jews indiscriminately at that time, nor Jews today, can be charged with the crimes committed during Christ's passion and that the Jews should not be spoken of as rejected or accursed as if this followed from holy Scripture.(839,597)

teach that all salvation comes from Christ the Head through the Church which is his Body.(846)

teach that those, who through no fault of their own, do not know the Gospel of Christ or his Church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart, and moved by grace, try in their actions to do his will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience - those too may achieve eternal salvation.(847)

teach that the Church has received a missionary mandate. "Having been divinely sent to the nations that she might be 'the universal sacrament of salvation,' the Church, in obedience to the command of her founder and because it is demanded by her own essential universality, strives to preach the Gospel to all men."(849)

teach that it is from God's love for all men that the Church in every age receives both the obligation and the vigor of her missionary dynamism, "for the love of Christ urges us on" and that God "desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth" and wills the salvation of everyone through the knowledge of the truth.(851)

explain that the Holy Spirit is the "principal agent of the whole of the Church's mission" and that as it continues the mission of the Church unfolds the mission of Christ.(852)

teach that the Church is one: she acknowledges one Lord, confesses one faith, is born of one Baptism, forms only one Body, is given life by the one Spirit, for the sake of one hope, at whose fulfillment all divisions will be overcome.(866)

teach that the Church is holy: the Most Holy God is her author; Christ, her bridegroom, gave himself up to make her holy: the Spirit of holiness gives her life. (867)

teach that the Church is catholic: she proclaims the fullness of the faith in herself and administers the totality of the means of salvation. She is sent out to all peoples. She speaks to all men. She encompasses all times. She is "missionary of her very nature."(868)

teach that the Church is apostolic. She is built on a lasting foundation: "the twelve apostles of the Lamb." She is indestructible. She is upheld infallibly in the truth: Christ governs her through Peter and the other apostles, who are present in their successors, the Pope and the college of bishops.(869)

teach that "The sole Church of Christ which in the Creed we profess to be one, holy, catholic, apostolic, . . . subsists in the Catholic Church, which is governed by the successor of Peter and by the bishops in communion with him. Nevertheless, many elements of sanctification and of truth are found outside its visible confines."(870)

explain that to proclaim the faith and to plant his reign, Christ sends his apostles and their successors. He gives them a share in his own mission. From him they receive the power to act in his person.(935)

teach that the Lord made St. Peter the visible foundation of the Church. He entrusted the keys of the Church to him. The bishop of the Church of Rome, successor to St. Peter, is "head of the college of bishops, the Vicar of Christ and Pastor of the universal Church on earth."(936)

explain that the Pope enjoys, by divine institution, "supreme, full, immediate, and universal power in the care of souls."(937)

explain that the Bishops, established by the Holy Spirit, succeed the apostles. They are "the visible source and foundation of unity in their own particular Churches."(938)

explain that helped by the priests, their co-workers, and by the deacons, the bishops have the duty of authentically teaching the faith, celebrating divine worship, above all the Eucharist, and guiding their Churches as true pastors.(939)

explain that lay people share in Christ's priesthood: ever more united with him, they exhibit the grace of Baptism and Confirmation in all dimensions of their personal, family, social, and ecclesial lives, and so fulfill the call to holiness addressed to all the baptized.(941)

explain that by virtue of their prophetic mission, lay people "are called . . . to be witnesses to Christ in all circumstances and at the very heart of the community of mankind."(942)

explain that life consecrated to God is characterized by the public profession of the evangelical counsels of poverty, chastity, and obedience, in a stable state of life recognized by the Church.(944)

teach that the Church is a "communion of saints": this expression refers first to the "holy things" (sancta), above all the Eucharist, by which "the unity of believers, who form one body in Christ, is both represented and brought about."(960)

explain that by pronouncing her "fiat" at the Annunciation and giving her consent to the Incarnation, Mary was already collaborating with the whole work her Son was to accomplish.(973)

teach that the Most Blessed Virgin Mary, when the course of her earthly life was completed, was taken up body and soul into the glory of heaven, where she already shares in the glory of her Son's Resurrection, anticipating the resurrection of all members of his Body.(974)

teach that Baptism is the first and chief sacrament of the forgiveness of sins: it unites us to Christ, who died and rose, and gives us the Holy Spirit.(985)

explain that by Christ's will, the Church possesses the power to forgive the sins of the baptized and exercises it through bishops and priests normally in the sacrament of Penance.(986)

teach that by death the soul is separated from the body, but in the resurrection God will give incorruptible life to our body, transformed by reunion with our soul. Just as Christ is risen and lives for ever, so all of us will rise at the last day.(1016)

explain that every man receives his eternal recompense in his immortal soul from the moment of his death in a particular judgement by Christ, the judge of the living and the dead.(1051)

explain that those who die in God's grace and friendship imperfectly purified, although they are assured of their eternal salvation, undergo a purification after death, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of God.(1054)

explain that by virtue of the "communion of saints," the Church commends the dead to God's mercy and offers her prayers, especially the holy sacrifice of the Eucharist, on their behalf.(1055)

explain that by following the example of Christ, the Church warns the faithful of the "sad and lamentable reality of eternal death," also called "hell." (1056)

explain that hell's principal punishment consists of eternal separation from God in whom alone man can have the life and happiness for which he was created and for which he longs.(1057)

teach that "The holy Roman Church firmly believes and confesses that on the Day of Judgment all men will appear in their own bodies before Christ's tribunal to render an account of their own deeds."(1059)

explain that at the end of time, the Kingdom of God will come in its fullness. Then the just will reign with Christ for ever, glorified in body and soul, and the material universe itself will be transformed. God will then be "all in all" in eternal life.(1060)

