Two years in the making, the Compendium was prepared by a commission headed by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now Benedict XVI. The Pope presented the Compendium at the Vatican in late June.
Containing 598 questions and brief answers, it makes the essential contents of the faith accessible to the broadest possible audience.
The Compendium is structured in four parts like the 1992 Catechism. While the text does contain some direct quotes from the Catechism used in a sidebar fashion, the questions and answers themselves are original text.
The Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church is available for prepublication orders by calling USCCB Publishing, the publishing office of the U.S. episcopate, at 800-235-8722 or visiting the Internet site at www.usccb.org/publishing.
The Compendium will be available in paperback (publication No. 5-720, list price of $14.95) and hardcover (No. 5-725, list price of $24.95). A Spanish version is also expected. The Compendium is tentatively scheduled to be released in late 2005.