New Youth Catechism

The following comes from a February 23 story by the Catholic News Agency

The co-creator of the Church’s catechism for young people has revealed that it’s now the top selling Catholic book in the world.

“The latest figures show that Youcat has sold 1.7 million copies worldwide. It’s been a great success in nearly every country where it has been published,” said German publisher Bernard Meuser in a Feb. 23 interview with the Catholic News Agency.

“For example, it is number one in Spain, number one in America, and number one in Germany along with the Pope’s latest book.” 

In 2006 Cardinal Christoph Schönborn of Vienna and Meuser decided to work on catechism that transmitted the Church’s teachings “in a way that younger people can understand.” He said Cardinal Schönborn’s key advice was that “if you do something for young people, you should do it with young people.”

Over the next five years the two men worked with theologians, educators, priests, and over 60 young people to create Youcat. The name is an abbreviation of Youth Catechism of the Catholic Church.

The distinctive, slim, yellow volume was published ahead of the 2011 World Youth Day in Madrid, and contains 527 questions and answers. They are accompanied by numerous quotations, images and illustrations including their trademark “stick man” who becomes animated by the rapid flicking of each page.

“I was astonished that the young people liked the book so much,” Meuser said. “We’ve had so much praise from young people and, yes, they really like the stick man.” The Youcat Facebook page has also garnered over 21,000 followers to date.

The book is currently published in 20 languages, but Meuser said that by next year that total will rise to 30, including Chinese and Arabic.

One of Pope Benedict’s hopes for the book has also come to fruition. The catechism has generated many study groups, including one in the Philippines that has over 12,000 participants.

Meuser praised God, “who helped us from the beginning,” for the project’s success.
“I really think it is a fruit of the Holy Spirit.”

Click here to read story on the Catholic News Agency site.



Posted Monday, February 27, 2012 5:02 AM By Juergensen
And it’s the top selling Catholic book in the world despite being roundly ignored by Amchurch. I heard nothing about it from my diocese or my parish. I found out about it from the Internet, and ordered copies for my children. Oh, yeah, and the USCCB website has no information on it. Surprise, surprise.

Posted Monday, February 27, 2012 9:40 AM By MacDonald
Our pastor purchased copies of the YouCat for all the students in our religious education program, our parochial school, AND our youth group. They seemed very grateful for such a fine gift!

Posted Monday, February 27, 2012 10:02 AM By mrpkguy
After reading the above that praised Youcat to no end, I thought about purchasing one each for my niece and nephew. I went to Amazon and was amazed to read some of the negative reviews posted there. Changed my mind. There are apparently quotes from many non-catholics through out – and this supposed to be a catechism for Catholic youth? In addition there are many statements that contradict our Church teachings. Anyone considering purchasing this book should read all of the reviews. Although there are many positive reviews the negative ones are extremely disturbing! This was written by a Cardinal and approved by the Holy See? How many of our youth have now been influenced negatively by Youcat with over 1.2 million distributed……what a shame.

Posted Monday, February 27, 2012 10:04 AM By Denise
Youcat has far to many objections, no way will i use it for my teenagers. Plenty of good books out there already including and especially the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Why buy another book with problems.

Posted Monday, February 27, 2012 10:40 AM By FrMichael
The YouCat is not only valuable for youth. I take at look at it for my homily preparation to see how it expresses some doctrines. It is also full of relevant quotations and definitions in the margins.

Posted Monday, February 27, 2012 1:38 PM By Elsa
I have been using it in my Confirmation class with teens and I think it’s great !!! Best format for youth I have seen. I have read about some complaints such as the ones above but I have not seen anything that would make me not want to use it. I can see it’s good fruits and that’s what I will go by.

Posted Monday, February 27, 2012 3:02 PM By Abeca Christian
Good to hear. This is what I plan to give my kids for Easter. They finished their Baltimore Catechism. Now time to move up. They use to have a children bible as well but now we have bought them one that is more for their age level too.

