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A Brief Critique of the
Catechism of the Catholic Church

Dr. Remi E. Amelunxen
A reader from Belgium recently wrote TIA asking if we had a list of errors or ambiguities in the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC), issued by the Vatican in 1992. He noted that he had always used the Catechism of Trent and felt like there was a different spirit in the CCC.

To respond to his question, we post this “Brief Critique” written by the late Belgium scientist and scholar Dr. Remi Amelunxen, written in 1998 in response to a lady who asked him for a critique of this Catechism.

TIA slightly adapted his text to address our readers.

Catechism of the catholic Church

A new Vatican II Catechism riddled with errors to replace the flawless Trent Catechism - Why?

catechism trent

To begin, I should warn readers that many priests and laity are not going to agree with this brief critique on the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC). (1) They will try to explain it away as they have tried to do with Vatican Council II and the Novus Ordo Mass.

However, it is simply not possible to explain away that which is contrary to Sacred Tradition, the Ordinary and Extraordinary Magisteriums and Sacred Scripture. The great St. Thomas Aquinas taught “Hold firmly that our Faith is identical with that of the ancients. Deny this and you dissolve the unity of the Church.”

Here I might remind you that the motu proprio Ecclesia Dei of 1988 regarding the Tridentine Mass mandated the full acceptance of Vatican II and concurrence with the “doctrinal exactitude” of the Novus Ordo Missae. In conscience I could accept neither.

But let us return to the critique of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

First, I ask why was the Catechism of the Catholic Church necessary when the Catechism of the Council of Trent is so beautifully clear and derived from a Council of incredible importance?

The answer is quite simple, sad to say: The ecclesiastics who were the periti of Vatican II were of a like mind to incorporate the ambiguity, relativism and heresy embedded in Vatican Council II into a new Catechism. Here I note that Vatican II was a pastoral Council as so defined by Paul VI, thus lacking the stamp of infallibility.

One rotten apple can destroy a bushel of apples, as one drop of poison (error) can destroy a Catechism. In sharp contrast to the doctrinally sound Catechism of the Council of Trent (and its derivatives e.g. the Catechism of St. Pius X and the Baltimore Catechism), the CCC has some drops of poison.

There are many well-stated truths in the CCC and many beautiful thoughts expressed throughout, but can Catholics afford to use it when it also has drops of poison? Many priests and laity will deny the poison and point an accusing finger at those who criticize it. But the CCC has received widespread criticism from many traditional Catholic theologians, authors and publications, so I am not alone in my condemnation.

I will avoid what could be called subtle errors in this analysis and give only a very brief presentation of errors that can be more easily understood (my full list is much longer). Reference will be made to the Title and No. in the CCC, some or all of the paragraph(s) will be quoted (all emphasis is mine), and a statement of interpretation, in which related information not in the CCC per se will at times be included.

I will present the order of topics I believe should be covered first, rather than follow numerically from the CCC.

The door to evolution opens

As a scientist who considers evolution the “hoax of the ages” and can prove it – in company with many Nobel Award Scientists – this No. 283 in the CCC praises what should be condemned:

evolution Pope Francis

In October 2014 Francis boldly states that Darwinian evolution is real

Catechesis on Creation, No. 283: “The question about the origins of the world and of man has been the object of many scientific studies which have splendidly enriched our knowledge of the age and dimensions of the cosmos, the development of life-forms and the appearance of man. These discoveries invite us to even greater admiration for the greatness of the Creator, prompting us to give him thanks for all his works and for the understanding and wisdom he gives to scholars and researchers.“

This is pure unadulterated rubbish! It has opened the door to the acceptance of evolution in Catholic schools and universities, even among many conservatives. In addition to this statement which gives credence to the “new scientific studies” (which implies acceptance of evolution without explicitly stating the word), we have the statement of John Paul II that “Evolution is more than a hypothesis.” (2)

This statement and No. 283 (CCC) are contradictory to the Book of Genesis and the age-old teaching of the Church, as well as clearly at odds with every shred of scientific evidence. God help us!

