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The Catechism Is The Constitution Of Our
Roman Catholic Church 

by The Orlando Truth


The essence of the United States is enshrined in the American Constitution and Bill of Rights. The essence of Great Britain and its Commonwealth Nations is enshrined in its Magna Carta and Common Law Tradition. Similarly, the essence of our Roman Catholic Church is enshrined in the CATECHISM OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH (Latest Edition 1997), which comprehensively presents the true Deposit of Faith proclaimed by God’s Revelation. Therefore, as Pope John Paul II has personally stated,  “The Catechism is a sure norm for teaching the Faith”. As the tenth anniversary of the original publication of this Catechism was recently celebrated on June 25, 2002, it is particularly fitting that its unique importance in defining authentic Roman Catholic beliefs be clearly recognized by all who presume to declare themselves Roman Catholics. 

The Catechism’s Prologue (III, 11) itself emphasizes that it “aims at presenting an organized synthesis of the essential and fundamental contents of Catholic doctrine, as regards both faith and morals, in the light of the Second Vatican Council and the whole of the Church’s Tradition. Its principal sources are the Sacred Scriptures, the Fathers of the Church, the liturgy, and the Church’s Magisterium”. The Catechism does this beautifully by presenting the doctrines of the Church centered around the four major pillars of truth: 

  1. The Baptismal Profession of Faith (the Creed)
  2. The Sacraments of Faith
  3. The Life of Faith (the Ten Commandments)
  4. Prayer of the Believer (the Lord’s Prayer)

The new Catechism, edited under the direction of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, is now one of the most heavily translated books in world history. It is available today, in approved translations, in 60 languages, including Chinese, Russian, Arabic, Bulgarian and Japanese. In total, 10 million copies of the Catechism have been printed worldwide. The 800 page volume is the first such authoritative and systematic presentation of Catholic beliefs undertaken by the Church since the Council of Trent in the 16th century. 


Doctrine is important because it is the hallmark of a mature religion which has developed beyond mere spirituality. Because God loves us, He wants us to understand as much about Him as is possible with our finite minds. This fullness of knowledge of God and His moral law is obtained from doctrinal truths. Thus it would seem that the answer to the moral permissiveness of many in the American Church would be to provide every person wearing the label “Catholic” with a free copy of the Bible and the Catechism so that they can see the truth and the justifying reasons for themselves. Although this practice might seem counterproductive for the proponents of change, such dissenters gladly distribute the Bible but not the Catechism. 

They distribute the Bible with impunity, because it is not a reference work indexed by subject like an encyclopedia and they know people will get confused reading it. Now, the Catechism is an entirely different matter. The Catechism of the Catholic Church is a reference work with a Table of Contents, and it is indexed by topic, and also cross-referenced with Holy Scripture. Such a book, accompanied by a copy of the Bible, would be a disaster for the dissenters within our Church because their errors and heresies would be researchable and immediately exposed. The dissenters’ fear and trembling is palpable. Thus the dissenters’ approach is to flatly refuse to provide anyone with a copy of the Catechism, claiming that the Catechism is for pastoral staff only. This assertion is absolutely false, as anyone who has personally read the Catechism would surely know. Further, not to have read and studied the Catechism should disqualify a person from teaching the traditional Roman Catholic Faith. But, of course, they are not teaching the true Faith but a counterfeit opposing view. Our Lord condemned those who withheld such vital salvific information, such as contained in the Catechism, saying:

“Woe to you, Scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You lock the kingdom of heaven before human beings. You do not enter yourselves, nor do you allow entrance to those trying to enter.” (Matthew 23,13) 


Many so-called Catholic theologians, who populate liberal Catholic universities, do not like the Catechism because it asserts definite truths whereas they tend to prefer flexibility, which allows for more personal freedom of action — 

·        because it is legalistic, whereas they would prefer something more in touch with their feelings and emotions — 

·        because it sets forth difficult to observe standards of conduct, whereas they would prefer to adopt easier contemporary mores — 

·        because it is authoritative, whereas they invariably prefer consultation and democracy regardless of the inherent truth involved — 

·        because it is concerned with redemption from sin by Christ and looks to our sanctification in this life and salvation in the world to come, whereas they prefer social activism and self-fulfillment through popular psychology. 

The foundational principle of the Roman Catholic Church is that the source of all its truth is solely from God’s Proclamation (kerygma). This divine Revelation is found only in Scripture as consistently interpreted by the Tradition of the Church. Thus, whatever else he may be, any theologian who calls himself Catholic, but does not accept that foundational principle of the Roman Catholic Faith, is automatically disqualified by that inherent contradiction. He cannot function as a theologian of the Roman Catholic Church.  He cannot invent novel and creative interpretations which contradict existing doctrine. Such new ideas and opinions, ipso facto, can never be Catholic but will always remain non-Catholic. The doctrine has already been defined by the Church’s Magisterium pursuant to the power granted by Christ to St. Peter in giving him the Keys of the Kingdom to teach in His name. The issue is forever closed. Doctrine, once established, can only be developed in greater fullness but never reversed. Thus the primary function of a Catholic theologian is to work toward explicating settled doctrine in more detail, to establish fresh insights completely consistent with existing doctrine, and to discover new truths whose source must be in the original Deposit of Faith. 

Unfortunately, the sinful pride and intellectual arrogance of many of today’s theologians in openly opposing the Pope have caused great chaos within the Church. It would be well for them to remember that Christ chose unlearned men, not theologians, as His apostles. 

