U.S. Catholics Revise Textbooks to Eliminate Distortions on Jews

A systematic effort is underway in Catholic school text-book publishing to revise such books to eliminate distortions about Jews and Protestants, a nun reported here in evaluation of a study of bias in such texts.

Sister Rose Albert, chairman of the Education Department of the Dominican College in Racine, Wis., said that “at least six publishing companies are changing their religion texts in the spirit of the ecumenical movement.” She listed them as the Benzinger Press of Chicago; the St. Mary College Press of Winona, Minn.; the Father Novak Fordham Press of New York; the Fides Publishers Association of Notre Dame, Ind.; the Dubuque Priory Press of Dubuque, Iowa; and the Pius XII Religion Center of Monroe, Mich.

She reported that the new texts “do not treat the Jews as harshly” about the crucifixion, adding that most of the new books were revised or rewritten before the introduction at the Ecumenical Council of the declaration absolving Jews of all time of the charge of deicide in the death of Jesus and condemning anti-Semitism.

Sister Rose said that editors and teachers “must take great care to avoid statements that would lead young students to question the basic motivations, sincerity and integrity of their neighbors who are of other religious denominations.” She urged Catholic parents to examine their children’s textbooks and to raise questions at parent-teacher meetings if they found that the books were “deficient in the ecumenical spirit.”

NEXT STORY