UPDATED: You can hold off on signing up for Italian courses. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has saved the day.
VATICAN CITY — A much-anticipated free app of the Catechism of the Catholic Church and the Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church will not be available in languages other than Italian. Che peccato! (Might as well start learning, right?)
The Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelization unveiled the app today, but said it would only be available in Italian because they don’t own the copyright for the texts in English, Spanish and other languages.
The app will be available for Apple and Android devices in the coming weeks, and once the software is up and running, the pontifical council will be asking the publishing houses that hold the copyright for the texts in other languages to jump on board.
That doesn’t mean that these important texts aren’t already online. The Vatican website has the Catechism of the Catholic Church in English and the Compendium, but sharing, navigation, and keyword and other searches are greatly limited (think 1999). The app makes sharing on Facebook and Twitter a snap.
There is already an app for YouCat — a supplement to the catechism created for young people — that came out after it was published in 2011 and a renegade* multi-language app of the Compendium on iTunes (*the developer says its working on licensing agreements).