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Cover of the catechism Youcat
AuthorChristoph Schönborn and others
Original titleKatholischer Jugendkatechismus
TranslatorMichael J. Miller
IllustratorAlexander von Lengerke
Cover artistAlexander von Lengerke
LanguageGerman (Original)
SubjectCatechism of the Catholic Church

Youcat, short for Youth Catechism of the Catholic Church, also styled as YOUCAT, is a 2011 publication that aims to be an aid for youth to better understand the Catechism of the Catholic Church. The book, drafted in the form of a conversation, is intended for use by Catholic youths around the world and is available in 25 languages, including Arabic and Chinese. Youcat is based on the Catechism of the Catholic Church and the Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church (2005). The catechism has 304 pages and consists of four chapters with 527 questions and answers.

The guide, whose foreword was written by Pope Benedict XVI, was authored by Cardinal Christoph Schönborn and others. Approximately 700,000 copies of Youcat were distributed in thirteen different languages on behalf of the Pope during World Youth Day 2011 in Madrid.[1]


Work on Youcat began in 2006 under the direction of Cardinal Schönborn by German-speaking theologians, religious educators and priests with the participation of over sixty young people, who helped to improve the readability of the text by raising questions and coming up with illustrative pictures.

The first edition was published in German on 25 March 2011. It was then published in sixteen other languages: English, French, Danish, Italian, Croatian, Dutch, Polish, Spanish, Slovak, Slovenian, Korean, Armenian, Ukrainian, Russian, Indonesian, and Portuguese. Chinese, Arabic, Malayalam and Latin editions are planned. Overall, the Youth Catechism was slated to have been published in 30 languages by the end of 2012. Over 2 million copies have been sold.

YOUCAT series[edit]

The international YOUCAT book series also includes:

A prayerbook:

  • Georg von Lengerke / Dörte Schrömges, YOUCAT Youth Prayer Book, Munich 2011. ISBN 9781586177034

A confirmation book:

A leader's guide for the confirmation course:


In some translations of the Youcat, such as French, Italian and Spanish, errors have been found that deviate from official doctrine regarding questions about many important issues such as euthanasia and contraception. The Vatican has announced that these mistakes will be corrected in future editions.[2]

On sexuality[edit]

The presentation of the Church's teaching about sexuality and chastity occurs in paragraphs 400 to 417, including the teaching about sexual relations being for marriage only.[3] The Youcat teaches that

409 Masturbation is an offense against love, because it makes the excitement of sexual pleasure an end in itself and uncouples it from the holistic unfolding of love between a man and a woman. That is why “sex with yourself” is a contradiction in terms. The Church does not demonize masturbation, but she warns against trivializing it. In fact many young people and adults are in danger of becoming isolated in their consumption of lewd pictures, films, and Internet services instead of finding love in a personal relationship. Loneliness can lead to a blind alley in which masturbation becomes an addiction. Living by the motto "For sex I do not need anyone; I will have it myself, however and whenever I need it" makes nobody happy.[4]


  1. ^ "Kardinal Lehmann präsentiert "Youcat".". Retrieved 24 June 2011.
  2. ^ "The Vatican embarrassed again by new book's errors". Globe Newspaper Company. Boston Globe. 14 April 2011.
  3. ^ "Frequently asked questions about Youcat".
  4. ^ "FAQ -". Retrieved 6 January 2015.

External links[edit]