Youcat hamstrung by art and language

The German-speaking bishops, led by Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn, have produced a catechism aimed at youth, Youcat. It is impressive because it does not condescend or pander to young people. In the opinion of this old-timer, it could be useful to youth interested in knowing what the Church is all about.

Unfortunately, in the English-speaking world that will probably not happen to any great extent.

There are two reasons that the English translation will not become popular.

The first is the artwork. The illustrations are an integral part of the message, not mere decoration. Otherwise, why bother putting them in? The English edition takes over wholesale the photographs of the German edition. However, the English-speaking world is much more racially and ethnically diverse than Austria, Germany and Switzerland. An English-language reader will not get many pages into the book before saying or at least feeling, “All the blonde hair, blue eyes and pale skin isn’t me and my friends,” and putting it aside. I hope those who want to publish non-Western editions do not make the same mistake.

The second, and bigger, reason the book will not have the impact it should among English speakers is that its translator and publisher seem to fear that if it affirms that Christ saves men and women, females will immediately clamor for ordination.

– Bill Grimm

Youcat hamstrung by publisher (Give us this day)


YOUCAT – Book Trailer (Ignatius Press/YouTube)