USCCB Brings Catechism Of The Catholic Church To New Browser-Based E-Book Format

June 14, 2012 By Public Affairs Office

WASHINGTON—The Catechism of the Catholic Church is now available at the website ofthe U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) in a format identical to an e-book.The new version, currently only available in English, can be found at

Authorized by Pope John Paul II in1986, the Catechism of the CatholicChurch was first published in 1992, with a revised second edition publishedin 2000. Prior to 1992, the Church had been using a universal catechismapproved by the Council of Trent in 1566.

Since its release in 1992, the Catechism of the Catholic Church hasbecome a bestseller in the Church, with the USCCB alone having sold more than 988,000print copies of the second edition. Late in 2011, the USCCB released the e-bookedition, which has sold more than 7,100 copies through Amazon, iTunes and theUSCCB online bookstore.

“Providing the Catechism in this particular electronic format will make thisfoundational resource even more accessible to people,” explained Bishop JohnWester, chair of the USCCB Communications Committee. “It is free to anyone whohas access to the Internet.”

Available through any Internetbrowser, the Catechism file displays andfunctions as an e-book. Users can bookmark or highlight areas, see footnotes ina “light box” without leaving the original page, and search within the Catechism, including by paragraphnumber.

Until the second half of thetwentieth century, for millions of Catholics in the United States, the word “catechism” meant the Baltimore Catechism, which originated atthe Third Plenary Council of Baltimore in 1884 when the bishops of the UnitedStates decided to publish a national catechism. The Baltimore Catechism contained 421questions and answers in 37 chapters and gave unity to the teaching andunderstanding of the faith for millions of American Catholics. Its impact wasfelt right up to the dawn of the Second Vatican Council in 1962.

“The Catechism of the Catholic Church is proving to be as compelling ifnot more, of an influence on the faithful,” said Bishop David Ricken, Chair ofthe USCCB Evangelization and Catechesis Committee. “Our ability to use the new technologiesmeans that many more millions will be able to find the Catholic Church’steachings on their tablets, their smartphones, and their laptops.”

“TheUSCCB is wisely using technology to serve their constituents and they areraising the bar for engaging users,” said Dave Gallerizzo, CEO of Fig LeafSoftware, the interactive Web agency that partnered with the USCCB to createthe e-book. “There might be some e-book readers that have a few of thesefeatures, but I doubt you can find one that offers all of these features in asingle application.”

The new e-book version of the Catechism of the Catholic Church resideson the USCCB’s flagship website, site receives more than two million visitors per month, with approximatelytwo trillion bytes of data delivered. In addition to reading content, visitorsto the site can share what they find with their social media networks, receivean RSS feed of the daily readings, and view videos ofreflections on the daily Scripture readings.

 About the new e-book version of the
Catechism of the Catholic Church

Most browser-based e-bookreaders:

·Make the e-bookreadable in a web browser·Have some type oftable of contents that links to chapters·Don't require anymodifications to the e-book file

The new e-book version of the Catechism of the Catholic Church has all those features, plus new custom features thatmost e-book readers don't offer. The new USCCB e-book reader has:

·A built in searchfeature·Robust internallinking feature set·Footnotes andinternal page references are hyperlinked. ·Each internal linkdisplays the referenced paragraph in a lightbox overlay.·The lightbox overlayhas a link to jump directly to that section of the book·No browser plugin isrequired for legacy browsers.·The USCCB e-bookapplication works natively in any browser, including InternetExplorer.·It works on an iPad.·It can print entiresections, not just a single page.


Keywords: Catechism of the Catholic Church, e-book, browser, catechism,USCCB, website, download, iPad, Bishop John Wester, USCCB CommunicationsCommittee, Bishop David Ricken, Evangelization and Catechesis

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MEDIA CONTACT ONLY:Don ClemmerO: 202-541-3206Email