Does Catholic history mean biased history?

The Catholic Textbook Project – an interview
U.S. history book cover

U.S. history book cover

This is an interview with Christopher Zehnder, general editor of the Catholic Textbook Project, conducted by himself. The project publishes a history textbook series for middle and high school. Diocesan and independent Catholic schools, nationally and internationally, use these books, as do home schooling families. For more information, visit the Catholic Textbook’s website.

So, you publish Catholic textbooks?

Yes – hence the name, Catholic Textbook Project. So far, we have published textbooks in history for grades 5-8 and a high school North American history text that tells the history of the United States but continues the story of Spanish America after the 18th century by providing a concurrent history of Mexico. Our books are the first Catholic history textbooks in over 40 years. We are the Catholic alternative to secular textbooks.

Do you have plans for more volumes?

Yes. We want to fill out the history series with volumes for grades 1-4 and the remainder of high school. Then we want to move into other subjects, beginning with natural science.

World history book

World history book

Doesn’t Catholic history mean biased history?

If you mean “biased” in a pejorative sense, why should it? Everyone sees the world from a point of view. Secular historians see it from basically an agnostic and anti-supernatural point of view. A Catholic historian begins with the creed and the Church; but he does not neglect the demands the discipline of history lays on him. He gathers evidence and assesses it just like any good historian.

Then what makes Catholic history different?

It begins with some “inside information” – the revelation of God to the Church; and this provides “leads” to historical information. An example. Through the Church I have received the Gospels as witnesses to the life of Christ. As a Catholic, I believe these accounts; but as an historian, they provide me leads for investigation that follows the standards of the discipline of history. Is it historically believable that Christ did what the Gospels say he did? I test this question by historical criteria. Another example. As a Catholic, I accept the divine origins of the Church, which leads me to think that the Church has had a pivotal role in history. Can I demonstrate this from the perspective of the discipline of history? We think the answer to both inquiries is, yes.

And do all historians agree with your judgment?

Of course not. We think the Catholic Church has played a central role in history and, moreover, has been a blessing to the world – and that this is defensible as history. At the same time, we acknowledge that Catholics – popes, bishops, religious, laymen – have done stupid and bad things, and we do not hide it. Nor do we obscure the praiseworthy qualities and actions of non-Catholics, even enemies of the Church; for, as Catholics, we understand that both grace and the mystery of iniquity work in believers and unbelievers alike. This is the history we tell, and there are those who would disagree with our interpretation. But many historians would not disagree.

It sounds like you just tell Church history.

No. We tell history – the history of North America, Europe, Asia, and Africa. We tend to focus on Western culture; but we tell the whole history of that culture, not just what pertains to the Catholic Church. Nevertheless, our books restore the Catholic Church to her rightful place in history.

What else makes your books unique?

First, they are beautiful to look at – their layout and their inclusion of full-color reproductions of great art works and custom maps. But what makes our books quite unique is that they tell history in the mode of story. Students don’t just learn history – they come to feel it, to taste it. Students love our books because they engage the imagination as well as the mind.

Are these books expensive to produce?

Yes, and so we welcome donations, large and small. Those who help us are lending their hand to the restoration of Catholic education – for think, Catholic schools that use what are often anti-Catholic books are sending mixed messages to students: a secular, often explicitly anti-Catholic, message and a Catholic one. We are a 501(c)3 company, so all donations are tax deductible. Donations may be made online at http://cstp.myshopify.com/collections/frontpage/products/donation, or by mail: Catholic Textbook Project, P.O. 4638 Ventura, CA 93007-0638.

Do you have a blog or Facebook page?

We have both, and on both students and adults will find articles of interest – including our weekly This Day in History. Please like us on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/catholictextbooks) and visit our blog, http://catholictextbooks.blogspot.com/.

 

 

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Comments

  1. Accurate ‘Catholic’ textbooks are important. Secular textbooks change history to exclude God and human beliefs.

    The Bible is the oldest most historical book in the world.
    The Bible consists of the Old Testament (Jewish – BC), and the New Testament (Christian).
    The Bible was approved as it is today at the Council of Rome in 392AD with translations by St. Jerome.
    All approved “Catholic” Bibles have an imprimatur and a nihil obstat on the copyright page.
    (Martin Luther removed the last 6 books in the Old Testament in the 16th century, which included Macabees II. This is why Protestants do not pray for the dead.)

