When I began a course on the Catechism at Holy Apostles College and Seminary, I kind of dreaded it thinking it was going to be a dry read – I was wrong! I am so impressed by the unity of this global effort and the leading of the Spirit, I can’t keep it to myself. So here are a few awesome facts I didn’t know before taking this class:
1. Global Effort
In a time before the social media, lead by the Holy Spirit with determination, priests, bishops, archbishops, and more found a common language that translated well and brought this work to us from all over the world.
2. Pope Commissioned
The Pope commissioned a 12-man team in 1986 to come up with criteria for the Catechism and who would review, revise and approve it at regular intervals as it was being worked on. We can give them credit for how well all the pieces of the Catechism weave together as a tapestry of unity.
1 priest and 6 bishops made up the four editorial teams from 7 various places across the globe! Spain, Italy, Chile, Argentina, France, England, Beirut. An editorial secretary to aide them as they wrote joined them working from Switzerland. The index was written by an American Archbishop.
4. No Scholars Allowed
It was decided it should be written by Pastors who could draw from experience in the Church and the world, not by scholars.
5. Written in French
It was written in French after the first preliminary draft in Latin failed to translate well into modern day languages and they discovered it was a language all the writers and editors could understand.
6. First Draft Submission
The first draft was sent to 40 consultants around the world!
In 1992 the work was unanimously approved by the commission after over 1,000 bishops responded to the first draft and more than 24,000 methods of operation!! Can you imagine how much the postal system made on this?!!
The process was so extreme, that the only thing that any one of those who worked on it can point to when asked how such a massive project actually came to be printed is by pointing at the Holy Spirit.
9. Moved to Tears
One of the well respected elderly priests who was given a final draft before publication was moved to tears, he felt so blessed to hold the beliefs of the Church in his hands picturing the impact it would have on the faithful.