The Catechism of the Catholic Church, like the Catechism of the Council of Trent, is divided into four major parts. They are referred to as the "four pillars" on which the Catechism is built. In his Apostolic Constitution promulgating the Catechism, Pope John Paul II called them the "four movements of a great symphony." They are
1) the Creed (what the Church believes),
2) the Sacraments (what the Church celebrates),
3) the Commandments (what the Church lives), and
4) the Our Father (what the Church prays).
The Catechism consists of 2,865 paragraphs, each of which is numbered. There is an internal cross-referencing system among the paragraphs which makes it simple to find all the passages in the Catechism which treat a particular subject. In addition, the Catechism provides several indices for ease in locating particular passages. Indices are organized according to themes, Scriptural citations, symbols of the faith, documents of ecumenical councils, documents of other councils and synods, pontifical documents, ecclesiastical documents, canon law, liturgical texts and ecclesiastical authors.