Undated (AP) _ The new Catechism of the Catholic Church traces its roots to the four Gospels of the Bible's New Testament. A history of the development of catechisms in the Roman Catholic Church: Second Century - the four Gospels

Found in the New Testament, the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John recounting the teachings of Jesus were the first catechism. The Gospels, first transmitted orally, were belived to be established by the mid-second century. 399 - St. Augustine's ''De Catechizandis Rudibus''

St. Augustine writes 27 chapters to try to help deepen the faith of those Christians who, although grounded in secular knowledge, were ''rude'' in religious understanding. Thus he titled his work ''De catechizandis rudibus.'' 1134 - ''Book of the Sentences of Peter Lombard''

The ''sentences'' are four books dealing with the Trinity, creation and sin, the incarnation (God becoming man) and the sacraments. After 1215, the compilation became the standard textbook of Catholic theology, according to ''The Concise Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church.'' 1200s (mid-century) - St. Thomas Aquinas

St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-74) preached in a simple style and popular language. His ''Summa Theologica'' addressed the basics of Catholic belief, with special attention to the incarnation and the sacraments. 1357 - ''Lay Folks Catechism''

The Archbishop of York published the ''Lay Folks Catechism,'' which included the creed, the sacraments, the two precepts of charity, the seven capital sins and the seven fundamental virtues. The name Catechism was used for the first time. It was published in Latin and English. 1429 - Summary of ''Christian Doctrine'' from Council of Tortosa in 1429

This compendium of Catholic faith followed the Council of Tortosa. 1566 - Catechismus ex Decreto Councilii Tridentini ad Parochos

Better known as the Catechism of St. Pius V, or the Roman Catechism, this was published as a result of the Council of Trent. It was designed to help parish priests teach and defend the faith challenged by the Protestant Reformation. The catechism became a model for its time and beyond. 1884 - Catechism of the Third Council of Baltimore

Efforts to create a uniform textbook of Christian doctrine in the United States began in 1829 and ended in 1884 with the Catechism of the Third Council of Baltimore. The catechism, familiar to generations of Catholic students, became the most widely used English text. It was revised in 1941. June 25, 1992 - Pope John Paul II approves ''Catechism of the Catholic Church''

The Roman Catholic Church unveiled its first universal catechism in more than four centuries, incorporating the teachings of the Second Vatican Council. The catechism maintains bans on divorce and abortion but urges compassion for homosexuals and condemns low wages as theft. May 27, 1994 - English translation of New Catechism published

The English translation of the 688-page compendium of church teaching is released to the public. The first printing is scheduled to go on sale in June.