Nursing textbooks teaching inaccuracies about Catholics

I am a nursing student, and I was looking for some nursing textbooks to compliment my studies as I had received as a gift some book vouchers.

On the shelf there were several small pocket-sized books for nursing students which were “Survival skills” for several topics - medicines, health promotion etc but one of them was about culture. I picked it up interested and flicked through and found a religion section and looked up Catholicism.

The Church of England section was quite long, detailed how it’s important they go every week, communion is symbolic, would like to be visited by a chaplain when in hospital - all well and good.

But the Catholic section? These are the two things which I remember as they stood out -

  • “Catholics worship Mary, mother of God”.
  • “Communion and other sacraments are symbolic”

The section itself was small (about a third of the CofE section) and there was absolutely NO mention of the Sacrament of the Sick, NO mention it was important for Catholics to receive communion/go Mass weekly.

I emailed the publishers with a complaint and they emailed back saying they were going to forward it on to the correct people. If anyone wants the website for the books/publishers to also send an email then please let me know, not sure if they’re going to take me seriously.

Sadly I think a lot of anti-Catholic bias remains in British culture. Times may have changed since Catholicism was prohibited but I do believe the bias is still there. I also think there is a distinct sense of people trying to push Catholicism into the background because the Catholic Church refuses to bow down to social pressures like some other denominations. Admittedly we remain a minority among Christians here (8% in England and Wales, 16% in Scotland according to the 2001 census) but there’s such an obsession here at moment with ‘political correctness’.

I’ve had the same thing in my university - people really don’t understand. I had one lecturer who was constantly berating religion and it was so frustrating.

I think you did the right thing, contacting the publishers.

[quote="PerfectTiming, post:2, topic:239989"]
Sadly I think a lot of anti-Catholic bias remains in British culture. Times may have changed since Catholicism was prohibited but I do believe the bias is still there. I also think there is a distinct sense of people trying to push Catholicism into the background because the Catholic Church refuses to bow down to social pressures like some other denominations. Admittedly we remain a minority among Christians here (8% in England and Wales, 16% in Scotland according to the 2001 census) but there's such an obsession here at moment with 'political correctness'.

I've had the same thing in my university - people really don't understand. I had one lecturer who was constantly berating religion and it was so frustrating.

I think you did the right thing, contacting the publishers.

[/quote]

I took a religion class in college and the professor was a Protestant minister. When we got to the Catholic section of our text books, his teaching style got very different. He was suddenly throwing in his own interpretations/opinions of things (one being that Catholics worship Mary). Every other religion we studied, he stuck with exactly what the text book said. The text book was surprisingly accurate at what the Church teaches, although the teacher wasn't. He even spoke of a time he attended a Catholic wedding that had a high Mass. He was very critical and made fun of the priest singing, communion, etc...I suppose since I live in an area that's about 90% Protestant, he figured the likelihood of a Catholic being present in his classroom was pretty slim. It's a shame that someone in that position has no problem teaching accurately about Judaism, Hinduism, etc..but feels a need to slam Catholicism because of his personal issues with it. Our final paper had to be on what we believe and I certainly clarified many of those misconceptions for him (got an 'A' on that paper, too!).

Do you think this book might be sold outside the UK? I would be interested in voicing my concern, but being that I live in the US I worry that the publisher or authors might not value my interest unless the book was available in North America.

You sent them a complaint?
And somebody called it “anti Catholic”?

What the heck, guys? :frowning:
I don’t see how it’s anti Catholic, just misinformed.
What’s wrong with sending them a polite letter with more accurate facts, and explaining them. Get the message out, and hope a more accurate version of the book is published next time they update the whole thing. It’s a CULTURAL section. It’s not like they’re trying to be anti catholic, it’s trying to help teach some understanding of these cultures and religions.

And politely correcting them, in hopes of the book being updated, will be beneficial to those who use these text books in the future. :slight_smile:

I don’t see how it’s anti Catholic, the person who wrote the book is probably just more familiar with some denominations then they do others.

A persons only really going to KNOW a lot about a religion they’re familiar with. The rest is research. I’m sure there are other sections on religion in there that are totally wrong, you just don’t know if because you’re of those religions. :stuck_out_tongue:

Definitely sounds like more of a cultural bias. My mom was a nurse during WWII. So that’s a long time ago!! She is Jewish. She was proud that she was taught and learned how to help her Catholic patients, went to a lot of trouble to hunt down Priests when needed (they were in short supply at that time with so many fallen). She would “move heaven and earth” to hunt down a Priest for last rites in the dark of night in Chicago and NY.

And she carefully and respectfully baptized a few dying soldiers when no Christian was available. She took that last nursing job very seriously. And she read to them from the NT for comfort, even recited the Rosary with them.

Unfortunately, and only our Lord know why, she was never given the gift of faith herself. She is 94 years old now, and she alternates between even believing in God at all. But she did what she could for fallen soldiers in pain and fear and worry. And she respected their own faith. And she has a great love for many Priests and religious - just couldn’t summon the faith herself.

If you’re writing a text like that and are including sections about different faiths you should have them either written by someone of that faith or at least checked over by someone to ensure accuracy. It’s laziness to start with.

And when I mentioned ‘anti Catholic’ if you read my original post I was talking about British culture in general, which does lead to things like this happening. The text itself may not be anti-Catholic as such but it does stem from a cultural anti-Catholic attitude.

Some would consider it anti-Catholic as the accusations of Mary worship are deeply insulting and are it is a very common insult based on ignorance.

I'm not sure if it's available across the pond or not, but they might not know you're from America. The publisher is called Pearson Books and the book is part of a series called Survival Guides under nursing, bright coloured, small and cheap and this one has culture in the title. I can't remember the exact title and I'm too rushed to post a link at the moment.

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