  2. Bob Bugiada says:

    I’m glad to see a counterweight to the Marxist influence of people like Howard Zinn on teaching history to children.
    One interesting way to learn history is to read news articles of events at the time that they happened. Even better is to see the context of the article to get a feel for the culture at the time. In high school, we had microfiche. It was often an education in and of itself to look at the rest of the newspaper or magazine – even the advertisements. Today, there’s the internet. Unfortunately, reading old articles with today’s ads running alongside is not quite the same.

  3. Tom Byrne says:

    The key (this science teacher thinks) lies in respect for the evidence and where it leads, according to the rules of the discipline. What cannot be defended as history (or science) does does belong in such a work, even if that same truth may be evident from other sources in other fields. But what can be defended in one field is hardly tainted because it can also be defended from other sources (such as Revelation) appropriate to other fields. God is Truth and God is one, therefore all truth is one, even if that unity sometimes seems difficult for our limited human minds to perceive.

  4. Ann Malley says:

    “…Catholic schools that use what are often anti-Catholic books are sending mixed messages to students: a secular, often explicitly anti-Catholic, message and a Catholic one.”

    Exactly so which is why many develop mixed ‘views’ when it comes to the exercise of Faith.

    Thank you, Catholic Textbook Project. Our Lady of Victory home school curriculum also provides solid Catholic textbooks as well as a thorough history program to include the truths about Communism.

  5. Your Fellow Catholic says:

    I wonder what the Catholic science textbook dealing with Galileo and Darwin will say. Or the economics book will say about lending money. Or this history text about suffrage and slavery.

    • What is your point? I think with Galileo the writers would look at the facts, not popular misconceptions; with Darwin, they would look at the development of evolutionary theory and more evidence (also read the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which does not preach against evolution or insist that the Biblical 7-day creation story must be believed. You are thinking of Protestants). Economics would probably follow the CCC again and the papal social justice encyclicals. If you want to satisfy your curiosity (and are not just baiting for argument sake), read the history books and you’ll find out what they write about suffrage and slavery. Go ahead, don’t be afraid.

    • Tom Byrne says:

      And what do your fear it would say? The Galileo controversy was a clash of two big egos, and the one with more power lost his cool. The Church has been very circumspect on the matter of Darwin and still is. As for the other points, why should the Church be afraid of what “real history” would say of Her teachings, as opposed to the opinions of theologians and the faults of some in Catholic leadership? Could you be more specific?

      • what we know: The Earth is 4.5 billion years old. The universe is 13.8 billion years old. DNA of modern humans has been linked to ancient human bones as far back as 150,000 years, and that is being conservative. Google DNA of ancient man and a whole new understanding of our real history will unfold for you. It is truly amazing. If not then this old saying will work for you: Ignorance is Bliss.

    • YFC. The TRUTH. The Church is only commissioned regarding Faith and Morals.

    • Galileo was wrong — not in his conclusion, but in the method he used to come to his conclusion. He did not fully know how the earth revolved around the sun, etc. Therefore, he could not prove his conclusion factual, and the pope told him not to present as fact what he could not prove yet. It took other Catholic scientists to prove his theory by using the right information as to how the earth, planets and moon revolved. They therefore got the evidence to prove Galileo’s theory right. Then and only then was it accepted. In other word the pope would not accept Galileo conclusion until it could be proven. It took other Catholic scientists to prove his theory. So the pope was right in censor him until it could be prove, and Galileo was wrong as to how it all took place, though his conclusion was right. There is a little Catholic booklet out now about it. When I find my copy, I will post it. Also, many Jesuits know a lot about what really happened because I think it was a Jesuit who finally proved Galileo’s theory.

      • Correction to my tenth line: “So the pope was right to censor some of his books until it could be proven.”

        • The booklet is “Galileo, Science and Faith”, by Dr. William Carroll, put out by Ignatius Press/Catholic Truth Society. They have put out a series on the Church and science. I got my copy for $1.99 at a Catholic book and gift shop. Also, you can call into Fr. Mitch Pacwa’s program on EWTN; he knows all about the Galileo situation. He is a Jesuit. You might even be able to contact him on line.

      • Your Fellow Catholic says:

        Ridiculous. The Pope had no business making science into a matter of faith in the first place.

