There exist primarily three different versions of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and each has its own color-coded cover to help distinguish them.
While anyone can access the Catechism of the Catholic Church on the Vatican’s website, some still prefer the old-fashioned method of opening-up a physical book. However, it can be confusing at times, as there exist three different versions of the Catechism in circulation.
This is especially the case if you find yourself at a Catholic thrift-shop and see the older versions on display.
Which version of the Catechism should you buy?
The French version of the Catechism was first published in 1992, with an English translation that followed in 1994.
This version of the Catechism (given a tan cover) had a note that a future edition would supersede this one, when the Latin version (the “official” version) was published.
As a result, this first edition of the Catechism is seen more as an unofficial English translation, though most of the content is the same, with some minor updates that came in the next edition.
The Latin typical edition was published in 1997, with the official English translation.
This edition was the official text of reference, and included a few updates and corrections from the French edition.
To identify this edition, it was given a green cover.
In 2018, Pope Francis ordered a revision of the paragraph that dealt with the death penalty.
This resulted in a new edition of the Catechism, published in 2018 with a blue cover.
The blue cover Catechism is now the most current and up-to-date resource for all the beliefs of the Catholic Church.
There do exist other summaries of the Catechism, such as the YouCat and the Compendium, but all other catechisms refer to the original, typical edition.