I must agree. Back in the day, Catechisms were designed to help you understand and also memorize things. Somewhere along the line, educators started to claim that kids shouldn’t memorize. What’s with that? For dumb!From the blog, Eponymous Flower, the following:
Not knowing the Faith well has social implications.
Cardinal Burke: Catechism of Pius X is Also Today a Sure and Indispensible Reference PointFr. Z. -- "Yes, Yes, we have now the Catechism of the Catholic Church. That doesn’t mean that older catechisms are no longer useful."
“St. Pius X saw with clarity how religious ignorance not only leads individual lives, but also to the decay of society and a lack of balanced thinking in the most serious problems,” said Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke, Prefect of the Apostolic Signatura at event surrounding the Catechism of St. Pius X 100 years after its publication, by the Kulturkreis of John Henry Newman on the 24th of May. It was organized in Seregno.
In his “extraordinary and brilliant lectio” says Catholic writer Cristina Siccardi, Cardinal Burke maintains of Saint Pius X (1835-1914) that “ignorance of Christian doctrine is recognized as the main cause of the decline of faith and therefore sound catechesis is of paramount importance for the restoration of faith. It is not difficult to see how current the observations and conclusions of St. Pius X are. They are really recognizable in the motives that has led Pope Benedict XVI. to proclaim the year of the faith."
A significant difference I've noticed is that pre-Conciliar writings in general are not nearly so prolix as post-Conciliar, and the same goes for catechisms. Furthermore, the earlier once -- perhaps for related reasons -- strike me as being much clearer. I've read through the new CCC. Parts, it seemed to me, were beautiful; but the whole 'felt' more like theological reflections on this or that topic than a crisply-written catechesis.