        • Of course it is ridiculous to you YFC, but it is the truth none the less, and it was the other scientists of Galileo’s day who advised the pope on the issue, so I suppose you think they were ridiculous too. Of course they were the same scientists, including Galileo, who thought marriage was to be between one man and one woman. So you really do not have a horse in the race.

          • YFC, how are opinions on the circumspection of the Church relevent to this effort by Catholic historians?

        • It is more accurate to describe Galileo as insisting on the articles of faith. He had enjoyed full freedom to teach his theory for at least 16 years, it was after he rudely mocked the scientific establishment – yes, the scientific establishment, which was employed by the papal court, that his idea was condemned.

          This condemnation was aided by his utterly wrong-headed idea that the tides were the result of the earth’s revolution, instead of the gravitational pull of the moon, as held by Kepler and other contemporaries.

          Similar silencing happens today to scientists who buck the prevailing wisdom, and this is made especially easy when they advance crackpot notions. We see and largely accept this. We should not.

          No more than now, this reality does not make those actions or those of Urban correct, but the history of this incident deserves to be told in full, not as a cartoon melodrama, and certainly it is what Catholic students deserve.

          • Good points, Brian S.

          • Your Fellow Catholic says:

            You make some good points, but you get some facts wrong Brian. First off, the earth rotates on its axis, and revolves around the sun. The tidal question was whether rotation causes tides, not the revolution. And he was only partially wrong: The earth does indeed not conform to a perfect sphere, as it is slightly pushed in at the poles and drawn out near the equator because of the rotation of the earth .

            But that is silly splitting of hairs, I grant you. And I agree with your broader point that people who undertake scientific positions that are judged heterodox by the scientists of the day get relegated to the hinterlands, sometimes for a very long time. Galileo is one example, San Francisco’s own Stanley Prusiner is another, and Barbara McClintock is another. The last two were ultimately honored with, among other things, Nobel Prizes in their fields, but suffered for decades the hostility of the scientific guardians of orthodoxy. McClintock had two added burdens: She was so brilliant, even well meaning scientists couldn’t understand her research at the time and only after DNA cloning could prove her conclusions were her results proven true. Her second burden was that she was a woman in a man’s world, and women geneticists simply were not taken seriously until the late 1970s, and even then, with difficulty.

            There are counter examples, though. For example, Nobel Prize winner Kary Mullis, the brilliant East Bay inventor of the polymerase chain reaction, whose invention singlehandedly sped up the human genome project by many years and saved billions of dollars as a result, and has revolutionized the diagnosis and treatment of hundreds of diseases, himself famously denied that HIV was the cause of AIDS. His career was basically ended for this single fault. Well there is also the fact that he is a climate change denier and believes in astrology.

            Conclusion: Bishops and popes are not infallible in matters of science. Scientists are not infallible in matters of science either.

          • Revolution, Rotation – sloppy of me, sorry, but not related to the cause of tides, which has nothing to do with a slightly-out-of-round earth.

            No, scientists aren’t infalliable, and they conform to fads, follies, and job pressures like the rest of us. All the more reason why when you tell the Church to ‘butt out’ it sounds the same as when others tell the Church to leave economics to the economists or war to the politicians. (That isn’t a compliment.)

            But how does this relate to textbooks? No one is claiming infalliability for Mr. Zehnder. I hope you reviewed the section I linked for you – they have many other samples on their website as well. You did question how Catholic books would treat Galileo, Darwin, usury, suffage and slavery – was that merely rhetorical? These books deal with all of those issues in considerable detail.

        • YFC, when people like you place so called “scientific” proof above all else, there will always be a place for the Church to comment on science.

          Do you forget that scientist often hold a completely opposite views as to what is “scientifically” true even amongst themselves? Is this any different than various protestant pastors holding opposite views on the meaning of certain scripture passages? You, YFC, seem to be the one making “science” into a matter of faith. Maybe you have put to much faith into that fancy education you’ve obtained as well.

          • Your Fellow Catholic says:

            Tracy you really don’t get how logic works, do you? Just because the Church from time to time confuses science and faith, and when she does so sometimes anathematizes scientific positions instead of positions of faith and morals, this bears no relation whasoever as to whether a scientific hypothesis or theory is widely held, held by one scientist alone, or even true. Even an untrue scientific theory should not be opined and potentially anathematized as a matter of faith!

