Translated by Christopher Huntington, introduced by Gerald B. Phelan, edited by Bruce Fingerhut 144 pages, 5½” x 8½” translator’s note, introduction, index, pub date: August 2013
What Catholics Believe
Pieper, Josef and Raskop, Heinz
The authors give, in brief and simple form, a summary of the fundamental teachings of the Catholic Church, and of the fruits of the faith contained in the teachings.
The first part, The Faith of the Christian, outlines the basic teachings as embodied in the Apostles Creed, followed by chapters on the Seven Sacraments and the Liturgical Year. The second part, concerned with the fruits of faith, and entitledThe Life of the Christian, treats of the Christian virtues. Brief chapters on Sacred Scripture and Church History give the source and the development of Catholic faith and life.
No similar book covers so much ground, in such simple terms, in one brief work. What Catholics Believe is addressed to all interested Catholics; to recent converts and prospective converts; it should prove a useful tool for religion teachers and everyone working for the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine.
What Catholics Believe was written before the liturgical changes implemented by the Second Vatican Council, but its theology and anthropology remain as relevant today as they did a half-century ago, and its impact is all the more startling for the clear, direct, orthodox approach it takes. This edition adds explanatory notes that cross-reference the text with contemporary rubrics for the benefit of modern readers.
“This is not an argumentative book, not a work of controversy, not even, strictly speaking, a ‘theological’ study. It is rather a prolonged professions of Faith, fitted with the spiritually moving quality of the Athanasian or the Nicene Creed and the simple directness of the Sermon on the Mount. In their simple exposition of Catholic belief, the authors have written a deeply moving book. . . .
“One cannot divorce faith from life without doing violence to both. And it is for this reason that the second half of this book, in which the authors deal with the Life of the Catholic, is as important as the first half, in which they state the Faith of the
“This is a simply beautiful and beautifully simple work.” – Rev. Gerald B. Phelan, former Director of the Medieval Institute, Notre Dame