YouCat Youth Catechism

There has been a lot of controversy over the new Youth Catechism from Ignatius Press known as “YouCat”. Based on various other blogs including the near famous dialogue with Aquinas and More regarding the way in which the text is translated. The publishers reply was not satisfactory and Aquinas pulled the book from their shelves.

YouCat was produced for World Youth Day in Madrid, Spain in 2011. Translation into various languages has been extremely problematic with at least one translation prompting recalls. The English translation is also under fire and I have taken the time to examine it.

YouCat is set up in question and answer format, and for those of us who still love the concept of the Baltimore Catechism this is great news. The Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church is also done in question and answer format. After each question the full Catechism, meant as the normal source for local and age specific catechism, is summarized followed by a second paragraph which is meant to explain the faith in a simple way for teens. It is usually this second paragraph that causes trouble.

I have asked around our parish and to other catechetical professionals about what they think of the offending paragraphs in the catechism. The response has been very mixed. Some believe the text is faithful and interpret it as such, others see problems with it, similar to Aquinas and More.

This leads me to the conclusion that a revision is in order and that the text is ambiguously written, and sometimes even misleading enough that non-evangelized teen readers may use the text to justify a false belief, such as that the homosexual act can be approved and is a path to salvation. It is somewhat of an unwelcome conclusion because a text like this is much needed in the Church. I hope a revision is quickly prepared and a second edition can be released soon.

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