Worst "Catholic" book EVER!

I picked up The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Understanding Catholicism at a garage sale last weekend. I finally delved into it yesterday. Having paid 25 cents for it, I feel I was cheated out of my money. THis book does NOTHING to explain our beliefs or why we believe them. Instead it pushes a liberal agenda, implying that our dogmas are suggestions, and it is up to each individual Catholic to determine for himself what parts of the faith he will accept, and what parts he will reject. In other words, “cafeteria Catholicism” is perfectly acceptible to the Holy See. The author holds up Ted Kennedy and Madonna as examples of “good Catholics” and is critical of Mother Angelica! Catholic ANswers and Karl Keating aren’t even mentioned! I wonder if that is a coincidence? :hmmm:
There, got that off of my chest! If you see The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Understanding Catholicism DO NOT WASTE YOUR HARD-EARNED MONEY!!! Remember the “Complete Idiot” in this case is the Author, not a tounge-in-cheek reference to the reader.

Indeed.

Not to be confused with ‘Catholicism for Dummies’ by Fr John Trigilio, which is an excellent and highly-recommended book.

The Complete Idiot’s book tells the reader what the Catholic Church is really like in the real world, whereas the Dummies book tells the reader what two priests think the Catholic Church should be like.

Which shows how truly those priests follow the example of Christ. After all, He told us in scripture how He wants us to be, and what He thinks we should be like (summed up in one verse - ‘perfect’, as your heavenly Father is perfect’) and was not just content with telling us how we are. :shrug:

Correction: not “what two priests think the Catholic Church should be like,” but what the Catholic Church teaches as explained by two priests.

If you buy a guide to Catholicism, don’t you expect to read about Catholicism as established by Christ and taught by the Church? Yes. Therefore, how some people, sinners as we are, practice Catholicism is not necessarily the model we want to teach. If this book teaches such lukewarm version of Catholicism, then it’s not a book that can be recommended.

It depends on your view of ecclesiology. If you think that the only relevant person in the Catholic Church is the pope and what he writes in his encyclicals, and that every other Catholic is merely a robot to be judged by how closely he or she obeys every word that falls from the pope’s mouth, then the Dummies book is definitely for you. If you think that the Catholic Church consists of more than just the pope, and that the Holy Spirit inspires the witness given by every single Catholic, not just the pope, then the Complete Idiot’s Guide has useful information for you.

The Complete Idiot’s Guide contains information about Catholic dogma and Catholic practice, whereas the Dummies book contains only dogma.

I picked up The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Understanding Catholicism at a garage sale last weekend. I finally delved into it yesterday. Having paid 25 cents for it, I feel I was cheated out of my money. THis book does NOTHING to explain our beliefs or why we believe them. Instead it pushes a liberal agenda, implying that our dogmas are suggestions, and it is up to each individual Catholic to determine for himself what parts of the faith he will accept, and what parts he will reject.

Truth in advertising . . “The Complete Idiots guide . . . .”:hmmm:

The author is just putting forth his opinions digused as fact. Cafeteria CAtholicism is to NEVER be endorsed. The root of the problem is this: Are we to change our behavior to conform with Spiritual truth? Or are we to ignore Spritual Truth so we can remain 'comfortable"? If you say it is the latter, then perhaps “Non-denominational Protestant” is probably a better label for you than “Catholic”

Lurking,

The teachings of the Catholic Church are more than the Pope and his encyclicals. The teachings are all that Christ said and did that are recorded in Scripture and transmitted through Sacred Tradition. The Pope and the bishops in union with him constitute the Magisterium of the Church, which under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, guide the faithful in following all that has been revealed to us.

The problem is that what the Church teaches and what the faithful do are often two very different things. Do you want to stake your salvation on the what individuals believe and practice, or on what the Church teaches as established by Christ and passed down through the apostles and their successors?

The truth is, the teachings of the Church are Truth, and the more you learn and understand about her teachings, the more you realize they are truly Truth. It is up to us to conform ourselves to Truth and not the other way around.

I don’t generally agree with CW Betts but for once I am completely on his side. My father bought my wife (then fiance) who is EO this book as an aid to understanding the Church as they have similar personalities and get on well enough that she wouldn’t have seen it as an attempt to evangelis her. Unfortunately he (and I) only realised how hopeless this book was for it’s stated purpose once I started looking through it. It does indeed give the impression that whatever you chose is ‘kewl’. I am among the more left leaning politically in this forum as I am actively and openly socialist ( I can hear the horror from some Americans now!) but been Catholic is as the man said about embracing what we see as eternal truths and is above momentary political divisions. Where my politics and religion do conflict (as they often do controversially on abortion or birth control) I go with the Church’s teaching first in determining my reaction as ultimately God is going to care a lot if our political labels read a certain way but about our actions been in line with his teaching.

I’d steer anyone seeking to understand the Catholic faith well away from this book. I think you’d get a clear understanding of the Church from say Tolkien’s work which rarely explicits mentions the Church than you would from this which is supposed to be all about it.

Reading the title made me think Story of a Soul: The Autobiography of St. Therese no offense to fans of the Little Flower but reading it honestly made me think of the religious snobs I went to school with. Especally her feelings to other children her age. Now that I explained why I consider that the worst Catholic book ever…

I have to agree with the OP that book and other’s like it are why I joined the Church needless to say I was in for a shock when after all was said an done the Church I thought I was joining and the Church I joined are two different things >.<

They really should be a crack down on books like this so people wont join into a Church there falsely informed about and have there soul permenatly stained rather than permenatly marked from joining a Church they where properly informed about.

If that makes any sense to anyone.

Recently read “Pagan Babies.” Supposed to be a memoir about growing up Catholic. The author subtly conflates her opinions now, as an ex-Catholic with how she felt and thought as a child. If I had no knowledge of Catholicism I would have a very distorted view of it after reading this. It irritates me because it is disguised as a kind of cute story when, in fact, the writer has an anti Catholic ax to grind.:mad:

One of those I am mad about how I was raised deals?

It would be a better book if it were that honest. It’s the sneaky presentation of the message that the Church is stultifying to spiritual growth that I object to. Keywords: sneaky presentation.

Thank you for saying this. I have long thought that people need to be correctly catechized as to what they are signing on for when they join the Catholic Church. Watering it down or glossing over the controversial stuff doesn’t do anyone any favors. I can only lead to people, such as yourself, feeling deceived after the fact.

ESPECALLY when you are marked for life by it as I understand the case is.

The Dummies book is by one of those that Benedict XVI has described as having a “hermeneutic of rupture” as regards Vatican II. In other words, they believe that Vatican2 reinvented everything and neither sacred scripture nor previously defined dogmas have any weight against anything that said Vatican 2 student believes he has found in the council writings (and often post council documents).

It isn’t a matter of disagreeing with one pope. It is a matter of trying to invent a whole new religion based on Vatican II alone versus seeing V2 as equal weight with other councils.

It’s basically the same error the protestant reformers made when they threw out the historic church and relied on the bible alone - just with a different book this time. The devil likes to recycle his tricks! :wink:

You are describing the ‘Complete Idiots Guide’ book in these comments surely, not 'Catholicism for Dummies? Can’t imagine Fr Trigilio pitting Pope against Pope or pre against post Vatican 2 teachings.

I own the Dummies version and it DOES contain BOTH Catholic dogma AND Catholic practice.

I steered clear of the Idiots guide based on reviews I read on Amazon.

I think the answer lies in the wording of the title. :stuck_out_tongue:

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