Posted Monday, February 27, 2012 4:20 PM By Juergensen
Those of you criticising YouCat have not read it and are ignoring the fact that it is published by Ignatius Press, which is completely orthodox. I’ll trust anything from Ignatius Press over anything from the USCCB, such as its “United States Catholic Catechism,” which the USCCB put out to give itself an excuse to ignore the actual “Catechism of the Catholic Church.” Indeed the USCCB’s “United States Catholic Catechism” is 664 pages, not any shorter than the actual CCC, so there was no conceivable reason for it other than avoidance of the CCC.

Posted Monday, February 27, 2012 4:29 PM By Victoria
Since I am not allowed to paste the website URL in my comments at CalCatholic Daily, please do the research at Catholic News dot com website on the article about corrections to be made to the new YouCat, “Vatican to organize corrections to be made to new youth catechism”, By Carol Glatz. This is why I never jump to purchase “new” catechisms or other books that claim to be great new tools to teach the Catholic Faith, especially to our youth, without first researching these well. In this day and age, most of us know that no one can put blind trust in anything called “Catholic”. Even the Catechism of the Catholic Church had to be revised because of error in its first edition. Ignorance of such things is not justified; sloth is a Capital sin. Remember what Jesus said about scandalizing children? Woe to those who do! Parents and Bishops are responsible to “first, do no harm” to children. We should be praying that all Catholics (Bishops included) really know their Faith fully and well before teaching it to others. A catechism is not an infallible source of Catholic teaching. Only the Dogmatic and Doctrinal teachings of the Catholic Church have the protection of the Holy Spirit to be free from error when spoken or written ex-cathedra by the Pope. Beware of all claims (similar to YouCat) in the future. Your child’s soul is most important; your first priority is to know the TRUTH.

Posted Monday, February 27, 2012 5:02 PM By Dan
“In addition there are many statements that contradict our Church teachings.” mrpkguy, I do not have Youcat but the back and forth on the web, at least what I’ve read, indicates that Youcat does not contradict Church teachings, but softens the approach on sensitive subjects. This may displease, but as far as I can tell you have gone too far in your criticism.

Posted Monday, February 27, 2012 5:30 PM By Juergensen
Hey, it’s being ignored by the USCCB, so it must be good.

Posted Monday, February 27, 2012 7:48 PM By JLS
What are the objections, Denise?

Posted Tuesday, February 28, 2012 3:13 AM By PETE
Pope Benedict wrote the forward in YOUCAT. YOUCAT is sold on the EWTN internet catalogue, and Ignatious Press catalogue, etc. Do not believe what you see at Amazon, you have no clue if these writers are even Catholic. QUOTE: “Study this Catechism with passion and perseverance. Make a sacrifice of your time for it! Study it in the quiet of your room; read it with a friend; form study groups and networks; share with each other on the Internet. By all means continue to talk with each other about your faith.” UNQUOTE – Pope Benedict. When in doubt believe our Pope.

Posted Tuesday, February 28, 2012 3:15 AM By Sandy
Victoria, check your info. The errors were of language translation in YOUCAT, and did NOT affect English. All the language errors (in a foreign language) were fixed around the time of World Youth Day.

Posted Tuesday, February 28, 2012 3:20 AM By BETH
In addition to being recommended by Pope Benedict since he wrote the foreward, Here is a quote from – George Weigel – “I will admit to a certain skepticism when the Youth Catechism of the Catholic Church was announced, but my dubieties have given way to enthusiasm. The Q&A of a classic catechism is complemented here by deftly chosen, brief selections from Scripture, the Fathers of the Church, great saints, and noble human spirits of many cultures. Good for the “young” from, say, 18 to 85 or so.” Easter is coming up. Instead of getting your grandchildren candy for Easter, give your young teens a YOUCAT. Parents, since the Pope says its good, don’t believe others who may have alterior motives.

Posted Tuesday, February 28, 2012 3:35 AM By MIKE
Each of my young teen grandchildren (5 of them), will be getting a YOUCAT for Easter from me. I can think of no greater gift, than the gift of teaching the Faith in a format that they will find interesting. Pope Benedict’s request, recommendation, and forward in its entirety is on the internet – beautifully written as usual. My 21 year old grandson will be getting a copy of the “Catechism of the Catholic Church, Second Edition”. They all already have Catholic Bibles – RSV-CE, except the 6 year old.

