"From this time on the event forces one to make a choice, and to take pains in appropriating the event to oneself."
"This will be an event of historic significance, for the new Catechism is not merely one of numerous volumes of theology and catechesis that are published, but a general reference text for catechetical activity that is undertaken among the entire People of God. . . . I am certain that the publication of the new Catechism will afford the faithful a precious opportunity to revive their faith and reinvigorate their missionary spirit. In this way it will promote an authentic renewal of the Church."1
These are the words that Pope John Paul II used during the Angelus on 15 November 1992 to announce the imminent publication of the Catechism of the Catholic Church (=CCC). This historic event made headlines in newspapers and on television, and the overwhelming tide of sales in the French edition exceeded all expectations. Indeed Bishop Jean Honoré, the Archbishop of Tours, offered the opinion that the Catechism of the Catholic Church was "one of the major acts" and perhaps even "the major act" of the whole pontificate of John Paul II.2
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1. John Paul II, "Angélus du 15 november 1992," the French edition of L'Osservatore Romano (17 novembre 1992): 1.
2. J. Honoré, "Le Catéchisme, un document majeur de la foi," in the French edition of L'Osservatore Romano (12 January 1993): 7.