Part Two: The Celebration of the Christian Mystery

Catechetical texts in conformity with the Catechism should:

teach that in the liturgy of the Church, God the Father is blessed and adored as the source of all the blessings of creation and salvation with which he has blessed us in his Son, in order to give us the Spirit of filial adoption.(1110)

explain that Christ's work in the liturgy is sacramental: because his mystery of salvation is made present there by the power of his Holy Spirit; because his Body, which is the Church, is like a sacrament (sign and instrument) in which the Holy Spirit dispenses the mystery of salvation; and because through her liturgical actions the pilgrim Church already participates, as by a foretaste, in the heavenly liturgy.(1111)

explain that the mission of the Holy Spirit in the liturgy of the Church is to prepare the assembly to encounter Christ; to recall and manifest Christ to the faith of the assembly; to make the saving work of Christ present and active by his transforming power; and to make the gift of communion bear fruit in the Church.(1112)

present the sacraments as efficacious signs of grace, instituted by Christ and entrusted to the Church, by which divine life is dispensed to us. The visible rites by which the sacraments are celebrated signify and make present the graces proper to each sacrament. They bear fruit in those who receive them with the required dispositions.(1131)

present the liturgy as the work of the whole Christ, head and body. (1187)

explain that the Liturgy of the Word is an integral part of the celebration. (1190)

teach that Sunday, the "Lord's Day," is the principal day for the celebration of the Eucharist because it is the day of the Resurrection. It is the pre-eminent day of the liturgical assembly, the day of the Christian family, and the day of joy and rest from work. Sunday is "the foundation and kernel of the whole liturgical year."(1193)

explain that the Church, "in the course of the year, ...unfolds the whole mystery of Christ from his Incarnation and Nativity through his Ascension, to Pentecost and the expectation of the blessed hope of the coming of the Lord."(1194)

teach that by keeping the memorials of the saints -- first of all the holy Mother of God, then the apostles, the martyrs, and other saints -- on fixed days of the liturgical year, the Church on earth shows that she is united with the liturgy of heaven.(1195)

explain that the diverse liturgical traditions or rites, legitimately recognized, manifest the catholicity of the Church, because they signify and communicate the same mystery of Christ.(1208)

explain that the criterion that assures unity amid the diversity of liturgical traditions is fidelity to apostolic Tradition, i.e., the communion in the faith and the sacraments received from the apostles, a communion that is both signified and guaranteed by apostolic succession.(1209)

teach that Christian initiation is accomplished in three sacraments together: Baptism which is the beginning of new life; Confirmation which is its strengthening; and the Eucharist which nourishes the disciple with Christ's Body and Blood for his transformation in Christ.(1275) present Baptism as birth into the new life in Christ. In accordance with the Lord's will, it is necessary for salvation, as is the Church herself, which we enter by Baptism.(1277)

explain that the essential rite of Baptism consists in immersing the candidate in water or pouring water on his head, while pronouncing the invocation of the Most Holy Trinity: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.(1278) present the fruit of Baptism, or baptismal grace, as a rich reality that includes forgiveness of original sin and all personal sins, birth into the new life by which man becomes an adoptive son of the Father, a member of Christ and a temple of the Holy Spirit. By this very fact the person baptized is incorporated into the Church, the Body of Christ, and made a sharer in the priesthood of Christ.(1279)

teach that Baptism imprints on the soul an indelible spiritual sign, the character, which consecrates the baptized person for Christian worship. Because of the character Baptism cannot be repeated.(1280)

teach that those who die for the faith, those who are catechumens, and all those who, without knowing of the Church but acting under the inspiration of grace, seek God sincerely and strive to fulfill his will, can be saved even if they have not been baptized.(1281)

explain that since the earliest times, Baptism has been administered to children, for it is a grace and a gift of God that does not presuppose any human merit; children are baptized in the faith of the Church. Entry into Christian life gives access to true freedom.(1282)

explain that with respect to children who have died without Baptism, the liturgy of the Church invites us to trust in God's mercy and to pray for their salvation.(1283)

teach that, in case of necessity, any person can baptize provided that he have the intention of doing that which the Church does and provided that he pours water on the candidate's head while saying "I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit."(1284)

teach that Confirmation perfects Baptismal grace; it is the sacrament which gives the Holy Spirit in order to root us more deeply in the divine filiation, incorporate us more firmly into Christ, strengthen our bond with the Church, associate us more closely with her mission, and help us bear witness to the Christian faith in words accompanied by deeds.(1316)

explain that Confirmation, like Baptism, imprints a spiritual mark or indelible character on the Christian's soul; for this reason one can receive this sacrament only once in one's life.(1317)

