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A leading Catholic theologian, Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger offers this introduction to the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Presented by Pope John Paul II in 1992, this catechism has only just begun to excercise its influence on Christian teaching. It is meant to assist theology, which is becoming sterile and cold and to realize anew 'the admirable unity of the mystery of God', in order to recover joy in the beauty of the faith and wonder over its vital energy. This volume will assist readers in understanding the background, significance and meaning of the catechism.