Is anyone familiar with this? A boy in my CCD class is reading one of their books. At first I thought it was from the Remnant newspaper, which is part I think of the SSPX movement. However, today I googled it and I think it may be evangelical books. I was suspicious because there was no imprimatur in it but there are a lot of apologists that also write books. If it isn’t Catholic, how should I approach him. Should I tell lie him not to read it as it may not agree with Catholic teachings? I’d like to offer him something he can read but he’s only 12. Any suggestions?
After Googling for myself, I believe this is a Seventh-Day Adventist publishing site. There are books on “The Great Controversy” and a tract against the Pope, and many books on the end times and prophecy, which is big in the SDA world.
You can’t forbid him to read it, you are not his parent, but you can gently approach him or his parents and point out that the book is not appropriate for a 12 year old Catholic boy to be reading instead of Catholic books. There are plenty of youth oriented Catholic books in Catholic bookstores and online from Catholic publishing houses. I believe also that you can request him not to bring the books to CCD classes. I would favor speaking to the parents, as they have the responsibility to bring him up in the faith. Also, are they both Catholic? Perhaps one is not and is providing the books, so you need to be careful in your approach.
When I taught CCD I brought in Catholic books and set up a library (I brought them with me each week). I would have them fill out an index card with their name and title of the book to help keep track of who had what book.
If they could discuss the book when they returned it they would receive a prize (assorted religious items or candy).
I would also encourage the students to ask questions about anything they wanted to and very often they had questions about the differences between Mormons and Catholics, etc.
I would sneak a peek at the book title and look it up on Amazon and read the reviews to get an idea what it is about. Then I would slip answers to the book in to my lesson plans.
Well, to start with: Have you ever read a fairy tale? If you have read a few, as I suspect you have, you’ll know the common theme that if you tell someone NOT to do something apparently harmless --the warning will often have the exact opposite effect. So I don’t recommend going around and saying: “don’t read this book in my classroom!” Not even polite words will achieve the desired effect. Ten to one says that if this is a normal precocious 12 year old, your plan will backfire. (There’s also the previously stated risk that the his parents might get mad at you.)
Here’s what I would recommend. Don’t look at the publisher. Look at the book, its title, and read the description. Ask the student what’s it about and if he’s enjoying it – strike up a conversation about the topic. If you find something disagreeable (which I doubt you will – even SDA will have *some *topics you agree with and this is presumably a Catholic student) offer or suggest to him a book giving him your perspective on the issue. (Just make sure it’s an equally interesting book.) If you do it with enough tact, you will be encouraging him in his thirst for knowledge about the topic, which will be helpful instead of hindering.
Most readers don’t like the idea of someone stopping them from reading a book, but most like the idea of reading more books. Go with the flow of fairy-tale curiosity instead of against it – having access to both correct and incorrect knowledge is usually better than having access to no knowledge (and part of the job of a teacher is showing students how to differentiate between the two, after all).
Hoping this is helpful to you.
Thanks for your helpful answers. I do have some books at home so will try bringing them in as well as the Catholic Answers magazines. I’ve distributed my older Magnificat magazines also. If he brings this book in I will try and see what it’s about and where he got it. It looks very old so I’m wondering if one of his parents are either Seventh Day Adventists or if he got it from a class mate. As a side note, he didn’t have a Bible so I loaned him one of ours and he seems to enjoy reading it, and looks up the passages that applies to our lesson. Strangely enough, so far no ones questioned me about Morman beliefs but I try to slip in casual comments on what others may believe and compare that to the Church’s teachings.