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Monday, March 18, 2024

PASSION WEEK: From Bishop Schneider's Catechism

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PASSION WEEK: From Bishop Schneider's Catechism

Teaming Up With Bishop Schneider

Editor's Intro: According to the Publisher’s Preface, the publication of Bishop Athanasius Schneider’s new catechism, CREDO: Compendium of the Catholic Faith, marks the first time in “over fifty years that a Roman prelate has issued a comprehensive presentation of the Faith that is entirely his own, accessible to readers of any background, and attentive to the needs of our time.”


Given the appalling ignorance that sadly plagues the Catholic world just sixty years after Vatican II, this catechism surely ranks among the top ten most important books published in the post-conciliar era.

In God’s providence, I had the opportunity to attend the official launch of CREDO, which took place, providentially, during the Synod on Synodality in Rome. At that time, I was pleased to interview His Excellency (video below), and was able to ask him about the publication of his new catechism. I was so impressed by His Excellency’s explanations for why he wrote the catechism that, on that occasion, I promised RTV viewers to do everything I could to promote it. I’m happy to announce plans to make good on that promise.

Bishop Schneider Unplugged: “This is blasphemy!” (A Michael Matt Interview)

I have received permission from Bishop Schneider to make entire excerpts of his catechism available in the pages of The Remnant. As part of our broader effort to reduce the level of ignorance that plagues the Church, I intend to publish these excerpts over the course of 2024. I also encourage readers to purchase the book directly from Sophia Press, as well.

At this pivotal moment in human history, nothing is more important than the proclamation of the Social Kingship of Jesus Christ to a world on the brink of moral and spiritual collapse. Our Lord Himself asked the question: “When the Son of Man returns, will He find faith?” Well, will He? It depends on whether or not Catholics know their faith well enough to keep it (and fight for it) until the very end. We must develop a better understanding of what our Church teaches, what has been taken away from us, what we believe, and how we go about defending our Faith to a world that is clearly at war with it. Because this catechism is written for the average person – the “little ones,” as Bishop Schneider affectionately refers to us – it can be handed to anyone, of any age. It very much reminds me, in fact, of the old catechisms the nuns required us to memorize in Catholic schools of the old days, albeit updated to address the many new challenges we all face in the post-Christian age of scientism and technology.

I wholeheartedly endorse this catechism, of course, and I ask Remnant readers to help me promote it throughout the world, especially since Bishop Schneider undertook this monumental work for us and for our children. In his “Author’s Preface,” he writes:

A Catholic bishop is bound to fulfill his public oath: “To maintain the deposit of faith, entire and incorrupt, as handed down by the apostles and professed by the Church everywhere and at all times.”  Therefore, I am compelled to respond to the requests of many sons and daughters of the Church who are perplexed by the widespread doctrinal confusion in the Church of our day. I offer this work, Credo: Compendium of the Catholic Faith, to strengthen them in their faith and serve as a guide to the changeless teaching of the Church. Mindful of the episcopal duty to be a “nurturer of the Catholic and apostolic Faith” (catholicae et apostolicae fidei cultoribus) as stated in the Canon of the Mass, I also wish to bear public witness to the continuity and integrity of the Catholic and apostolic doctrine. In preparing this text, my intended audience has been chiefly God’s “little ones”— faithful Catholics who are hungry for the bread of right doctrine. It is therefore in obedience to my duty toward them, laid upon me in my episcopal consecration to preach the truth in season and out of season (see 2 Tm 4:2), that I publish this Compendium at the present time.

May God bless and Mary keep Bishop Schneider – our shepherd, our father, our friend in Jesus Christ our King. And I’m truly honored and grateful to him for offering his thoroughly Catholic catechetical instruction in these pages in the months to come.

Credo river

CREDO, Chapter 11 | The Passion of Christ

379. Where did Jesus begin His sorrowful Passion?

In the Garden of Olives or Gethsemane, where He prayed and, as He contemplated the sins of all men and all time, suffered a terrible interior agony that even over- flowed into a sweat of blood (see Lk 22:44).

380. What did Jesus do after His prayer in the garden?

He returned to His disciples and announced His coming betrayer. When Judas appeared with armed guards to arrest Jesus, the disciples all fled, as had been foretold.

381. Where was Our Lord brought, in the middle of that night?

He was first brought to Annas, and then to the tribunal of the high priest Caiaphas.

382. How was Jesus treated at the tribunal of Caiaphas?

False witnesses accused Him of blasphemy, and Caiaphas condemned Him to death. He then sent Jesus to the Roman governor Pontius Pilate, who reserved the right to execute criminals.

383. How did Pilate receive Jesus?

He declared Him innocent three times, but was so weak in character that he dared not rescue Jesus from the Jews, who were clamoring for His death.

384. What did Pilate do then?

After sending Him to Herod, tetrarch of Galilee, who merely questioned and mocked Our Lord, Pilate had Jesus brutally scourged with whips, and gave Him over to the Jews to be crucified.