          • Ann Malley says:

            Scientific ‘proof’ is too often defined by those theories that get funding as opposed to those that don’t. (Often those scientific investigations that are shut out, squelched, and quieted.) Data is skewed to match the desired results. Hence the flip flop of ‘what we NOW know.’ Like the benefits of breastfeeding or natural remedies or midwifery.

            Remember when ‘smart’ women used formula? Or the pronouncement that all cholesterol was bad, bad, bad. Interesting change in doctrine…. I mean science.

          • YFC, there you go again, making belittling comments in order to divert attention away from the point I was making :(

            Maybe this will help? Who created science, God or man? The answer is God of course. Who “discovered” science? Man discovered science. As men have a proclivity for worshiping the created (i.e. what they discover) over the Creator, science too becomes an object of temptation for idolatry.

            You can criticize me all you want, but the truth is that “science” has become a matter of “faith” for many individuals, so much so that people will base his or her moral decisions on it. Doesn’t this explain why you would be so outraged about the Pope commenting on science? I would propose that by doing so, he is interfering with YOUR false faith.

          • Your Fellow Catholic says:

            Try again Tracy. Try to follow along, please. Popes have no credentials to judge scientific positions. Period. This fact is utterly unrelated to whether or not some people misunderstand the science of a particular phenomena. I will use the example that AM cites, the example of “smart women using formula”. You, Tracy, call that idolatry. Fine. I don’t think women who used formula suddenly gave up their faith to pray in front of a milk can. Nonetheless, just because smart women were not smart enough to look beyond Nestle’s marketing machine and judge the actual science for themselves does not abrogate either the proper role of science or the fact that clerics have no business opining on science as though it were a matter of faith. Science is only idolatry when the person misunderstands either faith or science or both.

          • YFC, first you said, “The Pope had no BUSINESS making science into a matter of faith in the first place.” Now you say, “Popes have no CREDENTIALS to judge scientific positions….PERIOD”! Who installed you Pope of the heretical protestant Church of Science anyway?!
            Your elaborate, idiotic story of women “pray(ing) in front of a milk can” is merely you employing your typical tactic to divert from the truth of what I previously posted. Good grief :(

          • Your Fellow Catholic says:

            Well Tracy, maybe you are just sore that I pointed out the lack of truth in your post. Good grief. If you think there is a shred of daylight between the two statements of mine that you just quoted, then your inability to employ logic just compounds upon itself. Was my milk statement elaborate? Really? And even if it were elaborate, you say that as if elaborate is a bad thing.

            The thing is that while you assail me and call me an idolator, you are actually violating church teaching on the matter. 1) You are making false and uncharitable accusations against me, and 2) You are perpetrating the false notion that the Church has some role to play in judging scientific conclusions. The Church has long since explained that should not opine on matters of science, and has in fact apologized for the Galileo fiasco. So take up your accusations of idolatry with Blessed John Paul. I leave you with his own words:

            “Thanks to his intuition as a brilliant physicist and by relying on different arguments, Galileo, who practically invented the experimental method, understood why only the sun could function as the centre of the world, as it was then known, that is to say, as a planetary system. The error of the theologians of the time, when they maintained the centrality of the Earth, was to think that our understanding of the physical world’s structure was, in some way, imposed by the literal sense of Sacred Scripture….”

            —Pope John Paul II, L’Osservatore Romano N. 44 (1264) – November 4, 1992

          • Ann Malley says:

            Exactly right, YFC. Mothers should have seen past the bogus ‘scientific’ marketing machine behind pushing baby formula. They didn’t as popular opinion and ‘mounting science’ as advocated by mocking gurus much like yourself was so much in favor of that which was ‘better’.

            The same holds for the bunk ‘science’ behind your homosexual agenda, YFC. What you propose as ‘healthy’ and natural is not healthy and goes against nature at its very core. That said, isn’t it you who quotes the CCC as an authority in saying that being ‘gay’ isn’t a choice? By your logic, the Church should only say we don’t know. Why? They’re not scientists.

            Flip, flop, flip, flop. That’s all you do. That whole ‘praying before a milk can’ hints at a deep animosity toward motherhood, YFC. Perhaps that is an issue for you.

