Baltimore Catechism

Status
Not open for further replies.
F

fogie

Guest
My children all are home schooled using the Seton Home Study School. I’ve been very impressed with them. The religion portion is the Baltimore Catechism. They also participate in religious education at church and EVERY teacher is impressed with how well they have been formed.

Can I assume that the Baltimore Catechism is still OK? Dispite all I have heard about it, my kids actually like it.
 
40.png
fogie:
My children all are home schooled using the Seton Home Study School. I’ve been very impressed with them. The religion portion is the Baltimore Catechism. They also participate in religious education at church and EVERY teacher is impressed with how well they have been formed.

Can I assume that the Baltimore Catechism is still OK? Dispite all I have heard about it, my kids actually like it.
If the teachers are that impressed with your children’s progress, I wouldn’t worry. As for me I was brought up in grade school at the time of Vatican II, and we still had the Balitmore Catechism.

My advice, keep doing what you are doing. Any thought about trying to teach your children a simplier form of apologetics. By the time your children are in high school, they will need to really defend their faith.

Today’s pagan culture is not getting any better.

Edwin

Glory be to Jesus Christ! Glory to Him Forever!
 
How did the Baltimore Catechism get its name? Did it originate in Baltimore? What’s the history?
 
40.png
fogie:
My children all are home schooled using the Seton Home Study School. I’ve been very impressed with them. The religion portion is the Baltimore Catechism. They also participate in religious education at church and EVERY teacher is impressed with how well they have been formed.

Can I assume that the Baltimore Catechism is still OK? Dispite all I have heard about it, my kids actually like it.
The Baltimore Catechism is dated. While I think the question and answer format is a great way to absorb a great deal of material, I think you kids would do better with something a bit more recent.

I suggest the catechisms by Fr. John Hardon, S.J.
 
I’m not of the Baltimore Catechism generation, so all I know is what I’ve heard and read. My impression is that there wasn’t a big problem with what it taught, but how it was taught. I think to circumvent the problems that people had previously is to make sure your children are fully formed in other areas–so that they don’t have problems with understanding it later in life.

I suggest make it fun…I think in many Catholic online bookstores you will find Baltimore Catechism friendly fun quiz or project books. Also try to make sure that they really understand the concepts and accept them as they can growing up. Sorta like internalizing it so that family devotions and Mass isn’t something that they dread, but something they understand.

As for people not liking the problems with Baltmore Catechism, I think it started for people in adolescence that rebelled against flat statements taught without encouragement for explanation other than, “It’s a mystery.” As they get to that age, I suggest, you challenge them (in a nice way) to have them explain the teachings to you. Get them to have an active participation in being pro-Catholic teaching. 🙂
 
DVIN CKS:
How did the Baltimore Catechism get its name? Did it originate in Baltimore? What’s the history?
Yes - The original Baltimore Catechisms - Were Prepared and enjoined by Order of the Third Plenary Council of Baltimore.

History Of the Baltimore Councils can be found here.

newadvent.org/cathen/02235a.htm
 
The last Plenary Council of bishops of the United States was held in Baltimore in 1884. The Baltimore Catechism was one of the developments of that conference. I’m not sure if it came during the council or afterward.

I can’t imagine why it would not still be a great resource to use. It’s much better that what passes for catechesis in many circles today. It’s also much simpler and easier to understand that many of the contemporary catechisms created today to promote understanding of the faith.

Of course, it’s likely that you’ve heard these “horror stories” of kids being forced to memorize the catechism. While many may be exaggerated, it brings home an important point. The Baltimore Catechism was designed to be a basis for instruction, not the sole resource for it. If you get the complete set, you will see that volume 4 is an explanation of the Baltimore Catechism. From what I have been told, it was expected that the teacher would do more than have the students memorize the catechism. The teacher would explain it, and no doubt the students were expected to be able to explain, not just regurgitate, the answers.

David
 
David Ancell said:
]
The last Plenary Council of bishops of the United States was held in Baltimore in 1884. The Baltimore Catechism was one of the developments of that conference. I’m not sure if it came during the council or afterward

It came out of the last council and a commission was appointed to prepare a cathechism for general use.
Title vii, Of Christian Doctrine.-(i) Of the office of preaching. (ii) A commission is appointed to prepare a catechism for general use. When published it is to be obligatory. (iii) Of prayer books. (iv) Of books and newspapers. While objectionable writings are to be condemned, Catholics should oppose them also by orthodox newspapers and books.
 
The Baltimore Catechism gives an excellent view of what the Church was like prior to Vatican II. To the extent that the Church is different now, the Baltimore Catechism is out-of-date.

I went looking for a specific example, and here is the one I found:
  1. Q. What is the meaning of the commandment not to marry within the third degree of kindred?
A. The meaning of the commandment not to marry within the third degree of kindred is that no one is allowed to marry another within the third degree of blood relationship.
“Third Degree,” What relatives are in the third degree? Brother and sister are in the first degree; first cousins are in the second degree; second cousins are in the third degree. Therefore all who are second cousins or in nearer relationship cannot be married without a dispensation from the Church allowing them to do so.
This is no longer true under 1983 canon law.
 
My youngest son memorized the Baltimore Catechism (1962 version) this year as part of his 3rd grade religion (homeschool). There was nothing dated about it from what I could see. When it was pointed out to me that the pictures and wording were outdated. I replied that my son never mentioned or complained about that once. I think adults have a bigger hang-up about that than kids.

