To my Venerable Brothers the Cardinals, Patriarchs, Archbishops, Bishops, Priests, Deacons and to all the People of God.
Twenty years ago, work began on the Catechism of the Catholic Church that had been requested by the extraordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops held on the occasion of the twentieth anniversary of the close of the Second Vatican Council. I am filled with heartfelt thanks to the Lord God for having given the Church this Catechism, promulgated in 1992 by my venerated and beloved Predecessor, Pope John Paul II....
Paragraph 4. Christ's Faithful - Hierarchy, Laity, Consecrated Life
871 "The Christian faithful are those who, inasmuch as they have been incorporated in Christ through Baptism, have been constituted as the people of God; for this reason, since they have become sharers in Christ's priestly, prophetic, and royal office in their own manner, they are called to exercise the mission which God has entrusted to the Church to fulfill in the world, in 385 accord with the condition proper to each one.
Must religion and morals go together? Can one be taught without the other? It is a practical question for
educationists, and France tried to answer it in the dreariest little cut and dry kind of catechism ever given to
boys to make them long to be wicked. But apart from education, the question of the bedrock on which morals rest, the foundation on which a moral edifice can be built that will stand secure against the storms of life--that
is a question of perennial interest, and it must be answered by each of us, if we would have a test of Right and