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In Pakistan the Catechism in Urdu

· The Church prepares to publish it on the occasion of the Year of Faith ·

As of 27 February, the Church in Pakistan is preparing to publish The Catechism of the Catholic Church in Urdu, the national language. The work of the translation and revision of Parts One and Two of the Catechism (“The Profession of Faith” and “The Celebration of the Christian Mystery”) will be completed in two months and will be printed this autumn, whereas it will be necessary to wait a few more years for the other two parts (“Life in Christ” and “Christian Prayer”). Indeed, this is a long and difficult labour which has involved Emmanuel Nino, a Pakistani lay Catholic who is Secretary of the Episcopal Commission for Catechesis, and Fr Robert McCulloch, an Australian missionary of St Columban’s Foreign Missionary Society, who has carried out his pastoral mission in Pakistan for at least 34 years.

“The first half of the work”, McCulloch explained, “will be published after an approximately eight-year effort. Bearing in mind the emphasis and attention that Pope Benedict XVI has chosen to give to the need to disseminate The Catechism , we wished to make the most of the opportunity offered by the Year of Faith which is to begin this October. Essentially, the intention is to offer the Pakistani community a permanent text of doctrine in Urdu from which catechetical material of various kinds, useful for pastoral work, may be extracted. The Catechism , the religious added, “is not a popular book but will be an important source for compiling texts of Christian literature in Urdu. The work will also contribute to evangelization, since it offers the Church a means to speak of herself and to make herself better known. The text will present the doctrine of the Church clearly in Urdu, the national language, and this will visibly benefit not only the Christian faithful but also non-Christians, who will be able to go into our faith in a far richer and deeper way”.

“The translation”, the missionary stressed, “was a real challenge, since we frequently had to coin a new terminology. The translation work thus also makes a contribution to the national language, demonstrating that it is adaptable to both Christian terminology and Christian proclamation”.

In this way, in the new and generalized technological horizons of communications, “it will be very useful”, Fr Robert McCulloch concluded, “also to the young, given that they will be able to transmit the content of faith in Urdu, particularly in the social media and in their text messages”.




St. Peter’s Square

Feb. 24, 2020