          • Ann Malley says:

            To YFC cont:

            You might want to look to Russia to see where the ‘free love’ agenda eventually leads. That is once the Legos have all been knocked down, they get put back together again and the so called validity of homosexual lifestyle suddenly disappears as it is not in line with the building up of society.

          • YFC, You can impugn and belittle me all you want, but the truth is that “science” HAS become a matter of “faith” for MANY individuals, so much so that people will base his or her MORAL DECISIONS on it. (see my Feb. 11, 2014 at 12:40 pm post)
            Now if ANY statements you have made or ideas you have promoted over the previous months on CCD fits this conclusion then you ARE an idolator! My calling you out on this would therefore be charitable.

          • Your Fellow Catholic says:

            AM who made you chief psychologist and asked you to make diagnoses of “deep animosity towards motherhood”? I merely took up your own example to prove that there is no idolatry in standing up for the separation of faith and science and marketing. You got my point, so maybe you are projecting your own deep animosity toward motherhood onto me?

            But then you AM go on to miss the point. CCC proves my own point: The Church has wisely deferred to science on the matter of the existence of homosexual orientation, but goes on to outline the moral implications of acting on the orientation and of the way they are treated in society. There is no flip flop here, AM. I thought you were among the “smart women”? And if you want to call the science behind sexual orientation bunk, perhaps you ought to cite some examples of the flaws of the science. My guess is that you have made no effort whatsoever to understand what that science indicates. You don’t like the conclusions of the science, so you it’s easy for you to label it as “bunk”, without truly reading the voluminous studies on it.

          • Ann Malley says:

            You have my honest apology, YFC, if you took offense at my intimating you have an issue with regard to motherhood. I must say, however, that I do not know how to interpret your caricature of my previous post and that of Tracy. No women were worshiping milk cans, YFC, and to intimate that women who honestly desire that which is best for their babies (you and me at one time) with such a cartoon is not fair.

            The idea is that people are convinced, for myriad reasons, and usually with regard to that which evokes the deepest emotion, to turn to ‘science’ as the new god who knows what is better. That is better than what nature – God – has designed.

            This crowbar, Science, has always been used against God, but is now seemingly attacking common sense. As for the science behind sexual orientation, I would say that we ARE learning new and heretofore misunderstood things. The influences of hormones or lack thereof, environment, early childhood scaring and also, YFC, the effects of no-holds-barred experimentation.

            And it is the ‘experimentation’, that is attempted wide-spread societal experimentation in the name of Science, without regard to the long term effects on said society without regard for God’s design that is a real problem to me. It’s like speeding ahead on formula – even on a purely secular level – when we DO NOT UNDERSTAND the full impact of what breast milk and the action of breast feeding actually does for a child’s health and well being.

        • Dr. Carroll says in his booklet “Galileo, Science and Faith”: “Although some theologians and some popes may have thought that it was heretical to embrace heliocentric astronomy, the official acts of the Church in 1616 and in the trial of Galileo in 1633 were disciplinary not doctrinal.” He goes on to write,”The failure to change church discipline more expeditiously did contribute, however, to the myth that there was a fundamental conflict between faith and science.” This was after Pope Pius VII sanctioned the granting of the imprimatur in 1820 to works presenting Copernican astronomy as true and not merely hypothetical according to Dr. Carroll’s booklet. So, YFC, it was never a matter of doctrine but discipline. It is on page 57 of the 66 page booklet.

          • Your Fellow Catholic says:

            Dear Anne T:

            You are only proving my point. Actually not proving it so much as providing evidence for my point: There is not, and cannot be, a dispute between faith and science. Therefore, the Church ought not attempt to sanction findings of science as immoral, as it did then, and has continued to do. It has since admitted as much. The Church ought not opine about matters of science, because it has no competence therein. It should learn from science, and discern God’s lessons from that objective truth.

            YFC

          • YFC, science and faith are sometimes so interconnected that is impossible to always separate them, such as in cases of what is ethnical — embryonic stem cell research from aborted fetuses versus skin, cord blood, cells from natural miscarriages, adult, etc. The Church HAS to pronounce on certain scientific issues as to what is ethical and what is not. Also, some of our greatest scientists have been priests or Catholic laypeople. One cannot always separate one from the other.

          • Correction: “ethical” not “ethnical” in my third line, and to make my last line clearer, I should have written: One cannot always separate Church discipline from science. Furthermore, in the Galileo case its was not a matter of doctrine but of discipline.

