The Catechism of the Catholic Church, is ten years old this week. One of the most-translated books in the world, the Catechism, edited under the direction of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, is available in approved translations, in 60 languages, including Chinese, Russian, Arabic, and Georgian. The most recent new translation appeared in Bulgarian; the next will be Japanese. In total, 10 million copies of the Catechism have been printed worldwide. The 500-page volume is the product of a massive effort to produce an authoritative and systematic presentation of Catholic beliefs. The last effort undertaken by the Church, come after the Council of Trent in the 16th century. After the publication of the first new Catechism in 1992, a new edition-with some minor corrections- was published in 1997. The most significant change in the new edition came in the treatment of capital punishment. The new and definitive version of the Catechism treats the execution of criminals as a practice which can be justified only under restricted circumstances- which are all but impossible to apply to today's world.
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