I wrote something and Word on Fire thought it was good enough to publish! Read the Catechism! Just wanted to share it with y'all here. You can read the full article here. Do me a favor and leave a comment on the article on Word on Fire. :)
There was one thing on the minds of all Bishops gathered in Rome on November 25, 1985: blue jeans.
George Cardinal Law addressed the Bishops with these words: “Iuvenes Bostoniensis, Leningradiensis et Sacti Jacobi in Chile induti sunt ‘Blue Jeans’ et audiunt et saltant eandem musicam.”
And for the first time in the history of Catholic Synods, Bishops were talking about blue jeans. In Latin.
This is the opening of the 1985 Extraordinary Synod of Bishops, twenty years after the close of Vatican II. Cardinal Law spoke to all the bishops tasked with reviewing Vatican II’s twenty year impact on the Church. His argument was simple but clear.
Cardinal Schonborn, a major editor of the Catechism who was present at this Synod, summarizes Cardinal Law’s speech in Introduction to the Catechism of the Catholic Church:
“In a world where young people all over the world wear the same blue jeans, shouldn’t it be possible to express the faith in a common language? It is not only possible, it is necessary – and mainly for two reasons: first, because the world has definitively become one, sharing the same problems, the same anxieties and hopes; and second, because the faith in itself is unity.
Unity is an essential feature of Christian faith. This vision of one faith in one world fired not only Cardinal Law’s inspiration; it became the driving force of the synod’s discussion about the idea of a catechism. At the end of the synod, the Holy Father made the idea his own.” (p.39)
At the close of this Synod Pope St. John Paul II put together a commission of Bishops and Cardinals, assisted by then Cardinal Ratzinger, to take up Cardinal Law’s idea and write a universal Catechism of the Catholic Church. It would be the first of its kind since Catechism of Trent written in 1566, over 400 years prior.
The call for a Catechism might sound antiquated. It might sound this way most especially for people passionate about the New Evangelization. The New Evangelization is a call for evangelistic efforts new in “ardor, methods, and expressions” that engage modern culture and modern man.
How could a Catechism possibly engage our culture and the people we find ourselves tasked with evangelizing? How could this be an authentic fruit of Vatican II? Is this a return to the painful Catechisms of the past forcibly shoved into the minds of so many Americans?....