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Tuesday, June 28, 2005


VATICAN CITY, JUN 28, 2005 (VIS) - This morning in the Clementine Hall, Benedict XVI presided at a liturgical celebration for the official presentation of the Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

  At the beginning of the ceremony, one of the cardinals who had been part of the special commission charged with compiling the compendium thanked the Holy Father for the book.

  Following the singing of a number of psalms and a reading from the Letter of St. Paul to the Ephesians, the Pope pronounced his homily.

  Benedict XVI recalled how, ever since the publication of the Catechism of the Catholic Church in 1992, the need had been felt for "a brief, concise catechism, containing all and only the essential and fundamental elements of Catholic faith and morals, formulated in a simple, universally-accessible, clear and succinct manner."

   The Pope said that through the cardinals, bishops, priests, religious, catechists and lay people present at the ceremony, he wished "ideally to consign this compendium to all people of good will who wish to know the unfathomable richness of the salvific mystery of Jesus Christ."

  He continued: "This is certainly not a new catechism, but a compendium that faithfully reflects the Catechism of the Catholic Church" which "maintains intact, then, all its authority and importance, and will find in this summary a valuable support to become better-known and more widely used as a fundamental tool of education in the faith."

  After highlighting that the new compendium "is a renewed announcement of the Gospel," the Holy Father explained how it presents the faith "in a dialogic format" and how "the brevity of the responses favors the essential concision and clarity of communication."

  As for the sacred images that appear at the beginning of each section, Benedict XVI said that they too are "an announcement of the Gospel and express the splendor of Catholic truth, showing the supreme harmony between the good and the beautiful, between the 'via veritatis' and the 'via pulchritudinis'."

  The Pope concluded by thanking everyone who helped prepare the compendium, expressing the desire that it may serve as "a new impulse to evangelization and catechesis."

  Following his homily, the Holy Father distributed various copies of the compendium to a cardinal, a bishop, and various priests, religious and lay people.
AC/PRESENTATION COMPENDIUM/...                    VIS 20050628 (400)

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