Sunday, March 29, 2009

Companion to the Catechism

Way back in 1994, when the 1st edition of the Catechism of the Catholic Church was released, my wife and I bought a copy of the Catechism, but we also purchased the Companion to the Catechism. According to the information provided by the publisher,

This Companion to the Catechism of the Catholic Church Book of References contains all the passages of Sacred Scripture referred to in the Catechism arranged according to the paragraphs in which the references are made.

But that is only a beginning. The Catechism also refers to conciliar texts, papal documents, writings of the Fathers and of the Saints. There are more than 3,600 of these references extending from the earliest credal formulations of the ancient Church to the documents of Vatican II and beyond to the magisterial teaching of Pope John Paul II. The Book of References includes all the texts referred to arranged, along with the Scripture passages, according to the paragraphs of the Catechism in which they are referred.

So, we thought we had it made. We would have at our fingertips all of the passages referenced by the Catechism. If only that were true. I've found, in the last few weeks, that some of the references that I want to look up are most decidedly not included in the Companion.

Need an example? Consider paragraph 2760 from the Catechism:

2760 Very early on, liturgical usage concluded the Lord's Prayer with a doxology. In the Didache, we find, "For yours are the power and the glory for ever."4 The Apostolic Constitutions add to the beginning: "the kingdom," and this is the formula retained to our day in ecumenical prayer.5 The Byzantine tradition adds after "the glory" the words "Father, Son, and Holy Spirit." The Roman Missal develops the last petition in the explicit perspective of "awaiting our blessed hope" and of the Second Coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.6 Then comes the assembly's acclamation or the repetition of the doxology from the Apostolic Constitutions.

There are three references in the paragraph: (4) Didache 8,2:Sch 248, 174; (5) Apostolic Constitutions, 7,24,1:PG 1, 1016; and (6) Titus 2:13; cf. Roman Missal 22, Embolism after the Lord's Prayer.

What do you get when you turn to the references for paragraph 2760 in the Companion? A single entry: Roman Missal 126 (Embolism after the Lord's Prayer). The other references aren't there! Not even the referenced scripture passage from Titus!

The Companion is useless for me when I turn to it in desperation to try to get some context for the quotes from St. John Chrysostom and St. Alphonsus Liquori in paragraph 2744. More on that in a future post.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hey, I never open the book so I should just give you kudos on finding the flaws, even though it's been 15 years! ;)