Master of Theological Studies - Textbook concerns - What Makes Us Catholic (Thomas H. Groome)


Just after some advice. I recently enrollled in a Master of Theological Studies degree at the Australian Catholic University. I am due to commence my first subject - Foundations of the Catholic Faith - next month. The textbook that was listed was What Makes Us Catholic: Eight Gifts for Life by Thomas H. Groome.

I launched right into reading it and noticed an undertone of ?anti-Catholicism in regards to some Catholic traditions e.g. women not being priests. I don’t know if I am being too harsh in my comment above but it just did not sit well with me. The main reason for engaging in further study is God has set my heart on fire (thanks to the wonderful apologists at Catholic Answers, Bishop Robert Barron, Christopher West, Matt Fradd etc) and I just want to learn everything about my faith which I have largely neglected until recent years.

Now I am questioning whether the whole course will have this undertone and undermine my faith development. Is anyone familiar with this text?

Thank you in advance.

The question is not this one book. It is the whole university and program that you selected. Have you investigated their orthodoxy?

ACU is a very good University. Are you doing the Grad Dip first or straight into Masters? Are you doing it online? Or attending a Campus? Multimode or on Campus?

and in this book what do you mean undercurrent? is it discussing how women will and cannot be priests?

each ACU Campus has a Catholic Priest , if on Campus, take the book and go see him.

I’m not familiar with that book specifically, but I am familiar with the author. He’s not the person I would look to as an authority on what it means to be Catholic. His “Shared Christian Praxis” concept played no small roll in contributing to the great dearth of genuine catechesis in the 70s and 80s.

He’s a very likable guy. I’ve seen him speak. Lots of amusing anecdotes and funny jokes. Not a lot of talk about Jesus, the Bible, or the sacraments.

That Groome’s book is the chosen textbook for this particular class would certainly give me pause (unless the professor’s purpose is to point out all that is wrong with it). I can’t say what that means for the program as a whole as I am not familiar with Australian Catholic University. Maybe it’s just this one professor.

Franciscan University has some online options for studying theology. :wink:

Thank you for all the feedback.

I have decided to do the full Masters rather than start with the Grad Dip…and have enrolled to do the course online.

I would consider ACU the place to go (in Australia) if you wanted to study Catholic theology.

Joe I looked into the Franciscan University and got the enrolment information because I had heard wonderful things about the courses but opted for a course closer to home as the enrolment process was much easier! :blush:

I think I will just start the course and see how things go…

God Bless you all.

I certainly understand that. I was just throwing it out there. :slight_smile:

Let us know how it goes. That you already noticed things in Groome’s book that were “off” is a good sign to me that you can recognize problematic theology when you encounter it. :thumbsup:

Your concerns are not unfounded

keep your antenna working.

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