The Catechism

For those who are not familiar with the word 'catechism' it is a compilation of the beliefs of the Christian faith. If someone wanted to find a single key reference book to find out what it is that the Catholic Church believes the Catechism would be it.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church is readily available in printed form and is also available in full on the Vatican website. There is also a much shorter summary called the Compendium of the Catechism which is presented in question and answer format. These questions are used to provide the structure and reference point for the following articles.

The Catechism has four sections:

  1. The Profession of Faith (The Creed)
  2. The Celebration of the Christian Mystery (The Sacraments)
  3. Life in Christ (The Ten Commandments)
  4. Christian Prayer (The 'Our Father')

The articles here deal only with part one, The Creed. In the Compendium it is treated under 217 questions. You can find a PDF file listing all these questions here. Questions will be dealt with in no particular order as time permits.

Question 1.

What is God's plan for us?

This question sets the scene for the whole story of God’s plan to reveal himself to us. The answers given here will serve as an introduction for all the articles on the Creed.

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Question 1.1

An Earthly Paradise

God created the whole cosmos from nothing and bestowed an abundance of life on earth, a special garden, a paradise, in which he placed the first human beings.

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Question 1.2

A Plan of Salvation

If God is a God of love, why is there so much wrong with the world? Why did God’s plan have to become a plan for our salvation?

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Question 1.4

A Personal Plan

God's plan for each of us is fully personal. We are not means to an end, but each of us is willed into existence by God for our own sake.

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Question 1.8

Contingency Plans

What if we refuse God's plan for us? Does God have a contingency plan? In one sense no, since God foresees everything, so it's not as though God is caught out by our refusal. But in another sense we can say that God has contingency plans.

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Question 2.

Three Kinds of Desire

In this article we consider Q 2. of the Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, "Why do we have a desire for God?" How can we understand the human desire for God?


Question 21.

Preparing for the Messiah

In this article we look at the Compendium of the Catechism, Q 21. "What is the importance of the Old Testament for Christians?" Why was a preparation needed for the coming of Christ?


Question 25.

How do we respond to God?

Here we consider Q 25. of the Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, "How do we respond to God who reveals himself?"


Question 26.

Witnesses to the Obedience of Faith

This article reflects on Q 26 of the Compendium of the Catechism, "Who are the principal witnesses of the obedience of faith in the Sacred Scriptures?"


Question 27.

What does it mean to believe in God?

This article is a reflection on Q 27 of the Compendium of the Catechism, "What does it mean in practice for a person to believe in God?"


Question 28.

7 Characteristics of Faith

In this short article we consider Q 28. of the Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, "What are the characteristics of faith?"


Question 29.

Faith and Science

This article reflects on Q 29 of the Compendium of the Catechism, "Why is there no contradiction between faith and science?"