explain that in the East Confirmation is administered immediately after Baptism and is followed by participation in the Eucharist; this tradition highlights the unity of the three sacraments of Christian initiation.(1318)

explain that a candidate for Confirmation who has attained the age of reason must profess the faith, be in the state of grace, have the intention of receiving the sacrament, and be prepared to assume the role of disciple and witness to Christ, both within the ecclesial community and in temporal affairs.(1319)

teach that the essential rite of Confirmation is anointing the forehead of the baptized with sacred chrism (in the East other sense-organs as well), together with the laying on of the minister's hand and the words: Be sealed with the Gift of the Holy Spirit.(1320)

teach that the Eucharist is the heart and the summit of the Church's life, for in it Christ associates his Church and all her members with his sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving offered once for all on the cross to his Father; by this sacrifice he pours out the graces of salvation on his Body which is the Church.(1407)

explain that the Eucharistic celebration always includes: the proclamation of the Word of God; thanksgiving to God the Father for all his benefits, above all the gift of his Son; the consecration of bread and wine; and participation in the liturgical banquet by receiving the Lord's body and blood. These elements constitute one single act of worship.(1408)

explain that the Eucharist is the memorial of Christ's Passover, that is, of the work of salvation accomplished by the life, death, and resurrection of Christ, a work made present by the liturgical action.(1409)

teach that Christ himself, the eternal high priest of the New Covenant, acting through the ministry of the priests, offers the Eucharistic sacrifice.(1410)

explain that only validly ordained priests can preside at the Eucharist and consecrate the bread and the wine so that they become the Body and Blood of the Lord.(1411)

teach that the essential signs of the Eucharistic sacrament are wheat bread and grape wine, on which the blessing of the Holy Spirit is invoked and the priest pronounces the words of consecration spoken by Jesus during the Last Supper: "This is my body which will be given up for you. . . . This is the cup of my blood. . . ."(1412)

explain that by the consecration the transubstantiation of the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ is brought about. Under the consecrated species of bread and wine Christ himself, living and glorious, is present in a true, real, and substantial manner: his Body and his Blood, with his soul and his divinity.(1413)

teach that, as sacrifice, the Eucharist is also offered in reparation for the sins of the living and the dead and to obtain spiritual or temporal benefits from God.(1414)

explain that anyone who desires to receive Christ in Eucharistic communion must be in the state of grace. Anyone aware of having sinned mortally must not receive communion without having received absolution in the sacrament of penance.(1415)

teach that communion with the Body and Blood of Christ increases the communicant's union with the Lord, forgives his venial sins, and preserves him from grave sins. Since receiving this sacrament strengthens the bonds of charity between the communicant and Christ, it also reinforces the unity of the Church as the Mystical Body of Christ.(1416)

explain that the Church warmly recommends that the faithful receive Holy Communion when they participate in the celebration of the Eucharist; she obliges them to do so at least once a year.(1417)

teach that the forgiveness of sins committed after Baptism is conferred by a particular sacrament called the sacrament of conversion, confession, penance, or reconciliation.(1486)

explain that the movement of return to God, called conversion and repentance, entails sorrow for and abhorrence of sins committed, and the firm purpose of sinning no more in the future.(1490)

teach that the sacrament of Penance is a whole consisting in three actions of the penitent and the priest's absolution. The penitent's acts are repentance, confession or disclosure of sins to the priest, and the intention to make reparation and do works of reparation.(1491)

explain that repentance (also called contrition) must be inspired by motives that arise from faith. If repentance arises from love of charity for God, it is called "perfect" contrition; if it is founded on other motives, it is called "imperfect."(1492)

explain that one who desires to obtain reconciliation with God and with the Church, must confess to a priest all the unconfessed grave sins he remembers after having carefully examined his conscience. The confession of venial faults, without being necessary in itself, is nevertheless strongly recommended by the Church.(1493)

explain that the confessor proposes the performance of certain acts of "satisfaction" or "penance" to be performed by the penitent in order to repair the harm caused by sin and to re-establish habits befitting a disciple of Christ.(1494)

explain that only priests who have received the faculty of absolving from the authority of the Church can forgive sins in the name of Christ.(1495)

teach that the spiritual effects of the sacrament of Penance are: reconciliation with God by which the penitent recovers grace; reconciliation with the Church; remission of the eternal punishment incurred by mortal sins; remission, at least in part, of temporal punishments resulting from sin; peace and serenity of conscience, and spiritual consolation; an increase of spiritual strength for the Christian battle.(1496)

explain that the individual and integral confession of grave sins followed by absolution remains the only ordinary means of reconciliation with God and with the Church.(1497)

explain that through indulgences the faithful can obtain remission of temporal punishment resulting from sin for themselves and also for the souls in Purgatory.(1498)

teach that the sacrament of Anointing of the Sick has as its purpose the conferral of a special grace on the Christian experiencing the difficulties inherent in the condition of grave illness or old age.(1527)

explain that the proper time for receiving this holy anointing has certainly arrived when the believer begins to be in danger of death because of illness or old age.(1528)

teach that each time a Christian falls seriously ill, he may receive the Anointing of the Sick, and also when, after he has received it, the illness worsens.(1529)

