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The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Catholic Catechism (Complete Idiots Guide) [Paperback]

By Mary DeTurris Poust (Author) & David I. Fulton (Author)
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Item description for The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Catholic Catechism (Complete Idiots Guide) by Mary DeTurris Poust & David I. Fulton...

The Catechism is an collection of Church teachings and rules that cover everything from the basics, like honoring God, to more unusual subjects, such as paying just wages and respecting animals. Perfect for students, lay teachers, Catholics, and readers of other faiths, this guide is the key to understanding the daily life of Catholics and gives readers an appreciation for what Catholics believe. Either way, The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Catholic Catechism is for you - or anybody else who wants to know more about the Catholic faith. Published by Penguin and distributed to the Catholic market by ACTA Publications, The Complete Idiot's Guide to Catholic Catechism provides: *Transformative insights into the Trinity and the nature and power of prayer *An in-depth look at baptism, Eucharist, reconciliation and other sacraments *An insider's perspective on the people, teachings, and rituals that have shaped the Catholic Church

Publishers Description
Operating instructions for being a Catholic.

The Catechism is an amazing collection of Church teachings and rules that cover everything from the basics, like honoring God, to more unusual subjects, such as paying just wages and respecting animals. Perfect for students, lay teachers, Catholics, and readers of other faiths, this guide is the key to understanding the daily life of Catholics and gives readers an appreciation for what Catholics believe.
? Provides information and explanations without a conservative or liberal slant
? Co-author is a clergyperson expert on the teachings of the Catechism
? Companion volume to The Complete IdiotA's GuideAr to Understanding Catholicism, Third Edition

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Alpha
Pages   308
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.08" Width: 6.02" Height: 0.72"
Weight:   0.85 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Mar 4, 2008
Publisher   Penguin Group USA
Series  Complete Idiots Guide  
ISBN  1592577075  
ISBN13  9781592577071  

Availability  0 units.

More About Mary DeTurris Poust & David I. Fulton

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Mary DeTurris Poust is a writer, retreat leader, and author of six books, includingEveryday Divine: A Catholic Guide to Active SpiritualityandCravings: A Catholic Wrestles with Food, Self-Image, and God. She writes about the spiritual journey on her blog, Not Strictly Spiritual, and in her monthly column, Life Lines. She lives with her husband, Dennis, and their three children in upstate New York. Visit her website at"

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Catholicism > General
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Catholicism > Roman Catholicism
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Catholicism
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > Catechisms
5Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > Catholic

Christian Product Categories
Books > Church & Ministry > Church Life > Roman Catholic

Reviews - What do customers think about The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Catholic Catechism?

Good narrative; some caveats  Apr 19, 2008
Mary DeTurris Poust has lived up to the promise of this book; it indeed contains "the core teachings of Catholicism in plain English." She explains each section of the catechism in simple prose that doesn't condescend to her readers. At 260-odd pages, one could easily and profitably spend a week or so with this book and come away with a comprehensive understanding of the Faith.

That said, some of the text-box asides are problematic. The "True Confessions" comment for Holy Orders takes a reflexively defensive posture about the all-male priesthood, and explains that women "have always held positions of power within the Church." Should the attainment of power really be held up as a path to follow? In the same text-box, the author explains that "many sisters and lay women and men are administrators of parishes, taking care of most of the nonsacramental work of a local church." Actually, the rise of parish administrators is at odds with canon law and Church teaching. In 1999, the Congregation for the Clergy and seven other dicasteries decreed that "the non-ordained faithful do not enjoy a right to such tasks and functions" and that they should only be performed in extraordinary circumstances ("Instruction on Certain Questions Regarding the Collaboration of the Non-Ordained Faithful in the Sacred Ministry of the Priest.")

Likewise, in one of the early chapters, there is a discussion of how the Church's catechetical establishment moved away from the use of Q&A-style catechisms in the aftermath of Vatican II. (Fans of the time-tested Baltimore Catechism are said to be "traditional Catholics, who prefer the old time religion.") The way it is phrased suggests that this move was done in accord with Church teaching. Quite the contrary is true; in "Catechesis Tradendae," written in 1979, Pope John Paul II praises such instructional tools, as does Pope Benedict XVI, writing as Cardinal Ratzinger, in the letter accompanying the new Q&A-format Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

In the section on the Fifth Commandment, the author resurrects the long-discredited "seamless garment" approach to life issues. This term is an invention of the late Cardinal Bernardin and appears nowhere in the Catechism. Starting in the 1980s, it was used by pro-abortion politicians to suggest that opposition to the death penalty or to a particular war trumps support for abortion rights. There simply was no reason to dredge up that controversy in a book ostensibly about the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

