Published on August 23, 2013
The Catechism of the Catholic Church (or CCC) is a catechism promulgated for the Catholic Church by Pope John Paul II.Pope John Paul II declared that the Catechism of the Catholic Church was "a valid and legitimate instrument for ecclesial communion and a sure norm for teaching the faith, and stressed that it "is not intended to replace the local catechisms duly approved by the ecclesiastical authorities, the diocesan Bishops and the Episcopal Conferences". CCC is arranged in four principal parts: The Profession of Faith (the Apostle's Creed) The Celebration of the Christian Mystery (the Sacred Liturgy, especially the sacraments) Life in Christ (including The Ten Commandments in Roman Catholic theology) Christian Prayer (including The Lord's Prayer) This scheme is often referred to as the “Four Pillars” of the Faith. The contents are abundantly footnoted with references to sources of the teaching, in particular the Scriptures, the Church Fathers, and the Ecumenical Councils  and other authoritative Catholic statements, principally those issued by recent Popes. The section on Scripture in the CCC (nos. 101–141) recovers the Patristic tradition of "spiritual exegesis" as further developed through the scholastic doctrine of the "four senses." This return to spiritual exegesis is based on the Second Vatican Council's 1965 "Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation", which taught that Scripture should be "read and interpreted in light of the same Spirit by whom it was written" (Dei Verbum 12). The CCC amplifies Dei Verbum by specifying that the necessary spiritual interpretation should be sought through the four senses of Scripture (nos. 111, 113, 115–119), which encompass the literal sense and the three spiritual senses (allegorical, moral, and anagogical). The literal sense (no. 116) pertains to the meaning of the words themselves, including any figurative meanings. The spiritual senses (no. 117) pertain to the significance of the things (persons, places, objects or events) denoted by the words. Of the three spiritual senses, the allegorical sense is foundational. It relates persons, events, and institutions of earlier covenants to those of later covenants, and especially to the New Covenant. Building on the allegorical sense, the moral sense instructs in regard to action, and the anagogical sense points to man's final destiny. The teaching of the CCC on Scripture has encouraged the recent pursuit of covenantal theology, an approach that employs the four senses to structure salvation history via the biblical covenants.