The Vatican is to create a special working group to review the content of the youth catechism “YouCat.” The book, launched April 13 in Rome, made headlines earlier this week when CNA revealed its Italian language edition appeared to endorse the use of contraception.
A faulty translation from the original German youth catechism was found to be at the root of the error.
At today’s launch Austrian Cardinal Christoph Schonborn, who oversaw the creation of “YouCat,” told journalists that after a meeting with the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith it had been decided “that a little working group will collect all the observations, all the corrections that will arrive from the various translations, also from the German original. They will do it immediately, and then they will make a list of corrections.”
The role of doctrine congregation in that process was later clarified by the Vatican spokesman, Father Federico Lombardi, SJ, who told CNA “It would be wrong to say there is a special group being set up. There isn’t. There will now be a revision process, of course, and the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith will help in that process but they won’t be doing it by themselves.”
The Italian version had already sold 14,000 copies before it was removed from sale, while a further 30,000 had been printed.
Using a question-and-answer format to explain Church teaching, it ran into trouble on Question 420: “Can a Christian couple turn to contraceptive methods?” to which the answer reads, “Yes, a Christian couple can and must be responsible about their capacity of being able to give life.” The Italian edition will now be put back on sale but with a corrective note inserted into every faulty copy.
Over 700,000 copies of “YouCat” in 13 different languages are to be distributed to pilgrims at the Aug. 15-21 World Youth Day in Madrid. A special copy was presented to Pope Benedict, following today’s general audience in St. Peter’s Square. The English version, published by Ignatius Press, is not known to contain any doctrinal errors and has already sold over 13,000 copies in its first few days on sale.