Posted Tuesday, February 28, 2012 9:14 PM By k
I own the Youcat and there are some things I am not entirely comfortable with. There are quotes from other Christians (like CS Lewis) and other protestants and even an atheist. The quotes are supportive of Catholic Truth, though. Most quotes are from the Bible or saints, popes or Catholic laymen. The first question in the Youcat is “For what purpose are we here on earth?” We are here on earth in order to know and to love God, to do good according to His Will and to go someday to heaven.” You can see that it is substantially the same as the Baltimore Catechism but with a slight difference. I find the Youcat confusing. No 13 is “Can the Church err in questions of faith? The faithful as a whole cannot err in faith, because Jesus promised his disciples that He would send them the Spirit of truth and keep them in truth.” Question 15 “How can Sacred Scripture be “truth” if not everything in it is right? The Bible is not meant to convey precise historical information or scientific findings to us. Moreover, the authors were children of their time. They shared the cultural ideas of the world around them and often were also dominated by its errors. Nevertheless, everything that man must know about God and the way of his salvation is found with infallible certainty in Sacred Scripture.” I think I am more comfortable with the CCC or the United States Catechism for Adults. I read a couple pages of the Youcat and I end up confused.

Posted Tuesday, February 28, 2012 10:16 PM By Abeca Christian
Juergensen cool! Good point made there.

Posted Tuesday, February 28, 2012 10:24 PM By JLS
Hmn, personalized license plates: 1YOUCAT, or YOU1CAT, or YOUCAT2, or 2YOUCAT, etc

Posted Wednesday, February 29, 2012 3:40 AM By Juergensen
k: You not liking it means as much to me as the USCCB ignoring it. Glad I bought it!

Posted Wednesday, February 29, 2012 6:59 AM By JLS
Good observations, k. The language examples you quoted are mush, and can be interpreted any old way anyone wants. Either the writers are not too bright, not well educated, or are intentionally leading children astray.

Posted Wednesday, February 29, 2012 1:17 PM By k
Mr. Juergensen, what did I do to you? I am sorry that I have offended you so much that you reacted that way. It is not that I don’t like Youcat. It is that I have to reference back to CCC to understand what it is saying. I am surprised that you would complain about the USCCB and like the Youcat with all its social justice-which is not wrong: it is just not traditional Catholicism. Q. 410 What is meant by fornication? Fornication originally meant pagan sexual practice, for instance, temple prostitution. Later the term was applied to all sexual activity outside of marriage Today in English is usually refers to consensual sexual relations between an unmarried woman and an unmarried man.” It isn’t wrong. It is just different from how I am used to it. I thought fornication meant sex. Q 401 Why is the Church against premarital sexual relations? Because she would like to protect love. A person can give someone else no greater gift than himself. “I love you” means for both: “I want only you. I want all that you are, and I want to give myself for you forever!” Because that is so, we cannot, even with our bodies, really say “I love you” temporarily or on a trial basis.” Again, it’s not wrong, but what I was taught is that it is mortal sin that destroys God’s life in your soul. I am not trying to influence your opinion on it-I know others are reading who are giving it to young people for Easter and I want give specific examples for them as well as for yourself. Again, I am sorry for whatever I did that causes you to think the way you do about me.

Posted Wednesday, February 29, 2012 4:51 PM By Abeca Christian
Juergensen JLS makes great valid points there.

Posted Wednesday, February 29, 2012 6:51 PM By JLS
k, I’m on your side on this one; fie on Juergensen.

Posted Wednesday, February 29, 2012 6:56 PM By JLS
k, do you find anywhere in YouCat or the CCC2ndEd where it gives the reason because God issued Commandments and that we should have faith in God? What I’m seeing in these posts is man attempting to persuade other men by means of excluding God. If the Commandments were possible for man to reason out, then what reason would God have for handing them to Moses? This example is one reason I prefer Scripture, where the authority is God’s and not a variety and succession of scribes throughout the ages. I’ll stack up Moses against the publisher of YouCat and the CCC any day. And I’ll stack up the Our Father and Hail Mary against any number of CCC’s in a stack. If you believe and ask, then God will provide, show and tell you.