These theologians have flagrantly disregarded the foundational principle of the Roman Catholic Church in order to promote their personal agendas. They argue that Revelation did not cease at the time of Christ, but that it is on-going in and around us all the time. They propose that the truths of the Faith are determined, not from the Proclamation (kerygma) of Christ, but from personal experiences. According to them, we need to look into the real-life stories of people today, interpreted by the modern sciences of sociology and psychology, to arrive at a proper belief system. Needless to say, whatever results they obtain are definitely not Roman Catholic. 

Let us look for a moment at the false doctrines thus developed and it will be immediately evident why they despise the new Catechism so much and have worked so hard to discredit it. These Catholic university theologians all belong to the Catholic Theological Society of America (CTSA), which regularly votes 293 to 7 against any papal pronouncement. Even the 7 votes are never in favor of the Pope. They are merely abstentions. This group, at a 1989 Georgetown University Symposium in Washington, D.C., and again at a 1993 Conference at the Catholic University of America there, has lobbied incessantly against the publication of the Catechism and, after publication, has done its utmost to frustrate its acceptance in any programs of religious instruction. 

Fr. Berard Marthaler of Catholic University, a constant dissenter from papal teaching but often cited with great praise in the Florida Catholic newspaper, and Fr. Tom Reese, S.J., Editor of the liberal national  Jesuit flagship magazine America, combined to orchestrate a savage assault on the Catechism by a number of prominent members of the U.S. catechetical and theological   establishment. It is easy to see why! The Catechism directly contradicts a whole litany of their revisionist thinking. 

Consider what this group has already formally proposed as matters of Roman Catholic Faith.  In 1977, they published Human Sexuality, a text actually used in seminaries, to offer pastoral guidelines to the Catholic faithful on the moral life, which included: 

  • Pre-marital intercourse is justified if it represents a loving relationship (p.166).
  • Mate swapping may be permissible (p.149).
  • Artificial insemination with semen from a man other than the husband may be justified  (p.139).
  • Adulterous relationships may occasionally be acceptable (p.151).
  • Bestiality is acceptable when heterosexual outlets are unavailable (p.230).
  • Therapists may enjoy sexual intercourse with their patients.

Furthermore, this group has argued against the institution of the Sacraments by Christ, redefined apostolic succession to downgrade the primacy of the Pope, and permitted the dissolution of marriage. Theirs is a faith based primarily on a supposed consensus of the acquired knowledge of modern scholars and scientists, which is to say, it is not a faith at all in the sense of credenda that the Church authoritatively proposes to us. Rather it is a mere collection of opinions that, tomorrow, could well be different from what they are today. The idea that anyone could be saved by such opinions is derisory on its face, but then today’s Modernists hardly believe in salvation any longer anyway. Their primary goal seems to be to redefine sin and vice as virtue.

     Refusing fidelity to the Pope and the Magisterium, these disgruntled theologians also argued that the Catechism had failed to respect the principle of the “hierarchy of truths”, namely, that some truths, in their eyes, are less true than supposed essentials of the Faith and should therefore, be downplayed or set aside, because only principal doctrinal teaching requires our assent. That idea has always been a common misconception of the dissenters. Actually, the “hierarchy of truths” simply means that the different truths of the Faith are organized around the central core of truths concerning the Blessed Trinity, the Incarnation of Christ, the Creed, the Sacraments, the Ten Commandments, and Prayer. Thus, the concept of the “hierarchy of truths” merely involves the organic structure of the multiple and complex truths – all of which are completely true!

Contrast such loose and disorganized thought  with the  incredible efficiency in developing the Catechism. 

  • The Catechism of the Catholic Church was requested by the 1985 World Synod of Bishops. 

  • It was commissioned by the Supreme Pontiff, Pope John Paul II, himself.
  • It was overseen at every stage by a special commission of cardinals and bishops headed by the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
  • The Catechism was submitted for review to all the Catholic bishops of the world, to all the bishops’ conferences, and to major Catholic universities, with the result that nearly 25,000 separate proposed amendments were carefully considered. This was the first time in the history of the Church that a major teaching document such as this was ever subjected to such a massive, worldwide consultation process.
  • The final draft was then personally reviewed by the Holy Father.

    Finally the completed Catechism was promulgated and given to the world with the full authority of the Church behind it.



We are dealing here with evil, in the refusal of Bishop Dorsey to permit use of the Catechism of the Catholic Church  (2nd Edition, 1997) in the parochial and high schools of the Orlando Diocese.  It is no exaggeration to observe that Bishop Dorsey has lost the true Faith and is not fit to continue as our shepherd. Several attempts by members of FAITHFUL CATHOLICS OF CENTRAL FLORIDA to make substantial donations to Diocesan schools, contingent on their use of the Catechism in teaching the Faith, have been completely rebuffed. Uniformly and unequivocally, they have been informed by the principals of these schools that Bishop Dorsey would never allow the Catechism’s use. Meanwhile, toleration of homosexuality and its active practice by some senior Diocesan officials, continues to destroy our Church. Bishop Dorsey, if you value the Faith, order every parish to supply a Catechism to each home free of charge, just as you now force your liberal and dissenting Florida Catholic into their homes.

Ed. Note: Bishop Dorsey has since retired as Bishop of Orlando, FL.





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