In this final post about my thoughts in reading the Catechism of the Council of Trent and the Catechism published after Vatican II is based upon structure.
Being a very methodical person I have a lot of respect for the organizers of the Vatican II catechism. Why?
V2 Part 1: The Profession of Faith -What we believe
V2 Part 2: The Celebration of the Christian Mystery – What we celebrate
V2 Part 3: Life in Christ – What we live and do
V2 Part 4: Christian Prayer – prayer
Now the structure of the Trent Catechism is very similar. Apostle’s Creed, Sacraments, Decalogue and the Lord’s Prayer.
What is the real difference. The Catechism of Vatican II gives broader titles. It is more easy to pick up on the structure which is so beautiful. Simply, reading the catechism you can integrate it more fully into your life when you understand the structure.
Does the older Trent Catechism do this? Yes, but I would argue to a lesser extent. Because the Vatican II Catechism addresses a modern audience it has developed several themes and expanded many sections. In this way, you can more easily see the structure as an enfolding of life, rather than comments on creeds and prayers.
In conclusion, which catechism do I prefer. Vatican II all the way. Yet, I would never discourage someone from reading the Catechism from Trent, as it has many strengths as well some of which I mentioned in my earlier posts.
These are large documents and can take years to read (re-read) well. I hope you consider the Vatican II Catechism as a go – to and do not be afraid! It will turn out to be a best friend.