Posted Wednesday, February 29, 2012 9:04 PM By k
JLS, the section on the 10 Commandments is really pretty good. It does not say that God issued them and we can trust God in those exact words. All catechisms have 4 “pillars”. First, the Creed-what we believe about God and salvation. Second, the sacraments-how God makes Himself present to us. Third, is the life in Christ that we should live and Fourth-prayer- how we communicate with God. The 10 Commandments are included in the third section so the Catechisms have established before those sections that revelation comes from God and that he is trustworthy. However, if you just pick it up and read what you are interested in you might not connect those dots. In the Youcat, some things are done very well and some things are confusing. This confuses me: What is a sin in the first place? A sin is a word, deed or intention by which man deliberately and voluntarily offends against the true order of things, as God’s loving providence has arranged them. It isn’t wrong but I have to think about it and reference back to the way I was taught: that sin is an offense against God. ( Here’s one I really liked: Is there such a thing as structures of sin? Structures of sin exist only in a manner of speaking. A sin is always connected with an individual person, who knowingly and willingly agrees to something evil.) Question 333 asks “Is there a natural law that everyone can know? If people are to do good and avoid evil, certainty about what is good or evil must be inscribed with them. In fact there is such a moral law that is, so to speak, “natural” to men and can be known in principle by by every person by reason.” Q. 334 is “What connection is there between the “natural moral law” and the Law of the Old Covenant? The Law of the Old Covenant expresses truths that by nature are evident to human reason yet are now proclaimed and authenticated as God’s Law.” These correspond with CCC 1949-1981.

Posted Thursday, March 01, 2012 3:04 AM By ANDY
JLS, using the Ten Commandments as only one example of very very many, look in the footnotes at the bottom of each page. This will tell you exactly where to look in the Bible. The CCC is for those over age 16, not for babies. In fact, about the last 25% of the CCC starting on page 689 is all Citations, Index, and Glossary. To bluntly answer your questions – YES. Please read the CCC in entirety including the footnotes and you will have no doubts. “ The Catechism of the Catholic Church, which I approved … and the publication of which I today order by virtue of my Apostolic Authority, is a statement of the Church’s faith and of catholic doctrine, attested to or illumined by Sacred Scripture, the Apostolic Tradition and the Church’s Magisterium. I declare it to be a sure norm for teaching the faith and thus a valid and legitimate instrument for ecclesial communion. “ – Pope John Paul II pg 5. (As others have mentioned, the YOUCAT refers back to the CCC. It is written primarily for young teens.)

Posted Thursday, March 01, 2012 3:14 AM By SANDY
JLS, the Lord’s Prayer and the Hail Mary are in the CCC, and include all the Bible references in footnotes to these prayers so they can easily be found in Bible. Please read the CCC before inserting foot in mouth. I have three questions for you – 1) why do you think you know more than Blessed Pope John Paul II, and Pope Benedict, and the Magsterium? 2) why don’t you like the CCC so people can accurately know their Faith – do you have an obedience issue with one or more of the Church’s teachings? 3) Do you know the meaning of the words heretic and schismatic?

Posted Thursday, March 01, 2012 3:21 AM By OSCAR
YOUCAT references back to the CCC if you pay attention. I think it is very interesting that those who complain about people not knowing their Faith, don’t want others to read the CCC and/or age appropriate YOUCAT. Some of you adults need to study the CCC better before making public comments that are harmful to the Faith of others.

Posted Thursday, March 01, 2012 4:45 AM By Elizabeth
Thank you Dear Lord for giving us Holy and Great Popes like John Paul II and Benedict, and for our Magesterium. I’m glad someone is teaching the Faith in its entirty through the “Catechism of the Catholic Church, Second Edition” and YOUCAT. Education is desperately needed at this time in history.

