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Hello, Class. Please turn to page one of your Baltimore Catechism.

A propaedeutic is an introductory class to a specific body of knowledge, whether it be science or the arts. The word is reserved for more advanced levels of learning. I doubt kindergartners would use it when referring to their ABCs, but a student of languages wanting to learn English might be interested in purchasing a Complete English Grammar, and a propaedeutic course in physics would cover main topics like Mechanics, Modern Physics, Electromagnetism and Mathematic Models and Paradigms. So how is one to learn and love the deeper levels of Catholicism without education? I refer to truths such as these:

Ex Cathedra: "There is but one universal Church of the faithful, outside of which no one at all can be saved." Pope Innocent III, 4th Lateran Council, 1215.

Ex Cathedra: "We declare, say, define, and pronounce that it is absolutely necessary for the salvation of every human creature to be subject to the Roman Pontiff." Pope Boniface 8th, the Bull Unam Sanctum, 1302.

Ex Cathedra: "The most Holy Roman Church firmly believes, professes, and preaches that none of those existing outside the Catholic Church, not only pagans, but also Jews and heretics and schismatics, can have a share in life eternal, but that they will go into the eternal fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels, unless before death they are joined with Her: and that so important is the unity of this ecclesastical body that only those remaining within this unity can profit by the sacraments of the Church unto salvation, and they alone can receive an eternal recompense for their fasts, their almsgiving, their other works of Christian piety and the duties of a Christian soldier. No one, let his almsgiving be as great as it may, no one, even if he pour out his blood for the Name of Christ, can be saved, unless he remain within the bosom and the unity of the Catholic Church." Pope Eugene 4th, the Bull Cantate Domino, 1441.

These are not self-evident truths of religion, but they are some of the essential higher core values of Catholicism that we must not be shy about embracing. I mean "higher" in the sense that it takes some learning to be able to demonstrate or defend these truths. The highest truths are usually those found in dogmatic theology: What is God? What is the Holy Trinity? What is the Eucharist? What is the Church? and so on. Surprisingly, though, these can be taught to the simplest children, and as their ability to grasp concepts broadens, so too the depths of our faith can be plumbed for greater insights and riches. If we believe as the Church teaches, the acceptance of which our salvation depends, why don't we hear these truths being currently promoted?

Hello, Class. Please turn to page one of your Baltimore Catechism.

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