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…what everyone really wants in religious education is to sit around discuss What the Bible Means to Me and (wait for it) share our storiespre-publication sales of the Compendium of the Catechism are quite brisk, thanks.

The Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church seems to be on the way to becoming a publishing success, says the U.S. bishops’ conference.

More than 40,000 pre-publication sales of the Compendium have been recorded — and the number is steadily climbing, says the bishops’ Web site.

The 200-page Compendium summarizes key points of the 1992 Catechism. Available March 31, it is being published in the United States, in English and Spanish, by USCCB Publishing.

Pre-publication sales usually amount to one-third of the first-year sales, according to Patrick Markey, associate director for marketing, sales and inventory. At that pace, the Compendium is expected to sell between 120,000 and 200,000 copies in its first year, he said.

I can think of quite a few professional religious educators I’ve known who will be driven to drink by this news. Why won’t you get it? Why won’t you understand that this need for black-and-white answers is so pre-Vatican II? What’s wrong with you people? Why are you so stubbornly unthinking, unnuanced and immature?

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