teach that only priests (presbyters and bishops) can give the sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick, using oil blessed by the bishop, or if necessary by the celebrating presbyter himself.(1530)

explain that the celebration of the Anointing of the Sick consists essentially in the anointing of the forehead and hands of the sick person (in the Roman Rite) or of other parts of the body (in the Eastern rite), the anointing being accompanied by the liturgical prayer of the celebrant asking for the special grace of this sacrament.(1531)

teach that the special grace of the Anointing of the Sick has as its effects: the uniting of the sick person to the passion of Christ, for his own good and that of the whole Church; the strengthening, peace, and courage to endure in a Christian manner the sufferings of illness or old age; the forgiveness of sins, if the sick person was not able to obtain it through the sacrament of Penance; the restoration of health, if it is conducive to the salvation of his soul; the preparation for passing over to eternal life.(1532)

teach that the whole Church is a priestly people. Through Baptism all the faithful share in the priesthood of Christ. This participation is called the "common priesthood of the faithful." Based on this common priesthood and ordered to its service, there exists another participation in the mission of Christ: the ministry conferred by the sacrament of Holy Orders, where the task is to serve in the name and in the person of Christ the Head in the midst of the community.(1591)

explain that the ministerial priesthood differs in essence from the common priesthood of the faithful because it confers a sacred power for the service of the faithful. The ordained ministers exercise their service for the People of God by teaching (munus docendi), divine worship (munus liturgicum) and pastoral governance (munus regendi).(1592)

explain that since the beginning, the ordained ministry has been conferred and exercised in three degrees: that of bishops, that of presbyters, and that of deacons. The ministries conferred by ordination are irreplaceable for the organic structure of the Church: without the bishop, presbyters, and deacons, one cannot speak of the Church.(1593)

explain that the bishop receives the fullness of the sacrament of Holy Orders, which integrates him into the episcopal college and makes him the visible head of the particular Church entrusted to him. As successors of the apostles and members of the college, the bishops share in the apostolic responsibility and mission of the whole Church under the authority of the Pope, successor of St. Peter.(1594)

teach that priests are united with the bishops in sacerdotal dignity and at the same time depend on them in the exercise of their pastoral functions; they are called to be the bishops' prudent co-workers. They form around their bishop the presbyterium which bears responsibility with him for the particular Church. They receive from the bishop the charge of a parish community or a determinate ecclesial office.(1595)

teach that deacons are ministers ordained for tasks of service of the Church; they do not receive the ministerial priesthood, but ordination confers on them important functions in the ministry of the word, divine worship, pastoral governance, and the service of charity, tasks which they must carry out under the pastoral authority of their bishop.(1596)

explain that the sacrament of Holy Orders is conferred by the laying on of hands followed by a solemn prayer of consecration asking God to grant the ordinand the graces of the Holy Spirit required for his ministry. Ordination imprints an indelible sacramental character.(1597)

explain that the Church confers the sacrament of Holy Orders only on baptized men (viri), whose suitability for the exercise of the ministry has been duly recognized. Church authority alone has the responsibility and right to call someone to receive the sacrament of Holy Orders.(1598)

teach that it is the bishops who confer the sacrament of Holy Orders in the three degrees.(1600)

teach that the marriage covenant, by which a man and a woman form with each other an intimate communion of life and love, has been founded and endowed with its own special laws by the Creator. By its very nature it is ordered to the good of the couple, as well as to the generation and education of children. Christ the Lord raised marriage between the baptized to the dignity of a sacrament.(1660)

teach that the sacrament of Matrimony signifies the union of Christ and the Church. It gives spouses the grace to love each other with the love with which Christ has loved his Church; the grace of the sacrament thus perfects the human love of the spouses, strengthens their indissoluble unity, and sanctifies them on the way to eternal life.(1661)

explain that marriage is based on the consent of the contracting parties, that is, on their will to give themselves, each to the other, mutually and definitively, in order to live a covenant of faithful and fruitful love.(1662)

explain that since marriage establishes the couple in a public state of life in the Church, it is fitting that its celebration be public, in the framework of a liturgical celebration, before the priest (or a witness authorized by the Church), the witnesses, and the assembly of the faithful.(1663)

teach that unity, indissolubility, and openness to fertility are essential to marriage. Polygamy is incompatible with the unity of marriage; divorce separates what God has joined together; the refusal of fertility turns married life away from its "supreme gift," the child.(1664)

explain that the remarriage of persons divorced from a living, lawful spouse contravenes the plan and law of God as taught by Christ. They are not separated from the Church, but they cannot receive Eucharistic communion. They will lead Christian lives especially by educating their children in the faith.(1665)

teach that the Christian home is the place where children receive their first proclamation of the faith. For this reason the family home is rightly called "the domestic church," a community of grace and prayer, a school of human virtues and of Christian charity.(1666)

teach that sacramentals are sacred signs instituted by the Church. They prepare men to receive the fruit of the sacraments and sanctify different circumstances of life.(1677)

explain that among the sacramentals blessings occupy an important place. They include both praise of God for his works and gifts, and the Church's intercession for men that they may be able to use God's gifts according to the spirit of the Gospel.(1678)

teach that in addition to the liturgy, Christian life is nourished by various forms of popular piety, rooted in the different cultures. While carefully clarifying them in the light of faith, the Church fosters the forms of popular piety that express an evangelical instinct and a human wisdom and that enrich Christian life.(1679)

