In 2012, we will be re-organizing our Catechism courses to reproduce the exact layout of the original Baltimore Catechism of 1885. We have offered Classic Catechism I and Classic Catechism II as a two-part study of what was Baltimore Catechism II.
Petty Schoolers: CLAA Petty School Religion
Pre-Communion: CLAA Baltimore Catechism I
Pre-Confirmation: CLAA Baltimore Catechism II
Post-Confirmation: CLAA Baltimore Catechism III
This will not, at all, disrupt the studies of students currently enrolled in Classic Catechism I or II. Students finishing Catechism I will simply begin Baltimore Catechism II and we will set them on the lesson they would have begun in Classic Catechism II. Students in Classic Catechism II will simply finish that course. Please note that Baltimore Catechism I was made up of the most urgent and necessary questions of Baltimore Catechism II, so younger students in the CLAA’s Classic Catechism I course can just stay put. FYI, my children are completing Classic Catechism II now and I’m going to have them repeat the entire course of Baltimore Catechism II over the next 2 years.
We are making this change to more perfectly restore the traditional arrangement and to serve parishes interested in using our Catechism courses for their own Faith Formation program.
You will also notice on the CLAA’s new Religion page that we are offering a course in a historic non-Catholic catechism, the Westminster Shorter Catechism. This was the official Catechism of the English Reformation, published in 1646 by the Anglicans, Presbyterians, Baptists and Puritans as their official catechism. It is actually an excellent catechism, except for the obvious non-Catholic errors. On those areas in which we agree, their teaching is very edifying. I am hoping to promote the study of this catechism among non-Catholics so that Protestant children can actually learn what the real issues are that supposedly separate them from Catholic Christianity. The explanation of the Catechism will actually be that of a 17th century Puritan, Thomas Vincent, who was an Oxford and Cambridge catechist in England at the time.
You all should know that Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen said that most people do not reject Catholicism, only what they think Catholicism to be. I would go further than the Archbishop to say that most people are Protestants BECAUSE they don’t know what Protestants actually taught at the time of the Reformation. I believe many good Protestants are, at heart, Catholics who think that Catholics believe something other than what they believe and because they think the Reformers taught something other than they did.
I want them to know because I believe that knowing will assist future discourse between Catholics and Protestants–at least in CLAA circles, where we have the added benefits of Reasoning, Philosophy, etc., coming down the road. Protestants who know the Westminster Catechism will be better Christians than Protestants who do not and will be nearer to Catholic Christianity than modern Protestants are, who don’t even know what they believe. Therefore, if you have any Protestant friends, you might want to let them know about our course in the Westminster Shorter Catechism.
Info on the program is available here: