There is an interesting paragraph located at the very beginning of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, that describes its origin, purpose, and intention. It expresses the Catechism’s symphony of love as follows:
A catechism should faithfully and systematically present the teaching of Sacred Scripture, the living Tradition in the Church and the authentic Magisterium, as well as the spiritual heritage of the Fathers, Doctors, and saints of the Church, to allow for a better knowledge of the Christian mystery and for enlivening the faith of the People of God. It should take into account the doctrinal statements which down the centuries the Holy Spirit has intimated to his Church. It should also help illumine with the light of faith the new situations and problems which had not yet emerged in the past.
The irony of this statement is that it was questioned by one of its own teachers entrusted to guard the very deposit of faith Cardinal Reinhard Marx from the Archdiocese Munich and Freising who proposes that the catechism is not set in stone due to its position on homosexuality. What further complicates Cardinal Marx’s position is the Catechism’s identity to proclaim the love the ever ends.
Is the Catechism set in stone?
The Catechism is a direct expression and revelation of the Word of God. The entire basis of the creed owes its identity to the proclamation of the Gospel and its application in Christian living. In Christ Jesus, the whole of God’s truth has been made manifest. Full of grace and truth, he came as the light of the world, he is the Truth. The disciple of Jesus continues in his word so as to know the truth that will make you free” and that sanctifies. To follow Jesus is to live in the Spirit of truth, whom the Father sends in his name and who leads into all the truth. To his disciples Jesus teaches the unconditional love of truth: Let what you say be simply Yes or No.
From the beginning, Jesus’ mission was to establish a church on earth that would proclaim what He revealed to the whole world, that he came to free us from the slavery of sin and death and proclaim the Good News that hope reigns and that God so loves His children that He would offer His own son for the salvation of humanity. This message was deliberately delivered to the Apostles so that the Good News may be delivered to all the nations.
St. Paul for example urges us to:
bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves; let each of us please his neighbor for his good to edify him. For Christ did not please himself; but, as it is written, ‘The reproaches of those who reproached you fell on me. For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that by steadfastness and by the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. May the God of steadfastness and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The Catechism owes its identity to Jesus Christ who is the standard of content and teaching that make up its Trinitarian and Christocentric identity. The Apostolic message delivered in the early Church was based on the revelation of God’s love for His people through His Son. The content of the Apostolic message gives credence to the Catechism’s structure being set in stone with respect to the message being delivered. St. Paul reminds us that we are called to proclaim Jesus Christ
In the letter to the Hebrews, we encounter a teaching instruction, a method if you will of how the transmission of God’s love should be done:
For though by this time, you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of God’s Word. You need milk, not solid food; for every one who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a child. But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their faculties trained to practice to distinguish good from evil.
Does it make sense to question the Catechism?
When the validity and identity of the Catechism is called into question, you also call into question the reality and existence of Jesus Christ’s preaching and teaching. Its important for anyone who uses the Catechism of the Catholic Church as a main source of instruction to know and understand that the Catechism does not stand on its own developed doctrine. On the contrary, it stands on the revelation of Jesus Christ who is the Son of God the Word made flesh who delivered as a sacrifice for the salvation of humanity from the spiritual horror of sin and death.
The Love that never ends
At its core identity the Catechism serves as an ongoing dialogue of love between God and His children. The revelation of this love is further revealed in the Son of God who is the Word made flesh. The Church serves as the depository of this love. The Catechism of the Catholic Church is not a compilation of doctrinal pluralities as Cardinal Marx would have us believe but instead it expresses the unique unified symphony of Catholic instruction as revealed by Jesus Christ.
We preach admonishing every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus.