Pope John Paul II with George Morse and Margaret Morse
accompanied by Cardinal Edouard Gagnon
December 7, 1992
Endorsement of Magesterium Summaries
“Your work is very important to the Catholic Church.
What you are doing is for future generations.”
Pope John Paul II
The initial inspiration for the magisterial publishing mission derived from the guidance that George Morse received from the late Papal Theologian, Mario Luigi Cardinal Ciappi, O.P. He served as personal theologian to five popes from 1955 to 1989; (including Popes: Pius XII, John XXIII, Paul VI, John Paul I, and John Paul II. Cardinal Ciappi’s official title was ‘Theologian of the Pontifical Household.’
Preface to Volume I: Faith, Revelation & the Bible
As a member of the Advisory Board of CATHOLICS COMMITTED TO SUPPORT THE POPE (CCSP)*, I congratulate George P. Morse, President, Gerard J. Marks, Vice President, and William E. May, theological advisor, on the publication of Précis** of Official Catholic Teaching on Faith,Revelation, and the Bible, September, 1990.
The inseparable bond between the Bible, Tradition, and the Teaching Authority of the Church was again proclaimed in the Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation (Dei Verbum) on the Second Vatican Council. In Chapter II.
There the Fathers of the Council declared: “It is clear, therefore, that in the supremely wise arrangement of God, sacred Tradition, sacred Scripture, and the Magisterium of the Church are so connected and associated that one of them cannot stand without the others. Working together, each in its own way and under the action of the one Holy Spirit, they all contribute effectively to the salvation of souls.”
Mario Luigi Cardinal Ciappi, O.P
*CCSP was dissolved in 2014 and CUSP (Catholics Committed to Support the Pope) is the refounded organization
** The original title of Précis is being republished as Magisterium Summaries
These Magisterium Summaries marvelously complement the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
The catechism is the compendium of the Catholic doctrine; the Summaries apply this doctrine to Christian Living throughout 2,000 years
To put the authentic teachings of the Catholic Church at your fingertips – that is our intention. What could take hours of searching, even on the internet, is provided in this “short cut” to the minds of Popes and Councils. No one should be in doubt as to what the Church really teaches. The Magisterium should be accessible to everyone and these compact, handy volumes offer rapid access. Thus, as Christ promised, the Holy Spirit will indeed guide us into all truth
Preface to Volume II: Christ Our Lord, True God & True Man
This volume, and the rest of the series that will be published, makes no claim to originality; it is rather an accurate and readable summary of official Church teachings. Its compilers have rendered an important service in making these important documents accessible to a wide range of readers.
Accurate knowledge of the Faith is so important for all who truly wish to follow Christ and to live as members of His Church.
Church teaching opens our minds and hearts to Christ and to the plan of redemption which He revealed and accomplished by His birth, His teaching and above all His death and resurrection. We cannot be content with the view that religion is simply a matter of subjective opinion. Rather, we need to ensure that our life of faith has strong foundations in the authentic teachings of the Church, in the teaching of the Holy Father and the bishops in communion with him.
The magisterium is truly at the service of the Word of God by ensuring that the teaching of Christ will come to us in all its entirety, without dilution or distortion.
I encourage clergy, religious, teachers and anyone wishing to know their faith more deeply and accurately to read this volume carefully and to refer to it often.
Preface to Volume III: The Church
We echo the Pope’s question; “Is missionary work among non-Christians relevant?” We answer that, not only is missionary work among non-Christians relevant, but even among our own Catholic family a form of missionary work is both relevant and very needed. However, missionary work requires a thorough and complete knowledge of the Official Teaching of the Catholic Church.
CCSP believes that, if we are to have clergy and other religious, and teachers and a laity who can – and are willing to – defend and teach their faith, they must, in the words of Cardinal Hickey, know that faith “deeply and accurately.”
That is why we publish our PRECIS OF OFFICIAL CATHOLIC TEACHING and we urge you to join with us in the widest possible use and dissemination of these volumes.
If the purpose of Christ’s life, death and resurrection, i.e., to bring the greatest number of souls to eternal life with the Father, is to be served with maximum effect, then those who have been blessed with the gift of faith, and those who have been privileged with religious vocations, are obliged to do all in their power to preserve and share that faith with others. CCSP seeks, with its PRECIS, to aid in that effort.
Preface to Volume IV: Marriage, Family & Sexuality
I thank Mr. George P. Morse and Catholics Committed to Support the Pope for another invaluable volume of Church teaching.
I am confident that all who take up this book will find not only a handy key to Catholic teaching, but also that they will be inspired to go back to the complete texts of the great documents, in particular Humanae Vitae and Familiaris Consortio. In this way, they can help the family to respond to the other challenge of Pope John Paul II in Familiaris Consortio, n. 17: “Family, become what you are!”
Preface to Volume V: Sanctity of Human Life
Perhaps one day we will be able to thank adequately Catholics Committed to Support the Pope, their President, Mr. George P. Morse, and his associates. For the time being, we will probably have to settle for whatever modest approbation of their work comments such as these provide…
I personally use the volumes of the Precis series in my own preaching, teaching and writing, and would recommend it highly to preachers, religious teachers, catechists and all who wish a better grasp of our faith. I would like to see it in every home, and I hope in a special way that those devoted to the Pro-Life Movement will come to know this particular volume inside out.
Preface to Volume VI: Social Teaching of the Church
This Volume on “THE SOCIAL TEACHING OF THE CHURCH” — which I am pleased to introduce — represents a remarkable achievement by CCSP because of the magnitude and the importance of the subject matter.
Sixth in the eleven-volume series, “THE SOCIAL TEACHING OF THE CHURCH” spans Catholic teaching over more than 100 years. It admirably summarizes this important and integral part of the Church’s life, doctrine, ethics and spirituality.
I am enormously gratified at the success CCSP has achieved, and is achieving, as this series reaches virtually every comer of the globe and makes it possible for so many of our seminarians to have access to these valuable documents.
I encourage all to read and study this vital summary of the Church’s social teaching which is so applicable for our time.
Preface to Volume VII: The Ordained Priesthood
The Catholic priesthood was instituted by the Lord with a definite nature and mission, hence any question connected with it can be understood and developed only in the supernatural light of faith in the mystery of our redemption in Christ. Taken out of this divine design of our redemption in Christ, and of the expressed will of our Lord as contained in Scripture and in Tradition, the nature and mission of the priesthood cannot be adequately understood
This Volume VII in the series of PRECIS OF OFFICIAL CATHOLIC TEACHING dedicated to examining “THE ORDAINED PRIESTHOOD,” as it is presented and developed in Papal teaching documents of this century, starting with “Haerent Animo” of Pope Pius X up to the Apostolic Exhortation “Pastores Dabo Vobis” of Pope John Paul II, is an example of getting authentic and guaranteed light in our search for truth in matters that are a combination of the divine and human.
Preface to Volume VIII: Worship & Sacraments
The number of documents presented here, and the wealth of doctrinal and pastoral guidelines they contain, illustrate the importance the Church attaches to our personal and social relationships with God in prayer.
It is Christ, through His Holy Spirit, who gives the Sacraments their innate and special power to produce sanctifying grace, to introduce and renovate us in spiritual life, and also to procure for us the diverse sacramental graces required to respond in a Christian manner to our different functions and needs.
Worship and the Liturgy of the Sacraments have been, throughout the centuries, the object of a great proportion of the interventions of the Magisterium. The merit of the present Volume of the Precis is to give us a judicious and substantial selection of texts sufficient to know the decisions and the mind of the Pastors “Christ has established over us to look after our souls.”
This very important volume continues the valued service which CCSP is rendering to the church, and to all of us who cherish the teaching of the Church, by publishing these superb volumes on its “Official Teaching”.
Preface to Volume IX: Christian Call to Personal Sanctification
Earlier Volumes in this series, especially Volume III, on “The Church” and Volume IV, on “Marriage, Family and Sexuality”, have included wonderful magisterial documents proclaiming this truth, in particular, key documents of Vatican Council II and the Apostolic Exhortation of Pope John Paul II, “Familiaris Consortio” (The Role of the Christian Family in the Modem World) and “Christifideles Laic?’ (The Role of the Lay Faithful in the Church). This volume includes other important magisterial teachings on this topic from the time of Pope Leo XIII in the nineteenth century to the present…
These truths are developed in the documents whose PRECIS are given in this volume. Those who read it will see that they are challenged, as Pope John Paul II has said so eloquently, to develop a civilization of love, to resist the “culture of death” and to sow the seeds of the “culture of life” in the world in which they live. God Himself honors them by asking them to be His co-workers in redeeming the world. This is the call to perfection. We are grateful to Catholics Committed to Support the Pope for these invaluable volumes of Catholic teaching.
I join His Eminence Cardinal James A. Hickey in encouraging clergy, religious and seminarians to read the volumes often and study them carefully.
Preface to Volume X: Catholic Education
The Church has devoted increasing attention to education over the past century. This is clearly revealed by a glance at the contents of this latest volume in the CCSP series, PRECIS OF OFFICIAL CATHOLIC TEACHING.