He worked hard to master the questions, and, as a result he is much more knowledgeable than most Catholic kids of his age (and not a few adults). He constantly amazes people with his understanding and his answers (like someone else we know 😉 ) and he takes a great deal of pride in his accomplishment.

Of course memorizing the Catechism is not the be-all and end-all of catechesis. Children should go on to flesh out these basic facts as they grow older, but at least the BC inculcates hard facts that they can build on–unlike most Catholics who have no basis. And of course they shouldn’t learn in a vacuum–a parent needs to sit down with them and clarify the obscure and complex parts, not just give a child a BC and cut them loose. If you don’t like the BC, that’s up to you, but don’t knock it until you can come up with something more effective.THAT I’d like to see.
 
What about other homeschool families? What are you using to instruct your children?

My son is in public school and I need to give him some more organised formation. Sunday school just isn’t close to enough. Any suggestions?
 
For our children we use the B/C also. When they get into the highschool we add Fr. Laux’s series. We also do alot of fun studying, reading the saints with the vision books is a great time at our house.

We do not participate in the CCD classes, they are very watered down and frankly, the kids that attend bring their worst behavior. I don’t need that influence on my younger ones. We are still forming them.
 
I would not call the Baltimore Catechism “dated” because the Church’s teachings do not change. The format may seem dated, but the content remains consistant with what the Church teaches today. My kids also are Seton Taught and I love the B/C Catechism!
 
We use the Baltimore Catachism as part of our religion studies. (homeschool) We like the Q/A format, and we memorize it. We also use A Year With God from CHC for a more hands on approach, and Catholic traditions in Cooking, daily gospel reflections, etc…
 
We use the Living my Religion series, published in the 1940s. It does have a few errors since it was published prior to Vatican 2. For example, fasting from midnight and the Mass is described in terms of the Latin Mass.

However, theologically, the teachings on faith and morals are never changed…expanded, yes, totally altered, no.
We use the Baltimore Catechism to supplement, especially book 4. However, the CCC is wonderful and is always at our fingertips for answering questions.

You can absolutely trust that whatever Seton recommends for religion is completely and totally orthodox Catholic teaching containing no error (dogmatically speaking, not necessarily in approach!! 😉 ) I personally have a different teaching style and approach then Seton, however, I have complete respect for what they offer.
 
I equate memorizing the Baltimore Catechism with learning the addition, subtraction and multiplication tables. It gives you the vocabulary and basic knowledge you need to go on and study things in depth, just as the arithmetic tables give you the basis for algebra and higher math.

Betsy
 
40.png
baltobetsy:
I equate memorizing the Baltimore Catechism with learning the addition, subtraction and multiplication tables. It gives you the vocabulary and basic knowledge you need to go on and study things in depth, just as the arithmetic tables give you the basis for algebra and higher math.

Betsy
Betsy is exactly right. The Catechism lays the foundation. But, it should only be viewed as a starting point. The problem occurs when teachers confuse milk with meat.

The historic classical method of learning, which reigned supreme for over 1800 years after the birth of Christ, focused on the trivium as a method of learning. The trivium consisted of grammar, logic, and rhetoric. By nature, this method of learning applies to all knowledge and all fields of knowledge. It also compliments a child’s natural psychological development. For further info. visit:

classicalchristian.info/index.aspx#FAQ5

classicalhomeschooling.org/

Younger children in the first stage of learning (ie. the grammar stage) are well suited to learning through memorization, singing and chanting. Thus they memorize their math tables, the alphabet, and things like the Apostles Creed, the Ten Commandments, the Lord’s Prayer or “Our Father,” the Nicene Creed, and the Baltimore Catechism. In this stage, kids don’t fully comprehend what they learn. In fact, they may not comprehend it all. Memorization of the Catechism lays the foundation for future development of systematic theology.

After younger children have acquired the basic tools of learning they move into the logic stage where they start analyzing and comprehending what they have learned. This usually begins around the age of 11 or 12. In this context, that would include dissecting the actual meaning of the Catechism and exploring its theological depths. The systematic theology begins to come into perspective.

The rhetoric stage would involve learning to communicate what you have learned accurately and persuasively. In this stage, the focus is on applying what you have actually learned.

Overrun by socialist and atheistic modes of education, we have forgotten how to educate. Therefore, we no longer see the need to memorize and learn things like the Baltimore Catechism which is why we have several generations that do not know the faith. Heaven help us!
 
I love homeschooling and teaching from the Baltimore Catechism with Seton. I had an interesting story surface from our local Catholic School. The 8th grade Religion teacher was using the Baltimore Catechism as one of it’s tools for teaching the children and the Principal (who is divorced and remarried) told her not to use it any more because it was “negative” about divorce and would make kids of divorce “feel bad”. Does this shock anyone else? I was really taken back. Most of all because the school let it happen! Hince why our kids are homeschooled and not in the Catholic school!

Mom of 5
 
The Baltimore Catechism is dated. While I think the question and answer format is a great way to absorb a great deal of material, I think you kids would do better with something a bit more recent.

I suggest the catechisms by Fr. John Hardon, S.J.
Doctrine never becomes dated. That catechism will be good forever.
 
1.) Very, very, very old thread (by almost 4 years).
2.) Dogma doesn’t become dated, but disciplines do. A good example is fasting before receiving Communion. At one time, when the Baltimore Catechisms were written, it was no food or drink or water after midnight before reception of the Eucharist. Now, it’s on hour before the reception of the Eucharist, and water does not break the fast.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Back
Top