          • Your Fellow Catholic says:

            Anne T, we are talking about conclusions of science, not the ethical practice of science. Of course I would agree with you that certain experiments would be unethical to perform. You cite a few that you believe to be unethical. Nazi scientists performed horrifically unethical and immoral experiments. Even today, when a drug is found to be so efficacious, it can reach a point where withholding the drug from those given pacebos is considered unethical and possibly immoral. So basically, we are in agreement, but there is no instance you can site in which the Church gets to say whether the conclusions of science are heresy. This is quite another matter entirely.

      • Perhaps Anne T,

        But the Pope abused his authority by putting Galileo in home imprisonment (where he died) for having a different opinion about celestial mechanics (which, btw, turned out to be correct).

        • Galileo was not imprisoned merely for having different ideas about celestial mechanics. By the year of his imprisonment, heliocentricity was a theory nearly 100 years old, first advanced in a book dedicated to Pope Paul III. You should look deeper for causes.

          But note this difference – Galileo’s encounter with the Establishment raises hackles after nearly 400 years, yet just above Your Fellow Catholic matter-of-factly tells us of “Nobel Prize winner Kary Mullis” a man who “singlehandedly sped up the human genome project by many years”, “revolutionized the diagnosis and treatment of hundreds of diseases” yet whose career was “basically ended” because he denied that HIV was the cause of AIDS.

          What explains the difference in our reactions to these attacks? The answer obviously in their choice of opponents.

          • OH, and why was he convicted of “heresy” instead of “bad scientific method?” How, exactly, would that have been a criminal offense?

        • YFC, the pope at that time never said that Galileo’s conclusion was heresy, he just did not want him to state that the conclusion was a fact when had not proved it yet to the satisfaction of the other scientists.

          • Your Fellow Catholic says:

            Galileo was explicitly imprisoned for heresy. It’s in the record.

          • Ann Malley says:

            Sorry, YFC, but from what I’ve read on the matter Anonymous is correct in that Galileo wasn’t imprisoned for his theory, but for rather for insisting it was true without adequate evidence and research.

          • Your Fellow Catholic says:

            AM you know perfectly well that that makes no sense. Why would someone be imprisoned. IMPRISONED. for lacking enough evidence to prove their point. Does that make the action of the Church any more palatable, even if it were true (which it is not!). Three quarters of commenters on CCD should be imprisoned if that is the standard by which the Church judges its criminals.

    • YFC, you appear more willing to trust non-Catholics to tell history. I wonder why?
      At any rate, judge for yourself.

      http://catholictextbookproject.com/project/pdfs/LandsOfHopeAndPromise-Sample_Chapters.pdf

      • Thank you for posting this, Brian S. As a person who has descended from many different Northern European ethnic groups, both Catholic and Protestant, this is very much of interest to me. I will try to read it all as I have the time to do so.

      • Siollan Murphy says:

        I read a couple of chapters. Biased? Yes. But not any worse than the textbooks I had at that level (maybe sixth or seventh grade?). Columbus is portrayed as a good person whose only responsibility for the atrocities for which he was ultimately responsibility were a heavy travel schedule and poor management skills, but they’re not entirely glossed over. It’s also the most charitable depiction of Ferdinand and Isabella to have graced print in generations. It doesn’t present Western conquest and colonialism as a protagonist as much as an inevitability. In that way, it’s maybe more even handed than whatever textbooks I had in Catholic school the 1980s.

        It’s all so cursory, though. History condensed into the roughest outlines, which is all history tends to be at that level. It’s all primer for deeper examination twice more in high school and college.

  6. I’m convinced! Now to convince our Bishops that the information in these text books is worthy of our children’s learning! Since these books won’t be accepted into the DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION’S COMMON CORE curriculum, it’s doubtful.

    After all isn’t it more important to adequately prepare our Catholic youth for admission into socialist universities of indoctrination so that they too are properly disposed to participate alongside the rest of the brainwashed population as productive WORKERS?!

  7. Steve Phoenix says:

    I hope Mr. Zehnder can offset some of the jaw-droppingly misinformed history our collegiate people tell me these days, as they speak approvingly of socialism-Leninism, liberation theology, fantasies such as “Leo XIII and the Catholic Church condemned capitalism and now approves of socialism,” and, everyone’s favorite quasi-blessed, revolutionary, Che Guevara. (Barack Obama modeled his campaign image on a famous artistic rendition of Che Guevara’s blessed face.)