Posted Thursday, March 01, 2012 5:19 AM By MIKE
JLS, no one in these posts or in the Church has ever said that the CCC or YOUCAT takes the place of Prayer. The purpose of the CCC is education. There is an entire section on Prayer in the CCC. Read first, your criticism is unfounded.

Posted Thursday, March 01, 2012 6:46 AM By Marybeth
k, due to the space alotment on a blog site, if you have questions that you don’t understand and can not find the answers to yourself, take them to a good Priest so he can help you. Everyone’s God given ablity to understand is different, and you may need personal attention.

Posted Thursday, March 01, 2012 7:45 AM By JLS
These perspectives and ideas I’m posting do not seem really that difficult to comprehend; however, there sure are a lot of readers who can’t. A professor once told me that the most effective level to write at is 8th grade, because that makes it comprehensible for the largest numbers of readers. But that is not going to work for discussing some religious matters. Those who do not understand what I write should ignore it and deal with what they can understand. Or if you want to understand, then ask. The real problem is vanity, in that you jump to conclusions instead of trying to see what is being said. So, you’re proving that all your reading of the CCC and YouCat has failed to bring about humility. That is why I recommended praying as more beneficial than reading. This is born out by Church history, which shows that the Church grew from prayer, sacraments and action … not from a catechism. Jesus plainly says worship with your whole heart, soul, strength and mind … thus reason constitutes only 25% of Catholicism.

Posted Thursday, March 01, 2012 7:46 AM By JLS
God issued the Ten Commandments. If you want proof, then watch the movie Ten Commandments with the late Charleton Heston and you will see for yourself.

Posted Thursday, March 01, 2012 7:48 AM By JLS
Interesting to note that the definition of heretic and schismatic is the same and is in fact anyone who does not worship the YouCat or the CCC2ndEd.

Posted Thursday, March 01, 2012 7:50 AM By JLS
k, I agree with Marybeth that you “need personal attention”, because so do I, and that is where prayer comes in handy and also not being distracted by the fanfare at OF liturgies.

Posted Thursday, March 01, 2012 9:28 AM By MacDonald
@ JLS 7:46 AM — what a great idea! There’s nothing like a good religious film to lift one’s spirits. And to help us remember our roots. And of course sometimes such a movie or a book can sometimes convince people more than all the homilies in the world — especially if the homilies are poorly done.

Posted Thursday, March 01, 2012 2:01 PM By k
Marybeth, I see that Pope Benedict says in the Youcat: “Study this Catechism with passion and perseverance. Study it in the quiet of your room; form study groups and networks, share with each other on the Internet.” Like the CCC, there is a lot of prayer that needs to take place when reading it. I am not being critical of it. I am just giving examples of how it is different from the way traditional Catholics learned the faith.

Posted Thursday, March 01, 2012 3:34 PM By JLS
MacD, people in the Church have been talking for decades how to reclaim some of Hollywood. I’d guess many scripts have been offered for consideration, but rejected. Mel Gibson made a movie, but nobody else has the kind of money needed to do that.

Posted Tuesday, March 06, 2012 7:43 AM By SANDRA
For those who have copies of the YOUCAT, if you read it without skipping anything, it is simple even for the youngest teens. If you read the instructions for use just before the contents – it clearly states that it does not aim at the completeness provided by the CCC. It also states that the work is structured in Question-and-answer format, and numbers after each answer refer the reader to the more extensive and in-depth CCC. In addition to Doctrine of the Faith it contains quotes from Scripture, definitiions and cross references. This is the best CCC for teens that I have seen, and I’m 66 years old. It’s not important that I recommend it. It’s is most important that it is recommended by Pope Benedict. YOUCAT can be another educational book for adults as well – not to take the place of Holy Scripture or the “Catechism of the Catholic Church, Second Edition”. It’s highly recommended from God’s earthly representative. When Catholics do not encourage others to read Holy Scripture, CCC, and YOUCAT, they may be condemning others to ignorance. Of the 3, Holy Scripture is the most difficult, since some of it contains parables.