385. Where did the Crucifixion of Christ take place?

On Mount Calvary, a barren hill outside the walls of Jerusalem, in the place of execution for condemned criminals called Golgotha (place of the skull).

386. Why was it fitting for Christ to be offered in sacrifice outside of Jerusalem?

To show that by this sacrifice: 1. He became the Redeemer of both Jews and Gentiles; 2. The worship of the Jewish temple was fulfilled and surpassed; 3. The true altar and sacrifice would henceforth be found in the Catholic Church, spread throughout the world.

387. How did the Crucifixion proceed?

After being stripped of His garments, Our Lord willingly stretched Himself upon a large wooden Cross, to which His hands and feet were nailed. After the Cross was raised, He was left to hang in torment until He died.

388. What shame did He endure in addition to this torture?

  1. That of being placed between two thieves, as if He were a common criminal;
  2. The jeering and insults of the crowd, whom He came to save; 3. The cowardice of those disciples who abandoned Him.

389. Who was present at Calvary?

Some who had remained faithful to Him, and consoled Him by their presence: chiefly His holy Mother, St. John the beloved disciple, Mary the wife of Cleophas, Mary Magdalene, and John’s mother Salome, all of whom were filled with grief.

390. What did the sign that was hung upon the Cross of Jesus say?

“Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews.” Written in Latin, Hebrew, and Greek, it was a universal confession that this was the Christ. Each of these three languages were thereafter included in the Roman Rite of Mass,19 the extension in time of the one sacrifice of the Cross.

391. Did the Cross of Jesus serve any purpose other than His altar of sacrifice?

Yes. It was also the pulpit from which He continued His divine teachings, as we can see in the “Seven Last Words” spoken by Him on the Cross:

  1. He declared Himself the one Mediator for mankind, in praying for His executioners: “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they ”
  2. He declared Himself the Supreme Judge of souls, in promising heaven to the penitent thief: “Amen I say to thee, this day thou shalt be with Me in
  3. He gave His Mother to all the faithful as His final bequest: “Woman, behold thy son,” and to St. John, “Behold thy Mother.”
  4. He declared Himself the prophesied Savior, with the words of the messianic Psalm: “My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?”
  5. He made known that spiritual ardor for souls that consumed Him: “I
  6. He announced the completion of His redemptive work: “It is
  7. He demonstrated perfect filial trust and obedience to God: “Father, into Thy hands I commend My spirit.”
  8. What were the most important pulpits for Our Lord’s divine teaching?

“The pulpit of His first message was the mountain side; His audience, unlettered Galileans; His truth, the Beatitudes. The pulpit of His last message was the Cross; the audience: saints and sinners; the sermon was the Seven Last Words.”

Death and Burial of Christ

392. What amazing things happened at the Savior’s death?

Darkness covered the face of the earth, the sun hid its light, the great veil of the temple was torn from top to bottom, the earth trembled, rocks split apart, graves opened, and several of the dead arose and roamed the city, testifying to Christ’s divinity.

293. What wound was inflicted on the body of Jesus while it hung upon the Cross?

One of the soldiers pierced the side of His body with a lance, and blood and water flowed out.

394. Who buried the body of Our Lord?

Joseph of Arimathea, a good man of wealth and influence, went boldly to Pilate to demand the body of Jesus for burial.

395. What was the manner of Christ’s burial?

His body was anointed with spices and ointments, and wrapped in linen. Then it was laid in a new tomb not far from Calvary, where it was sealed with a great stone and guarded by soldiers.

396. Why did Our Lord permit His body to be buried?

To affirm the reality of His death, render His Resurrection more glorious, fulfill numerous prophecies, and stand as a mystical symbol: as the body of Adam was drawn from the virgin earth by divine power, so Christ would rise from a virgin tomb by His own divine power, showing Himself able to raise all men from their graves at the end of time.

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Last modified on Monday, March 18, 2024
Michael J. Matt | Editor

Michael J. Matt has been an editor of The Remnant since 1990. Since 1994, he has been the newspaper's editor. A graduate of Christendom College, Michael Matt has written hundreds of articles on the state of the Church and the modern world. He is the host of The Remnant Underground and Remnant TV's The Remnant Forum. He's been U.S. Coordinator for Notre Dame de Chrétienté in Paris--the organization responsible for the Pentecost Pilgrimage to Chartres, France--since 2000.  Mr. Matt has led the U.S. contingent on the Pilgrimage to Chartres for the last 24 years. He is a lecturer for the Roman Forum's Summer Symposium in Gardone Riviera, Italy. He is the author of Christian Fables, Legends of Christmas and Gods of Wasteland (Fifty Years of Rock ‘n’ Roll) and regularly delivers addresses and conferences to Catholic groups about the Mass, home-schooling, and the culture question. Together with his wife, Carol Lynn and their seven children, Mr. Matt currently resides in St. Paul, Minnesota.