Concessions to the Jews & Muslims

The Church and non-Christians, Nos. 839-340: “Those who have not yet received the Gospel are related to the People of God in various ways. When she delves into her own mystery, the Church, the People of God in the New Covenant, discovers her link with the Jewish People, 'the first to hear the Word of God.’ … To the Jews ‘belong the sonship, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises; to them belong the patriarchs, and of their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ,’ ’for the gifts and the call of God are irrevocable.’

jews catholics

Following the steps of JPII & Benedict, Francis visits Rome's synagogue to show good will to the Jewish religion

“And when one considers the future, God's People of the Old Covenant and the new People of God tend towards similar goals: expectation of the coming (or the return) of the Messiah. But one awaits the return of the Messiah who died and rose from the dead and is recognized as Lord and Son of God; the other awaits the coming of a Messiah, whose features remain hidden till the end of time; and the latter waiting is accompanied by the drama of not knowing or of misunderstanding Christ Jesus.

In the beautiful Prologue of St. John (at the end of every Tridentine Mass but deleted from the Novus Ordo), he clearly states that “He came unto His own and His own received Him not.”

The lines above in the CCC minimize the salvific death of Our Lord, and affirm the Jews only “misunderstood” Christ vs. rejected Him, contradicting Sacred Scripture and Tradition. The ex cathedra pronouncement Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus (No salvation outside the Church ) is negated here and elsewhere in the CCC.

How can one explain ”He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved: but he that believed not shall be condemned” (Mk 16:16) in face of the contradictory and ambiguous paragraphs above. Was Our Lord joking when He said: “Amen, Amen I say to thee, unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Ghost, he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God (Jn 3:5)?


The Muslims adore Allah, the name emblazoned on a medallion in their mosque, certainly not the Triune God

Nos. 839-840 and the Encyclical Ut unum sint of John Paul II would have us believe in universal salvation, contradictory to Sacred Scripture and the unerring Magisterium of the Church.

The Church's relationship with the Muslims, No. 841: "The plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator, in the first place amongst whom are the Muslims; these profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God, mankind's judge on the last day."

The Muslims adore the Triune God? Of course they do not. For them Jesus was but a prophet, of lesser importance to them than Mohammed!

Concessions to universal salvation

Liberation and Salvation, No. 1741 : ”By his glorious Cross Christ has won salvation for all men. He redeemed them from the sin that held them in bondage. For freedom Christ has set us free."

all are saved

A foolish attempt to include all people & religions
among the saved

This is even more specific regarding salvation. It proclaims “Christ has won salvation for all men.” Here again we have universal salvation, again the negation of the authentic Catholic teaching Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus .

How then does one explain: “Amen, Amen I say to you: Except you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you shall not have life in you” (Jn 6:54), and “For this is my blood of the new testament which shall be shed for many unto remission of sins.” (Mt 26:26-28)

The “for many” in the consecratory formula for the wine in the Tridentine Mass derives from Sacred Scripture, and was confirmed by the Councils of Florence (1442) and Trent (1545). The switch to “for all” in the Novus Ordo Missae by the ICEL (International Commission for English in the Liturgy) was purported to avoid what would be Calvinistic predestination.

ICEL also asserted that for many has no word in Aramaic, which is ridiculous. In reality Aramaic has two words for many and two words for all. This has been thoroughly investigated and is well documented by language experts.

The Council of Trent states precisely for all was not used in the consecratory formula of the wine because only to the elect did the passion and death of Jesus Christ bring the fruit of salvation. Heb 9:28 states: “Christ was offered once to exhaust the sins of many,” and in John 27:9 Our Lord said: “I pray for them. I pray not for the world but for them whom Thou has given me.”

Nos. 836, 838, 1260 and 2602 contain other questionable points contrary to Church teaching on salvation. How could the progressivist Church, condemned by St. Pius X in Pascendi Dominici gregis, so distort infallible teaching?

