“The Baltimore Catechism In Thirty Seconds”
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The Baltimore Catechism was first approved for publication (Imprimatur) in 1885. It is a small book in question-answer format, written for children and for anyone else who appreciates simple, clear, direct communication.
For generations, children studied this catechism as they grew up. Their Christian education was built on it. Even today, this catechism offers everyone knowledge and insight into our two thousand year-old Faith.
Following the Church’s Second Vatican Council (1960’s), confusion about the Faith and the value and meaning of many traditions of the Church became widespread. The Baltimore Catechism fell into disuse, commonly considered “too simple” by most people shaping Catholic education at the time. Yet most American Catholics had grown up on it. Many of us remember memorizing parts, and to this day, we cherish this foundation of our spiritual lives.
The cultural context of this turning away from the Baltimore Catechism was a gradual trending to a Secular Humanist (and atheistic) worldview, with Moral Relativism the lynch pin-- there is no “right” or “wrong,” only what each person considers to be right or wrong.
In contrast, the Baltimore Catechism presents the Catholic worldview and morality as taught by Christ himself, and embodied in his church. This is a worldview that has “right” and “wrong” and none of the teachings listed in the Catechism have changed in the history of the Church. These teachings are the basics of our Faith.
Each article of the Catechism links to related Sacred Scripture.
If you’ve never read (or heard!) The Baltimore Catechism, you have a delightful opportunity. In the Public Domain, it is available at bookstores, on the Internet, and in this complete series of thirty second radio episodes. If your favorite Catholic station doesn’t play them yet, just let the folks know our web address and why you think it would be great if they did.
The entire printed text of The Baltimore Catechism is easily viewable, searchable, and downloadable online. If you are already enjoying The Baltimore Catechism In Thirty Seconds on the radio, we recommend that you have some form of this catechism available for reference. We’ve listed some sources here.
You can preview these little broadcasts here. Questions 1-3, Questions 32-33.
As you explore what Christ teaches you through His Church, be sure to have another catechism on hand, too, The Catechism of the Catholic Church. Published first in the 1990’s, this is the comprehensive (hundreds and hundreds of pages), the indispensable, the definitive, modern Catechism. We urge every Catholic to have this reference book in your bookcase and to study it. The Baltimore Catechism is no substitute for today’s official catechism. Yet the little Baltimore Catechism is a great gift from our American Heritage that will deepen your understanding of the Catholic Faith, and enrich your life in surprising ways, especially if you haven’t studied all 2,865 articles in the “big one.”
Created by CatholicBroadcasting.com, this is a series of thirty second radio features that read the famous Baltimore Catechism. Offered to all Catholic Radio stations, these little public service announcements, over time, root listeners in the basic teachings of the Catholic Faith.
Be sure to tell your friends about this website!