    Marxist revolutionaries know the importance of history, much better than Catholics do:
    “The merit of Marx is that he suddenly produces a qualitative change in the history of social thought. He interprets history, understands its dynamic, predicts the future, but in addition to predicting it (which would satisfy his scientific obligation), he expresses a revolutionary concept: the world must not only be interpreted, it must be transformed. ”
    — Che Guevara, Notes for the Study of the Ideology of the Cuban, October 1960

  8. Anonymous says:

    I’m GLAD they are teaching history with more Catholic truth.
    As a kid, the history I learned in public schools was all about “one big, happy family,” ignoring the persecution Catholics faced in this country!

    • That is true, but I had a great history teacher in public high school who told us, “Do not believe everything that is written in these books. History depends on who is telling it. Go out and search on your own,” so I took his advice and did just that. When I had to give an answer on a test, and I did not agree with what the school considered the right answer, I would put “according to the book” and then them the answer they wanted,. It was my way of saying, “Here is the answer you want, but I do not believe it.”

  9. I recall the article which CCD posted several months ago about the Catholic German immigrants in western Ohio. These Catholics were fleeing persecution in their home country and came to America in the late 19th century in order to practice their Catholic faith in freedom. What is notable about these particular immigrants is that they chose to settle in swampy western Ohio. They turned this unappealing land into productive farms. In addition they built beautiful churches to worship in, which still stand today out in the country. All of this, no doubt, came with great sacrifice on their parts.

    Why do I bring this up? Because I believe that those of us who are faithful Catholics, if we have already not done so, should rethink our priorities. We cannot expect most of our Catholic schools to educate our children in the faith anymore. St. Francis of Assisi heard God’s call to rebuild the Church. Of course, this meant spiritually. The next time we pull out our wallets to pay for some item, we should ask ourselves if that item will help to “rebuild the Church” or is necessary for my family’s survival?

    The article points out that these Catholic text books cost a lot of money to produce. The sad truth is that our Catholic schools currently purchase the books, mass produced for Common Core, because as there are millions of the same book being printed, the production cost are that much cheeper.

  10. Beyond the nastier insinuation that faithful Catholics cannot be trusted to report historical events, that this single case from 370 years ago is the only one cited to support the ‘Church is opposed to science’ carnard should be enough to inform us that exceptional circumstances surrounded it.

  11. Maryanne Leonard says:

    Many Catholics are scientists of all kinds, YFC, and your statement is incorrect. Watch EWTN to learn more about the intersection of faith and reason. Read up on the history of Catholicism and science and consider the great astronomers who are ordained priests not only today but in the past. Stop picking up on the great Protestant and atheistic gloating focus on the intermittent errors of the men who once ran the Church and look at Church history overall, particularly during the times of the least knowledge of science and the past century or two. Please decide to make it a habit to know more about that whereof you speak before you post. Ignorant millions might believe someone as minimally informed as you portray yourself to be, which is a little surprising considering I believe you have posted that you are a college professor, is that correct?

    • Your Fellow Catholic says:

      Maryanne please, you do yourself no favors by accusing me of being misinformed about a certain thing, wrong about another thing, yet you provide not a single instance in which I was wrong. How can I even defend myself when the accusations are so poorly laid out. Remember that I am one of those Catholic scientists that you seem to think you know so much about.

  12. We bought the very first one of these books and we were really disappointed by the lack of Catholic content. Never bought anther one so I can’t say how the others are.

    • Can you elaborate on that, please, perhaps by providing an example or two of areas you found lacking? We bought, used, and still have them, I’d like to check your concern for myself.

      • I found my copy of From Sea to Shining Sea. I will retract my statement about the lack of Catholic content. The earliest chapters do a very good job on that. The final Chapter is on Catholics in America. Looking at it again, and after now having been exposed to the American History textbooks now in use in parochial and private schools, I would definitely recommend it over what is now being used in them. My problem was that there is great number of Chapters which is pretty much like any other history book, from the events leading up to the Revolution on, except for Chapter 11.
        An example: The Battle of New Orleans at the end of the War of 1812 (actually after the treaty had been signed unbeknownst to either army) is in this History Book.
        But the miracle of our Lady of Prompt Succor is not.

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