Part Three: Life in Christ

Catechetical texts in conformity with the Catechism should:

teach that endowed with a spiritual soul, with intellect and with free will, the human person is from his very conception ordered to God and destined for eternal beatitude.(1711)

explain that man is obliged to follow the moral law, which urges him "to do what is good and avoid what is evil." This law makes itself heard in his conscience.(1713)

explain that man, having been wounded in his nature by original sin, is subject to error and inclined to evil in exercising his freedom.(1714)

teach that he who believes in Christ has new life in the Holy Spirit. The moral life, increased and brought to maturity in grace, is to reach its fulfillment in the glory of heaven.(1715)

explain that the Beatitudes take up and fulfill God's promises from Abraham on by ordering them to the Kingdom of heaven. They respond to the desire for happiness that God has placed in the human heart.(1725)

explain that the Beatitudes teach us the final end to which God calls us: the Kingdom, the vision of God, participation in the divine nature, eternal life, filiation, rest in God.(1726)

teach that freedom characterizes properly human acts. It makes the human being responsible for acts of which he is the voluntary agent. His deliberate acts properly belong to him.(1745)

explain that the imputability or responsibility for an action can be diminished or nullified by ignorance, duress, fear, and other psychological or social factors.(1746)

teach that the right to the exercise of freedom, especially in religious and moral matters, is an inalienable requirement of the dignity of man. But the exercise of freedom does not entail the putative right to say or do anything.(1747)

explain that the object, the intention, and the circumstances make up the three "sources" of the morality of human acts.(1757)

teach that a morally good act requires the goodness of its object, of its end, and of its circumstances together.(1760)

teach that there are concrete acts that it is always wrong to choose, because their choice entails a disorder of the will, i.e., a moral evil. One may not do evil so that good may result from it.(1761)

teach that conscience is a judgment of reason by which the human person recognizes the moral quality of a concrete act.(1796)

explain that a well-formed conscience is upright and truthful. It formulates its judgments according to reason, in conformity with the true good willed by the wisdom of the Creator. Everyone must avail himself of the means to form his conscience.(1798)

explain that faced with a moral choice, conscience can make either a right judgment in accordance with reason and the divine law or, on the contrary, an erroneous judgment that departs from them.(1799)

teach that a human being must always obey the certain judgment of his conscience.(1800)

explain that conscience can remain in ignorance or make erroneous judgments. Such ignorance and errors are not always free of guilt.(1801)

teach that the Word of God is a light for our path. We must assimilate it in faith and prayer and put it into practice. This is how moral conscience is formed.(1802)

teach that virtue is a habitual and firm disposition to do good.(1833)

teach that the human virtues are stable dispositions of the intellect and the will that govern our acts, order our passions, and guide our conduct in accordance with reason and faith. They can be grouped around the four cardinal virtues: prudence, justice, fortitude, and temperance.(1834)

explain that the moral virtues grow through education, deliberate acts, and perseverance in struggle. Divine grace purifies and elevates them.(1839)

teach that the theological virtues dispose Christians to live in a relationship with the Holy Trinity. They have God for their origin, their motive, and their object -- God known by faith, God hoped in and loved for his own sake.(1840)

explain that there are three theological virtues: faith, hope, and charity. They inform all the moral virtues and give life to them.(1841)

teach that the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit bestowed upon Christians are wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord.(1845)

teach that sin is an utterance, a deed, or a desire contrary to the eternal law. It is an offense against God. It rises up against God in a disobedience contrary to the obedience of Christ.(1871)

explain that sin is an act contrary to reason. It wounds man's nature and injures human solidarity.(1872)

explain that to choose deliberately -- that is, both knowing it and willing it -- something gravely contrary to the divine law and to the ultimate end of man is to commit a mortal sin. This destroys in us the charity without which eternal beatitude is impossible. Unrepented, it brings eternal death.(1874)

explain that venial sin constitutes a moral disorder that is reparable by charity, which it allows to subsist in us.(1875)

explain that the repetition of sins -- even venial ones -- engenders vices, among which are the capital sins.(1876)

teach that there is a certain resemblance between the unity of the divine persons and the fraternity that men ought to establish among themselves.(1890)

explain that "The human person . . . is and ought to be the principle, the subject, and the object of every social organization."(1892)

explain that society ought to promote the exercise of virtue, not obstruct it. It should be animated by a just hierarchy of values.(1895)

teach that "The political community and public authority are based on human nature and therefore . . . belong to an order established by God."(1920)

explain that the authority is exercised legitimately if it is committed to the common good of society. To attain this it must employ morally acceptable means.(1921)

teach that political authority must be exercised within the limits of the moral order and must guarantee the conditions for the exercise of freedom.(1923)

teach that the common good comprises "the sum total of social conditions which allow people, either as groups or as individuals, to reach their fulfillment more fully and more easily."(1925)

teach that the dignity of the human person requires the pursuit of the common good. Everyone should be concerned to create and support institutions that improve the conditions of human life.(1926)

