THE Church's proposed new Catechism for the Universal Church (Catholic Herald February 23) will "shape the mind of the Church for decades, perhaps centuries to come", Archbishop William Levada of Portland, Oregan, claimed last week.
Archbishop Levada, who was one of seven bishops from around the world responsible for the catechism's drafting, said that improvements still needed to be made. But criticisms and comments about the catechism would be considered during the consultative period, which will run until May 31.
Speaking at a symposium for US catecheticat publishers in Washington, the archbishop warned against seeing the new catechism as a "universal catechism". "By universal catechism some people are led to suppose a book to be placed in the hands of every Catholic or Catholic-to-be in the world," he said.
Archbishop Levada responded to the suggestion that by preparing the new catechism at this time the Vatican was reversing the intent of Vatican II which decided against a new "small catechism". He pointed out that Vatican II had only rejected the idea of drafting a new catechism for children, preferring to focus on the need for catechesis at adult level.