Examples of other distortions

Supernatural Sense of the Faith. Nos 91, 92, 93: "All the faithful share in understanding and handing on revealed truth. They have received the anointing of the Holy Spirit, who instructs them and guides them into all truth. …

people of God is Church

'The word church embodies the whole universal community of believers' 

"The whole body of the faithful ... cannot err in matters of belief.… By this appreciation of the faith … the People of God unfailingly adheres to this faith, penetrates it more deeply with right judgment, and applies it more fully in daily life.”

This is an erroneous exaggeration of the indefectibility of the Catholic Church. All of the faithful are somehow presented as being indefectible.

The Church in God’s Plan, No 752: “In Christian usage, the word ‘church’ designates the liturgical assembly, but also the local community or the whole universal community of believers. These three meanings are inseparable. ‘The Church is the People that God gathers in the whole world. She exists in local communities and is made real as a liturgical, above all a Eucharistic, assembly. She draws her life from the word and the Body of Christ and so herself becomes Christ's Body.’”

This is a new notion of Church from Vatican II, a new mystical conception of the Church not as a physical institution made by Christ, but rather as the body of believers, very much in tune with two heretics, Martin Luther and Teilhard de Chardin.

The Participation of Lay People in Christ’s Priestly Office, No. 901: “Hence the laity, dedicated as they are to Christ and anointed by the Holy Spirit, are marvelously called and prepared so that even richer fruits of the Spirit may be produced in them. … and so, worshipping everywhere by their holy actions, the laity consecrate the world itself to God, everywhere offering worship by the holiness of their lives."

congregation wave hand

The people of God 'participate' in the Consecration by raising their hands

This is a new language for catechisms. It involves the sphere of the purely worldly and natural activities which will seemingly approach the supernatural by means of a “common priesthood” of the people. This concept is being used today by many clergy who tell the congregation to raise their hands with them at the time of Consecration to effect the Transubstantiation.

Other misleading parts

Jewish and Christian Liturgy, No. 1096: “A better knowledge of the Jewish people's faith and religious life as professed and lived even now can help our better understanding of certain aspects of Christian liturgy.

“In its characteristic structure the Liturgy of the Word originates in Jewish prayer. the Liturgy of the Hours and other liturgical texts and formularies, as well as those of our most venerable prayers, including the Lord's Prayer, have parallels in Jewish prayer. The Eucharistic Prayers also draw their inspiration from the Jewish tradition. “

No comment is really necessary here. It is but another example of the exaggerations of ecumenism and concessions made to supposedly improve “dialogue.”


A Catholic priest defends transgender 'rights'

Homosexuality, No. 2358: “The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. “

This is too much to swallow and will only lead to an increasingly acceptance of the sin of sodomy. [Dr. Remi was writing in 1998, and his prediction proved to be all too true].

It is tragic that today almost every facet of Catholicism is in decline. Clearly, one drop of poison in Catholic teaching that is heretical can lead to the death of the soul! Progressivist interpretations that distort or negate dogmatic teachings of the Church cause great pain to Our Lord and His Blessed Mother, and have led to the virtual destruction of the Church. Even border line heresies that tend to make authentic Catholic teaching questionable are damaging to the Faith.

It is very clear that the CCC derived from the documents o f Vatican II and that ambiguity and error abound in both.

In my humble opinion, human intervention is now of little or no avail and only Divine Intervention with restore Holy Mother the Church to its former glory. Laus tibi Christi!

jews catholics muslims

A priest, rabbi & imam hold three bricks
in the lot where they plan to build
a multifaith prayer building in Berlin

  1. The references to the CCC in this article can be found on the online catechism published by the Vatican website here.
  2. JPII affirmed: “Today, almost half a century after publication of the encyclical [Humani generis by Pius XII], new knowledge has led to the recognition of the theory of evolution as more than a hypothesis. It is indeed remarkable that this theory has been progressively accepted by researchers, following a series of discoveries in various fields of knowledge. The convergence, neither sought nor fabricated, of the results of work that was conducted independently is in itself a significant argument in favor of the theory. ” See my article Popes for Evolution - II

Blason de Charlemagne
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Posted on September 22, 2023