The Catechism of the Council of Trent
Did you know that for over
450 years — until 1992 — the authoritative Catechism of the Holy
Catholic Church was the
otherwise known as the Catechism of the Council of Trent
— Catechismus ex decreto Concilii Tridentini — published
by Pope Pius V in 1566?
It was this most monumental Council in the history of the Church which
had produced Quo Primum (“From
commonly known as The Latin Mass — prayed throughout the
world for the better part of 2000 years — and which was effectively
and universally abolished following the Second Vatican Council in 1969
— and then relegated to the inferior status of an
(the Forma ordinaria or
having been used for only 40 years) by Pope Benedict XVI in his Motu
proprio Summorum Pontificum.
The Council of Trent was convened
“to revise and re-edit the Sacred Books: the Catechism,
the Missal and the Breviary.”
This was a monumental task suffused with continuity, clearly articulating
all that the Church had taught and how it prayed and worshipped for
the better part of 2000 years. The "Tridentine Mass" retains
this today, and subsequently grows around the world, especially among
younger people who have been indelibly impressed with the sacred beauty,
silence, and solemnity — almost altogether absent from the
Novus Ordo Mass, or the
— of what has rightly been called
“The Mass of the Ages”.
It is nevertheless very interesting to read the Catechism of the
Council of Trent , the fruit of the Fathers convened at Trento,
Italy between 1545 and 1563, for its striking clarity and readability
concerning doctrine and worship that is divided into (4) parts:
The catechism is profoundly spiritual. It is unsparing.
It is always illuminating. And it suffuses one with hope in God's mercy.
Whether parish priest, or layman, this spiritual and ecclesiastical
treasure abounds with insights in its stunning simplicity. Learn the
genuine teaching of the Church in clear terms that do not demur from
today's "ecumenical sensitivities". It speaks the truth unapologetically
— and in charity.
Regrettably, most versions of the Catechism of the Council of
Trent are of poor quality (having merely been scanned) and suffer
in the way of readability. The Scriptural references are unclear, inconvenient,
or absent altogether. We have sought to remedy these deficiencies by
providing you with a translation into modern English that is faithful
to the original English translation that is sometimes antiquated and
we have provided in-line Scriptural references in red for Biblical
quotations to obviate the need to advert to other parts of the page
or even the Catechism itself. It is our hope that this new format redounds
to the glory of God and the salvation of souls. Click on the appropriate
link below to read (or download) the Catechism in a PDF format or
in an MS Word format.