This is a decent resource, deserving about three-and-a-half stars (I rounded up.) I focused on some of its drawbacks because most other reviewers showered the book with unqualified praise. My advice is to stick with the main narrative but be wary when the author veers into material that suggests an opinion rather than doctrine.
The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Catholic Catechism  Apr 9, 2008
I am happy to give The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Catechism a 5 star review. Being raised Catholic certainly doesn't mean that I know all there is to know about my religion. I have had many questions as to what things mean exactly and am happy to have found answers to my questions in this great book. It is easy to read for us "lay persons" and you'll even find some humor hidden in the pages! I recommend this book for all to read, whether you are a practicing Catholic or someone who just wants to learn about another religion.
United We Stand, Divided We Fall  Apr 7, 2008
We are grateful that the publishers of the Complete Idiot's Guide has finally shown enough respect for Catholicism to have a book done which actually conforms to the Catechism. Rather than seeing Father David Fulton and Mary DeTurris Poust as 'rival' authors, we consider them colleagues and compliment them on their book. As Pope Benedict XVI often points out, Catholicism is the religion of the great 'et ... et' (which translates from Latin into: "both ... and") rather than a religion of 'aut ... aut' (either ... or). Therefore, any author and any book which defends orthodox doctrine and any author who is loyal to the Magisterium is on the same side, i.e., the side of truth. We are NOT competing against one another. ALL authors and books which faithfully explain the accurate teachings of Catholicism should work TOGETHER to refute and repudiate the errors being proliferated by heterodox sources and from dissenting theologians.

BOTH "Catholicism for Dummies" AND the "Complete Idiot's Guide to the Catholic Catechism" have imprimaturs AND BOTH serve the common good in evangelization and catechesis. The dichotomy is rather between those authors and books faithful to the Magisterium and those which are disloyal. EITHER orthodox OR heterodox since something is EITHER true or it is false. We wish to congratulate Mary and Fr. David for doing a book on the Catechism. Doing so does not conflict with our pride in our recent work "Catholicism Answer Book: 300 of the Most Frequently Asked Questions" since we sincerely believe our books complement the 'Complete Idiot's Guide to the Catholic Catechism.' While we embraced the same blueprint of the four pillars of faith [creed, code, cult, & contemplation] in our most recent book, we also added some interesting Catholic curiosities along with a potpouri of trivia as well as some abridged but fundamental church history.

If there is any professional rivalry whatsoever, it is merely along the lines of the friendly competition that has always existed between the Dominicans and the Franciscans. That being said, we wish success to both authors and to their book and hope that readers will look at ALL the available resources where one can find authentic, accurate and orthodox Catholic teaching on faith and morals. Those sources which have no allegiance to the Magisterium warrant nothing less than being completely ignored.

Every Catholic individual, family and home should have SEVERAL if not more solid books on the faith in addition to a copy of the actual Catechism and a copy of Catholic Bible. Better to have a whole bookcase of shelves of various Catholic authors who are all loyal to the Magisterium, is it not? We are not arrogant or stupid enough to think that our six books exhaust every notion contained within Catholicism. Our goal has simply been and remains thus: give the readers nothing less than pure, unadulterated [single-malt, so to speak] orthodox doctrine in everything we write. Whenever we see others doing likewise, we take it as a sign of Divine Providence.

Sincerely, Fathers Kenneth Brighenti and John Trigilio
An excellent introduction to the Catholic faith  Apr 7, 2008
I recently read The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Catholic Catechism by Mary DeTurris Poust with theological advisor Fr. David Fulton STD, JCD. Like other books in the Complete Idiot's Guide and Dummies series they present a subject on a beginners level in a somewhat lighthearted way.

Since this one is on the Catholic Catechism itself it is really an introduction to the Catholic faith for beginners along with and introduction explaining the Catechism and the format. For many the size of the Catechism of the Catholic Church is daunting and some might find the language used to be difficult so there will always be a place for a smaller catechism. I remember when I first came across a small catechism at the library written by a source I don't remember, though the experience of reading even these short explanations of the Catholic faith had quite an effect on my life and got me to accept some sins that I up to that point I would have rather have not learned were sins. So I can certainly see how important even a shorter treatment of the Catechism can be.

I found the Complete Idiot's Guide to the Catholic Catechism to be totally in conformance with the Catholic faith and presented the faith quite well. There are plenty of sidebars to further explain words and concepts likely to be unfamiliar to the reader as is common with these types of books. It is also written in a manner easy to read and she uses some humor in her explanations. Though she does not let the humor get in the way and mainly keeps to explaining the various paragraphs of the Catechism. As you would expect there are paragraph reference numbers to the Catechism throughout the book.

I found the book to be a quite useful addition to the number of books concerning the Catechism and I think good orthodox books that serve as an introduction to the faith are always useful. There are only a couple of places in the book where I might have wanted something worded a bit differently, but really nothing to the point where it was in real error. She does make the quite common mistake of thinking the Pope charism of Papal Infallibility to be rare when the fact is it is exercised at every canonization.

There is also another book with a similar format called Catholicism for Dummies by Fr. Trigillo and Fr. Brighenti. I have heard a lot of great things about this other book, though I haven't read it myself yet. Regardless Mary DeTurris Poust book is an excellent entry into the field and one I can recommend to those looking for a solid introduction that is also light reading.
Wonderful explanation of the Catechism!  Apr 4, 2008
I so enjoyed this book! I was not raised Catholic, but became so when I was married almost 20 years ago. I feel I still have a lot to learn and this book is helping me along. The snippets throughout each chapter, such as "Church Speak" and "Teachable Moment" are perfect in further explaining some concepts that have been foreign to me like what exactly is the Catechism. I learned too what an angel is according to the Church. Interesting!

This book is beautifully written. It is easy to read and enjoyable. This book can be both a reference guide for seasoned Catholics and a primer for those who want to truly dig deeper into their Catholic faith. Well done!

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