LATIN/Older news release .... “Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church”
  • VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Presenting the new “Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church,” Pope Benedict XVI urged Catholics around the world to memorize the most common Catholic prayers in Latin.

    Learning the prayers in Latin as well as in one’s own language “will help Christian faithful of different languages pray together, especially when they gather for special circumstances,” the pope said June 28 as he distributed the Italian version of the compendium, which included an appendix with the Latin texts of many traditional prayers, including the Sign of the Cross, the Gloria, the Hail Mary and Come, Holy Spirit.

    The pope said he hoped the compendium, a 200-page synthesis of the voluminous 1992 catechism, would give Catholics and non-Catholics easy access to the basic and essential tenets of the Catholic faith.

    Then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, president of the commission Pope John Paul II named to compile the volume, signed the introduction March 20, and then — as Pope Benedict — signed the official document promulgating the Italian text June 28.

    He said “numerous attempts” had been made around the world to compile a simplified version of the catechism, “which presented various problems regarding not only fidelity and respect for its structure and content, but also the completeness and integrity of Catholic doctrine.”

    The new compendium, he said, is “an authoritative, certain and complete text regarding the essential aspects of the faith of the church,” and it is “in harmony with the catechism approved by the pope and destined for the whole church.”

    “It is not a new catechism, but a compendium which faithfully reflects the ‘Catechism of the Catholic Church,’ which remains the source to draw from,” particularly when looking for a “harmonious and authentic explanation of Catholic faith and morals,” Pope Benedict said.

    Pope Benedict presented the volume during a prayer service in the Vatican’s Clementine Hall. Cardinals and bishops who work at the Vatican, visiting cardinals from various parts of the world and representatives of the laity and religious orders participated in the liturgy.

    In addition to U.S. prelates working at the Vatican, Cardinals Theodore E. McCarrick of Washington and Justin Rigali of Philadelphia attended the ceremony.

    The text was available only in Italian. National bishops’ conferences will be responsible for translating and publishing the text in their own languages.

    Although using a question-and-answer format, the compendium followed the structure of the 1992 catechism with chapters devoted to the profession of faith; the celebration of the Christian mystery; life in Christ; and Christian prayer.

    The only additions in the text are the inclusion of 15 works of art, an appendix with traditional catechetical formulas — like the three theological virtues or the seven deadly sins — and the appendix with the texts of traditional Catholic prayers in Latin and Italian. The only prayers not presented in Latin are selections from the Coptic, Maronite and Byzantine traditions.

    Pope Benedict reminded those gathered for the prayer service what he had said about Latin formulations when he presented the Latin edition of the “Catechism of the Catholic Church” to Pope John Paul in 1997: “Latin, for centuries the vehicle and instrument of Christian culture, guarantees not only continuity with our roots, but remains as relevant as ever for strengthening the bonds of the unity of the faith in the communion of the church.”

    The first of the 598 questions in the book is: “What is God’s design for man?”

    The answer: “God, infinitely perfect and blessed, in a design of pure goodness freely created man to have him participate in his blessed life. In the fullness of time, God the Father sent his Son as the redeemer and savior of men, who had fallen into sin, gathering them in his church and making them adopted sons by the work of the Holy Spirit and heirs of his eternal beatitude.”

    The compendium affirmed the dignity of every human person, created in the image and likeness of God and, therefore, condemned murder, abortion, euthanasia, suicide and the destruction of human embryos.

    It explained the obligation to promote the common good and social justice as responsibilities flowing from human dignity and human freedom.

    The compendium repeated Pope John Paul’s strong doubts about the need of modern societies to use the death penalty to protect the public.

    While insisting that the fullness of Christ’s grace and salvation is found only in the Catholic Church, the compendium said elements of sanctification and truth can be found in other churches and Christian communities as well.

    “The members of these churches and communities are incorporated into Christ through baptism; therefore we recognize them as brothers and sisters,” it said.

    Regarding non-Christians, the compendium reaffirmed church teaching that Christians have a special and unique relationship with the Jewish people, the first to respond to God’s call. It also insisted that neither all Jews of Jesus’ time nor Jews today can be blamed for the death of Jesus.

    As for other non-Christian religions, the compendium repeated church teaching that Christians recognize that what is good and true in their faith comes from God and “can prepare for the acceptance of the Gospel.”
  • francis
    Posts: 10,472
    Wonderful. Is this available digitally?
  • Wasn't this released in 2005?
  • Yes....and has your parish passed out copies including all the Latin Prayers as a gift to the people?
  • francis
    Posts: 10,472
    O, THAT compendium! I purchased that when it first came out. I didn't know about the enforcement of knowing Latin prayers though.
  • Is there friction between the US and UK Bishops?:

    The prayers in Latin include English Translations with variances:


    Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel!
    He has visited his people and redeemed them.
    He has raised up for us a mighty saviour
    In the house of David his servant,
    As he promised by the lips of holy men,
    Those who were his prophets from of old.
    A saviour who would free us from our foes,
    From the hands of all who hate us.
    So his love for our fathers is fulfilled
    And his holy covenant remembered.
    He swore to Abraham our father to grant us,
    that free from fear, and saved from the hands of our foes,
    we might serve him in holiness and justice
    all the days of our life in his presence.
    As for you, little child, you shall be called a prophet of God, the Most High.
    You shall go ahead of the Lord
    To prepare his ways before him.
    To make known to his people their salvation
    Through forgiveness of all their sins,
    The loving-kindness of the heart of our God
    Who visits us like the dawn from on high.
    He will give light to those in darkness,
    Those who dwell in the shadow of death,
    And guide us into the way of peace.
    Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
    as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.


    Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel;
    he has come to his people and set them free.
    He has raised up for us a mighty savior,
    born of the house of his servant David.
    Through his holy prophets he promised of old
    that he would save us from our enemies,
    from the hands of all who hate us.
    He promised to show mercy to our fathers
    and to remember his holy covenant.
    This was the oath he swore to our father
    to set us free from the hands of our enemies,
    free to worship him without fear,
    holy and righteous in his sight all the days of our life.
    You, my child, shall be called the prophet of the Most High;
    for you will go before the Lord to prepare his way,
    to give his people knowledge of salvation
    by the forgiveness of their sins.
    In the tender compassion of our God
    the dawn from on high shall break upon us,
    to shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death,
    and to guide our feet into the way of peace.
    Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
    as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen.
  • @Frogman:

    I do not know where the UK bishops got their translation from, but the US bishops got it from the International Consultation on English Texts, which I take has been transformed into the English Language Liturgical Consultation. It's like the ICEL, but not just for Catholics.
  • JamJam
    Posts: 636
    In my Latin class at Franciscan, we say the Pater Noster, the Ave Maria, and the Gloria Patri before each class. I have them all memorized and I'm not even Catholic. ^_^ But I'm always pleased to pray with you guys.

    I also have a copy of the compendium, which I was given from an RCIA program. They also gave me a Bible and a Catechism. I know the compendium is supposed to be a much easier read than the catechism, but I found I have no use for it--it's no good for reading straight through like a book, and if I want to look something up the catechism is much more thorough...
  • eft94530eft94530
    Posts: 1,577
    frogman, is there some reason you are pasting this and neglecting the URL citation?
  • eft94530eft94530
    Posts: 1,577
    available digitally?
    The Holy See English
    Resource Library
    Catechism of the Catholic Church
    Catechism of the Catholic Church: Compendium
  • Didn't have the link when I posted...didn't think of it when I did!
  • tdunbar
    Posts: 120
    Re looking things up, the compendium is online ( as one file..easy to search that and then use the CCC ref nrs for more detail.