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Bishop commends Catechism Compendium's 'dialogue format'


Bishop Kevin Manning of the Western Sydney Diocese of Parramatta has praised the 'imaginary dialogue between master and disciple' that is a key to the structure of the Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which is soon to be released in English.

CLICK HEREThe new Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church was approved by Pope Benedict XVI on 28 June this year. The Compendium is a follow-up to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, promulgated by Pope John Paul II in 1992.

Writing in the September issue of the Diocese's Catholic Outlook newspaper, Bishop Manning says that "while the Catechism was addressed primarily to Bishops as a resource for teaching Catholic doctrine and formulating local catechisms, the Compendium is offered to every human being who desires to know the way of Truth entrusted by God to His Son".

The Compendium is described by Pope Benedict as "a faithful and sure synthesis" of the Catechism. Faithfully reflecting the Catechism, its simplified structure, content and language will assist in making the parent Catechism more widely known and better understood.

"[A] characteristic of the Compendium is its dialogue format reflecting the ancient teaching device of question and answer," said Bishop Manning. "By reproducing an imaginary dialogue between master and disciple, through a series of incisive questions, readers are invited to discover ever-new aspects of their faith."

"By focussing on the essentials, the dialogue format helps the reader to grasp the contents and, possibly, to memorise them. The brevity of the answers fosters the essential synthesis and clarity of what is being communicated."

Bishop Manning said that a further characteristic is the inclusion of artistic images, which are drawn from the rich treasury of Christian iconography.

"The splendid colour and the perfection of form of the images demonstrates that today, in a thoroughly visual culture, a sacred image can express much more than what can be said in words, and be an extraordinary, effective and dynamic way of communicating the Gospel message," he said.

Meanwhile the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference has designated St Pauls Publications as the official publisher of the Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, in English, in Australia.

St Pauls head Fr Michael Goonan said he is confident the Australian editions will be available at about the same time as the North American editions, and at a comparable or better retail price. He suggested that those who order from the US website are likely to pay more and wait longer.

SOURCE
Bishop Kevin Manning: Concise and helpful Compendium of the Catechism (Catholic Outlook Sep 05)
St Pauls Publications to publish the Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church in Australia (St Paul's Publications 8/9/05)

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8 Sep 2005