explain that it is the role of the state to defend and promote the common good of civil society. The common good of the whole human family calls for an organization of society on the international level.(1927)

explain that society ensures social justice by providing the conditions that allow associations and individuals to obtain their due.(1943)

teach that respect for the human person considers the other "another self." It presupposes respect for the fundamental rights that flow from the dignity intrinsic of the person.(1944)

explain that the equality of men concerns their dignity as persons and the rights that flow from it.(1945)

teach that the equal dignity of human persons requires the effort to reduce excessive social and economic inequalities. It gives urgency to the elimination of sinful inequalities.(1947)

explain that solidarity is an eminently Christian virtue. It practices the sharing of spiritual goods even more than material ones.(1948)

teach that according to Scripture the Law is a fatherly instruction by God which prescribes for man the ways that lead to the promised beatitude, and proscribes the ways of evil. (1975)

explain that the natural law is a participation in God's wisdom and goodness by man formed in the image of his Creator. It expresses the dignity of the human person and forms the basis of his fundamental rights and duties.(1978)

explain that the natural law is immutable, permanent throughout history. The rules that express it remain substantially valid. It is a necessary foundation for the erection of moral rules and civil law.(1979)

explain that the Old Law is the first stage of revealed law. Its moral prescriptions are summed up in the Ten Commandments.(1980)

teach that the Old Law is a preparation for the Gospel.(1982)

teach that the New Law is the grace of the Holy Spirit received by faith in Christ, operating through charity. It finds expression above all in the Lord's Sermon on the Mount and uses the sacraments to communicate grace to us.(1983)

teach that the grace of the Holy Spirit confers upon us the righteousness of God. Uniting us by faith and Baptism to the Passion and Resurrection of Christ, the Spirit makes us sharers in his life.(2017)

teach that like conversion, justification has two aspects. Moved by grace, man turns toward God and away from sin, and so accepts forgiveness and righteousness from on high.(2018)

explain that justification includes remission of sins, sanctification, and the renewal of the inner man.(2019)

explain that justification has been merited for us by the Passion of Christ. It is granted us through Baptism. It conforms us to the righteousness of God, who justifies us. It has for its goal the glory of God and of Christ, and the gift of eternal life. It is the most excellent work of God's mercy.(2020)

explain that grace is the help God gives us to respond to our vocation of becoming his adopted sons. It introduces us into the intimacy of the Trinitarian life.(2021)

teach that the divine initiative in the work of grace precedes, prepares, and elicits the free response of man. Grace responds to the deepest yearnings of human freedom, calls freedom to cooperate with it, and perfects freedom.(2022)

teach that sanctifying grace is the gratuitous gift of his life that God makes to us; it is infused by the Holy Spirit into the soul to heal it of sin and to sanctify it.(2023)

teach that we can have merit in God's sight only because of God's free plan to associate man with the work of his grace. Merit is to be ascribed in the first place to the grace of God, and secondly to man's collaboration. Man's merit is due to God.(2025)

explain that no one can merit the initial grace which is at the origin of conversion. Moved by the Holy Spirit, we can merit for ourselves and for others all the graces needed to attain eternal life, as well as necessary temporal goods.(2027)

explain the precepts of the Church: you shall attend Mass on Sundays and holy days of obligation; you shall confess your sins at least once a year; you shall humbly receive your Creator in Holy Communion at least during the Easter season.(2042)

explain the precepts of the Church: You shall keep holy the holy days of obligation; you shall observe the prescribed days of fasting and abstinence; you have a duty of providing for the material needs of the Church, each according to his abilities.(2043)

explain that the moral life is a spiritual worship. Christian activity finds its nourishment in the liturgy and the celebration of the sacraments.(2047)

explain that the precepts of the Church concern the moral and Christian life united with the liturgy and nourished by it.(2048)

explain that the Roman Pontiff and the bishops, as authentic teachers, preach to the People of God the faith which is to be believed and applied in moral life. It is also encumbent on them to pronounce on moral questions that fall within the natural law and reason.(2050)

explain that the infallibility of the Magisterium of the Pastors extends to all elements of doctrine, including moral doctrine, without which the saving truths of the faith cannot be preserved, expounded, or observed.(2051)

teach that the Decalogue contains a privileged expression of the natural law. It is made known to us by divine revelation and by human reason.(2080)

teach that the Ten Commandments, in their fundamental content, state grave obligations. However, obedience to these precepts also implies obligations in matter which is, in itself, light.(2081)

explain that what God commands he makes possible by his grace.(2082)

teach that the first commandment summons man to believe in God, to hope in him, and to love him above all else.(2134)

teach that adoring God, praying to him, offering him the worship that belongs to him, fulfilling the promises and vows made to him are acts of the virtue of religion which fall under obedience to the first commandment.(2135)

explain that superstition is a departure from the worship that we give to the true God. It is manifested in idolatry, as well as in various forms of divination and magic.(2138)

explain that tempting God in words or deeds, sacrilege, and simony are sins of irreligion forbidden by the first commandment.(2139)

teach that since it rejects or denies the existence of God, atheism is a sin against the first commandment.(2140)

explain that the veneration of sacred images is based on the mystery of the Incarnation of the Word of God. It is not contrary to the first commandment.(2141)