The encyclicals Acerbo Nimis and Divini Illius Magistri, of Pius X and Pius XI respectively, were written at a time of mounting political and cultural unrest, when the traditional religious values of society were being threatened by the gradual secularization of the masses and the consolidation of totalitarian regimes was posing a grave threat to the educational rights of the Church…
By offering a summary of Church documents on Christian education, the compilers of the present collection render a valuable service to all those who are in any way engaged in the field of education and evangelization. For who can doubt that the Christian education of youth is an essential part of the evangelizing mission of the Church, since its aim is to give witness to Christ, to transmit faith in Christ, and offer the young opportunities to develop and deepen that faith?
My congratulations to CCSP for this further addition to their excellent series presenting official Church teaching in a readily accessible form on subjects which are of vital interest to Catholics seeking to develop an informed faith.
Preface to Volume XI: Marian Devotion & The Last Things
By offering for our study and contemplation these official teachings both on “Marian Devotions” and on “The Last Things,” the compilers of these volumes bring to a conclusion the task they set out to perform some years ago, to present in a concise, readable manner the Official Teachings of the Catholic Church. Through their singular effort, and supported by our brother, James Cardinal Hickey, these volumes have been spread throughout the world, and have been of singular assistance especially to seminarians in countries where it would be almost impossible to procure these fundamental documents individually.
I take this opportunity, then, in having the honour of presenting this last volume of PRECIS OF OFFICIAL CATHOLIC TEACHING, to offer a word of deep gratitude to Mr. George P. Morse and all of his associates at CCSP for this invaluable contribution. To you, the reader, it is my hope that, having read through and meditated on the extracts of these official teachings, you will be drawn to a deeper appreciation of the faith of the Church. Especially as we stand on the threshold of the Third Millennium, these documents offer to us another font for contemplating the mystery of our faith in “Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today and forever.”
Introduction to Volume XII: Supplementary Documents
I am very happy to write a word of introduction for this final volume of the Precis of Official Catholic Teaching. This series has been an invaluable resource for students of theology as well as the average person to know and understand the teachings of the Church.
This series helps us to appreciate the great gift to the Church and to the world exemplified by the Pontificate of Pope John Paul II. With his many encyclicals and pastoral letters, Pope John Paul II has emphasized the consistent teaching of the Catholic Church regarding the sanctity and dignity of all human life. Encyclicals such as Veritatis Splendor, Fides et Ratio, and Evangelium Vitae especially, focus our attention on the importance of a proper philosophical theological and anthropological paradigm in attempting to answer the issues raised by the ever-changing technological and biological developments of our time.
It is my hope that this series, now complete with the current volume, will make the words of Pope John Paul, exercising his teaching office as Successor to St. Peter, more accessible to all people who are concerned about the truth and how to apply the truths revealed to us by God to present day situations.
My thanks go to Mr. George P. Morse and the theologians who assisted him in preparing this series for their efforts to present the official teachings of the Catholic faith in a way that has proven helpful to seminarians and all the faithful.
Preface to Volume XIII: Supplementary Documents
Given the quality of the work, it is no surprise that the PRECIS is now in ever greater demand not only in countries where English is the official language, but also in those parts of the world where English is increasingly common as a second language. The challenge will be to make the series available in ever greater numbers in Eastern Europe and Asia and particularly throughout those parts of the world where persecution of the Church for many years prevented the publication of these texts which are so important for a complete understanding of our Catholic faith.
I feel privileged that I was personally introduced to the PRECIS by Mr. and Mrs. George P. Morse on one of their many trips to Rome. Having witnessed the commitment of Pat and Margaret to this project, and to one another, I was not in the least surprised that Pope John Paul II would have chosen to receive them so many times and that he had even offered them precious encouragement for the completion of the PRECIS: “Your work is very important to the Catholic Church. What you are doing is for future generations.” And this is so because the teaching of the Catholic Church is unchanging – “it is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow.”
As Volume XIII is released, I would like to thank not only those who worked on this final supplement, but also all those who have labored for the publication of the PRECIS throughout these two decades and those who supported this worthy project with their prayers and support. I am pleased to be able to grant Pat Morse’s request for my blessing for him, his colleagues in this tremendous accomplishment, and their families. Through the maternal intercession of Our Lady, Seat of Wisdom, may their continued service to the Church draw them ever closer to her Son, Who alone is the Way, the Truth and the Life.
This is an easy source for teaching
“This is an eaqsy source for teaching, preaching and explaining the faith to others seeking to become literate and articulate Catholics! It is all there – the teachings of the ages in all their fullness, clearly organized by subject and with background explanation for each document.”
Chris Harrington, EWTN Producer
This is a superb asset
“This is a superb asset to bring the official teaching of the Church to all our people! The ease with which the lay person can find, read and understand the Church’s teachings – so invaluable to our lives – is what makes the Summaries a treasure.” –
Sr. Joan Curtin, CND, Director, Catechetical Office, Archdiocese of New York