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CATECHISM-RELEASE Jun-15-2005 (300 words) xxxi

Simplified catechism to be released June 28 at Vatican liturgy

By Cindy Wooden
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The shortened, simplified version of the "Catechism of the Catholic Church" will be presented by Pope Benedict XVI during a June 28 liturgy at the Vatican and will be available in Italian bookstores the following day.

Vatican spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls said national bishops' conferences would be responsible for translating the volume into their local languages and for publishing the volume in partnership with the Vatican publishing house.

The "Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church" was drafted by a committee led by the new pope while he was prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

A draft of the volume, in which church teaching is presented in a question-and-answer form, was sent for comment in early 2004 to all the cardinals and the presidents of bishops' conferences around the world.

The draft distributed in 2004 included an appendix with some common Christian prayers and standard formulas of Catholic doctrine.

Navarro-Valls said June 15 that, "40 years after the conclusion of the Second Vatican Council and in the heart of the Year of the Eucharist, the compendium can be a precious aid for satisfying the hunger for truth felt by every human person of every age and condition."

In 2003, Pope John Paul II commissioned the shorter, simpler version of the 865-page catechism, saying there seemed to be a widespread desire for "a brief compendium containing all the fundamental elements of Catholic faith and morals, formulated in a simple and clear manner."

The late pope had said the new, shorter text would "faithfully mirror" the "Catechism of the Catholic Church" and would be "an authoritative, sure and complete synthesis."

A spokesman for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' publishing department said he expected the minicatechism to be released "later in 2005."


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