teach that the second commandment enjoins respect for the Lord's name. The name of the Lord is holy.(2161)

teach that the second commandment forbids every improper use of God's name. Blasphemy is the use of the name of God, of Jesus Christ, of the Virgin Mary, and of the saints in an offensive way.(2162)

explain that false oaths call on God to be witness to a lie. Perjury is a grave offence against the Lord who is always faithful to his promises.(2163)

teach that the ceremonial observance of the sabbath, which represented the completion of the first creation, has been replaced by Sunday which recalls the new creation inaugurated by the Resurrection of Christ.(2175, 2190)

explain that the Church celebrates the day of Christ's Resurrection on the "eighth day," Sunday, which is rightly called the Lord's Day.(2191)

explain that "Sunday . . . is to be observed as the foremost holy day of obligation in the universal Church. . . . On Sundays and other holy days of obligation the faithful are bound to participate in the Mass."(2192)

teach that "On Sundays and other holy days of obligation the faithful are bound. . . to abstain from those labors and business concerns which impede the worship to be rendered to God, the joy which is proper to the Lord's Day, or the proper relaxation of mind and body.(2193)

explain that the institution of Sunday helps all "to be allowed sufficient rest and leisure to cultivate their familial, cultural, social, and religious lives."(2194)

explain that every Christian should avoid making unnecessary demands on others that would hinder them from observing the Lord's Day.(2195)

teach that according to the fourth commandment, God has willed that, after him, we should honor our parents and those whom he has vested with authority for our good.(2248)

explain that children owe their parents respect, gratitude, just obedience, and assistance. Filial respect fosters harmony in all of family life.(2251)

explain that parents have the first responsibility for the education of their children in the faith, prayer, and all the virtues. They have the duty to provide as far as possible for the physical and spiritual needs of their children.(2252)

explain that parents should respect and encourage their children's vocations. They should remember and teach that the first calling of the Christian is to follow Jesus.(2253)

explain that public authority is obliged to respect the fundamental rights of the human person and the conditions for the exercise of his freedom.(2254)

teach that it is the duty of citizens to work with civil authority for building up society in a spirit of truth, justice, solidarity, and freedom.(2255)

explain that citizens are obliged in conscience not to follow the directives of civil authorities when they are contrary to the demands of the moral order. "We must obey God rather than men."(2256)

teach that every society's judgments and conduct reflect a vision of man and of his destiny. Without the light the Gospel sheds on God and man, societies easily become totalitarian.(2257)

teach that every human life, from the moment of conception until death, is sacred because the human person has been willed for its own sake in the image and likeness of the living and holy God.(2319)

teach that murder of a human being is gravely contrary to the dignity of the person and the holiness of the Creator.(2320)

explain that the prohibition of murder does not abrogate the right to render an unjust aggressor unable to inflict harm. Legitimate defense is a grave duty for whoever is responsible for the lives of others or the common good.(2321)

teach that from its conception, the child has the right to life. Direct abortion, that is, abortion willed as an end or as a means, is a "criminal" practice, gravely contrary to the moral law. The Church imposes the canonical penalty of excommunication for this crime against human life.(2322)

teach that because it should be treated as a person from conception, the embryo must be defended in its integrity, cared for, and healed like every other human being.(2323)

teach that intentional euthanasia, whatever its forms or motives, is murder. It is gravely contrary to the dignity of the human person and to the respect due to the living God, his Creator.(2324)

teach that suicide is seriously contrary to justice, hope, and charity. It is forbidden by the fifth commandment.(2325)

explain that scandal is a grave offense when by deed or omission it deliberately leads others to sin gravely.(2326)

explain that because of the evils and injustices that all war brings with it, we must do everything reasonably possible to avoid it. The Church prays: "From famine, pestilence, and war, O Lord, deliver us."(2327)

explain that the Church and human reason assert the permanent validity of the moral law during armed conflicts. Practices deliberately contrary to the law of nations and to its universal principles are crimes.(2328)

explain that "The arms race is one of the greatest curses on the human race and the harm it inflicts on the poor is more than can be endured."(2329)

teach that by creating the human being man and woman, God gives personal dignity to the one and the other. Each of them, man and woman, should acknowledge and accept his sexual identity.(2393)

explain that Christ is the model of chastity. Every baptized person is called to lead a chaste life, each according to his particular state of life.(2394)

explain that chastity means the integration of sexuality within the person. It includes an apprenticeship in self-mastery.(2395)

teach that among the sins gravely contrary to chastity are masturbation, fornication, pornography, and homosexual practices.(2396)

explain that the covenant which spouses have freely entered into entails faithful love. It imposes on them the obligation to keep their marriage indissoluble.(2397)

explain that the regulation of births represents one of the aspects of responsible fatherhood and motherhood. Legitimate intentions on the part of the spouses do not justify recourse to morally unacceptable means (for example, direct sterilization or contraception).(2399)

teach that adultery, divorce, polygamy, and free union are grave offenses against the dignity of marriage.(2400)

teach that the seventh commandment enjoins the practice of justice and charity in the administration of earthly goods and the fruits of men's labor.(2451)

