Thursday, November 1, 2012

Year of Faith: Are you smarter than a fifth-grade religion teacher?

As part of our celebration of the Year of Faith and our commitment to reacquaint ourselves with the Catechism of the Catholic Church, I thought it would be fun to post this catechism quiz that ran in Our Sunday Visitor Newsweekly a short time ago.

See how well you do, and, remember, it's not just about content but about the process of producing the catechism, which was a lot more entertaining than you might expect. Check it out. This intro will jump you to the OSV quiz link, but be sure to come back here and leave a note in the comment section.

Here we go...

By Mary DeTurris Poust
Despite being a worldwide best-seller, the Catechism of the Catholic Church can be a little intimidating to the average reader, with its 900-plus pages and copious footnotes. I know from experience. Several years ago, when I was first asked to put the Catechism into “plain English” in what would become “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to the Catholic Catechism,” I wondered if I had the stamina to get through it and understand it in such a way that I could “translate.” But something wonderful happened on my way through Church doctrine: I discovered the poetry and beauty of a book that weaves all of Catholic teaching into one magnificent tapestry of faith and morals.

It’s no wonder that even now, as the Catechism marks its 20th anniversary, it continues to sell in record numbers, inspire spinoff publications, turn up in various digital formats, and more. From teens devouring the new “YouCat” version of the Catechism, to adults going through RCIA, to lifelong Catholics looking to strengthen their already deep faith, the Catechism has proved to be the answer to a prayer, or, at the very least, the answer to the many, many questions Catholics and others have about the Church and its teachings.

If you’ve never read the Catechism from cover to cover — and even if you have — there are will be things inside its pages that will surprise and even amuse you. Just about every topic you can imagine, and probably quite a few you can’t, fit into the Catholic picture. Don’t believe me? Take the quiz below and see if anything stumps you. This is not your grandmother’s Catechism, and it was never meant to be.

The answer key at the end of this section will provide you with the correct Catechism paragraph numbers for many questions you may want to explore further.

Have fun and, remember, no cheating. But you already knew that. Click HERE for the quiz.

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