Given the close connection between the American (USCCA) and Irish (ICCA) catechisms do they differ much from the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC)?
Both the American (USCCA) and Irish (ICCA) catechisms, while being based on the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC), seek to take into account various national and cultural situations, practices, traditions, prayers etc. so that the faith itself and the culture would both be enriched. Thus in the ICCA various Irish Bishops’ statements, traditional Irish prayers, Irish saints and holy men and women are presented in order to foster faith.
However, there is one major difference between the CCC and the Americanand Irish catechisms. The CCC follows a numbered paragraph format whereas both the American and Irish catechisms supplement the usual Question and Answer (Q&A) approach traditionally associated with catechisms. Every chapter in both catechisms is divided into the following structure:
1. A story or lesson of faith relevant to the chapter is provided.
2. The foundation and application of the teaching of the chapter is given.
3. A ‘sidebar’ containing three Q’s and A’s from the CCC follows.
4. Next the relationship of Catholic teaching to the culture is teased out.
5. Questions for discussion are then provided.
6. Doctrinal statements covering points of doctrine from the chapter are reviewed.
7. Every chapter concludes with a meditation or prayer drawn from a saint or spiritual writer.
In using such a structure the ICCA seeks to engage adults with the person of Jesus Christ, with Scripture and Tradition, with exemplars of the faith, with other Christians and with God’s creation so that they might come to know the one true God and his son Jesus Christ whom he sent to save us.