teach that the goods of creation are destined for the entire human race. The right to private property does not abolish the universal destination of goods.(2452)

explain that the seventh commandment forbids theft. Theft is the usurpation of another's goods against the reasonable will of the owner.(2453)

explain that every manner of taking and using another's property unjustly is contrary to the seventh commandment. The injustice committed requires reparation. Commutative justice requires the restitution of stolen goods.(2454)

teach that the moral law forbids acts which, for commercial or totalitarian purposes, lead to the enslavement of human beings, or to their being bought, sold or exchanged like merchandise. (2455)

teach that the dominion granted by the Creator over the mineral, vegetable, and animal resources of the universe cannot be separated from respect for moral obligations, including those toward generations to come.(2456)

explain that the Church makes a judgment about economic and social matters when the fundamental rights of the person or the salvation of souls requires it. She is concerned with the temporal common good of men because they are ordered to the sovereign Good, their ultimate end.(2458)

explain that man is himself the author, center, and goal of all economic and social life. The decisive point of the social question is that goods created by God for everyone should in fact reach everyone in accordance with justice and with the help of charity.(2459)

explain that the primordial value of labor stems from man himself, its author and beneficiary. By means of his labor man participates in the work of creation. Work united to Christ can be redemptive.(2460)

explain that true development concerns the whole man. It is concerned with increasing each person's ability to respond to his vocation and hence to God's call.(2461)

explain that giving alms to the poor is a witness to fraternal charity: it is also a work of justice pleasing to God.(2462)

teach that truth or truthfulness is the virtue which consists in showing oneself true in deeds and truthful in words, and guarding against duplicity, dissimulation, and hypocrisy.(2505)

explain that respect for the reputation and honor of persons forbids all detraction and calumny in word or attitude.(2507)

teach that lying consists in saying what is false with the intention of deceiving one's neighbor.(2508)

explain that an offense committed against the truth requires reparation.(2509)

explain that "The sacramental seal is inviolable." Professional secrets must be kept. Confidences prejudicial to another are not to be divulged.(2511)

explain that society has a right to information based on truth, freedom, and justice. One should practice moderation and discipline in the use of the social communications media.(2512)

teach that the ninth commandment warns against lust or carnal concupiscence.(2529)

explain that the struggle against carnal lust involves purifying the heart and practicing temperance.(2530)

explain that purity of heart requires the modesty which is patience, decency, and discretion. Modesty protects the intimate center of the person.(2533)

teach that the tenth commandment forbids avarice arising from a passion for riches and their attendant power.(2552)

explain that envy is sadness at the sight of another's goods and the immoderate desire to have them for oneself. It is a capital sin.(2553)

explain that the baptized person combats envy through good-will, humility, and abandonment to the providence of God.(2554)

explain that detachment from riches is necessary for entering the Kingdom of heaven.(2556)

Part Four: Christian Prayer

Catechetical texts in conformity with the Catechism should:

teach that "Prayer is the raising of one's mind and heart to God or the requesting of good things from God."(2590)

explain that God tirelessly calls each person to this mysterious encounter with Himself. Prayer unfolds throughout the whole history of salvation as a reciprocal call between God and man.(2591)

explain that the Holy Spirit who teaches the Church and recalls to her all that Jesus said also instructs her in the life of prayer, inspiring new expressions of the same basic forms of prayer: blessing, petition, intercession, thanksgiving, and praise.(2644)

teach that because God blesses the human heart, it can in return bless him who is the source of every blessing.(2645)

explain that by a living transmission -- Tradition -- the Holy Spirit in the Church teaches the children of God to pray.(2661)

teach that the Word of God, the liturgy of the Church, and the virtues of faith, hope, and charity are sources of prayer.(2662)

teach that prayer is primarily addressed to the Father.(2680)

explain that the different schools of Christian spirituality share in the living tradition of prayer and are precious guides for the spiritual life.(2693)

teach that the Christian family is the first place for education in prayer.(2694)

teach that the Church invites the faithful to regular prayer: daily prayers, the Liturgy of the Hours, Sunday Eucharist, the feasts of the liturgical year.(2720)

teach that the Christian tradition comprises three major expressions of the life of prayer: vocal prayer, meditation, and contemplative prayer. They have in common the recollection of the heart.(2721)

explain that the principal difficulties in the practice of prayer are distraction and dryness. The remedy lies in faith, conversion, and vigilance of heart.(2754)

explain that the Church must "pray constantly." It is always possible to pray; it is even a vital necessity. Prayer and Christian life are inseparable.(2757)

teach that "The Lord's Prayer is truly the summary of the whole gospel."(2774)

present the Lord's Prayer as the quintessential prayer of the Church.(2776)

explain that we can invoke God as "Father" because the Son of God made man has revealed him to us.(2798)

teach that the Lord's Prayer brings us into communion with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ.(2799)

explain that praying to our Father should develop in us the will to become like him and foster in us a humble and trusting heart.(2800)

explain that in the Our Father, the object of the first three petitions is the glory of the Father: the sanctification of his name, the coming of the kingdom, and the fulfillment of his will. The four others present our wants to him: they ask that our lives be nourished, healed of sin, and made victorious in the struggle of good over evil.(2857)

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