Religious Ed Curriculum Upheaval

September 11, 2007

Interesting news coming from the religious education world today. A non-denominational Christian group, CFM Religion Publishing Group, recently purchased Benziger and Resources for Christian Living religious education programs. Both of these programs are what you expect to find in Catholic parishes: watered-down pap that is only on the USCCB’s approved religious ed list because it doesn’t contain anything explicitly heretical. If you don’t grasp the fine distinction between orthodox and not-heretical, read this.

Last Friday the new company, RCL Benziger, announced the acquisition of the Silver Burdett Ginn religious education series, another nominally Catholic program. A partial review of the First Communion program is available.

The company behind CFM Religion Publishing Group is The Wicks Group, a venture capital company. The web site describes CFM Religion Publishing Group’s offering as “The Company offers true-to-the-Bible materials including classroom and group-based curricula, books, and magazines, as well as Christian-themed toys and games”.

Considering that the buyer has no experience in the Catholic market and the three absorbed publishers have no experience producing quality, orthodox, Catholic education material, it’s a match made in Heaven.

Hat tip to People of the Book.

Funny, the People of the Book blogger mentions that “Loyola Press (for whom he works) and Sadlier are the other two publishers of Catholic religion curriculum” but doesn’t mention the only companies that are actually producing high quality, no-question-orthodox religious education programs, Ignatius Press and Midwest Theological Forum.

Ignatius Press produces Faith and Life and Image of God series for grade school and Midwest Theological Forum produces the Didache series for high school. If you actually want your children to live the Faith and stay Catholic, I suggest that instead of taking your chances with everything else that passes for Catholic religious ed, you take a look at these series.

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