I bought the book expecting a down-to-earth explanation of Catholic beliefs and practices; was I ever disappointed.
Much of it isn't an explanation of the faith, but rather the authors' pushing of a liberal and politically correct version of Catholicism.
I can't list all the inaccuracies here -- but one glaring one occurs in Ch. 19, where one section heading reads "Abortion: A Tough Choice." A reader totally unfamiliar with Catholicism would get the idea that abortion is a valid choice for Catholics; it's not.
A little later, the authors claim that "the church allows abortions when they are necessary to preserve the mother's life." False; the Catholic Church disapproves of abortion in all cases.
There are numerous statements about the Church's roots to the Earth (is it about Catholicism or Gaia worship?) and about how Vatican II gave "shared power" to the people (it did no such thing; Vatican II reaffirmed the definitive authority of the pope and the bishops in communion with him).
There's also a claim that Christ never directed his teaching toward the authorities of his time, but only to the people. Again, false: there's more than one instance in the Gospels where Christ specifically directs his teachings toward the authorities, namely the Pharisees and teachers of the Law.
The authors give kid-gloves treatment to classic Catholic no-no's, such as abortion, homosexual acts, birth control, and the like. For instance, they write about how the Church "has not changed his view on homosexuality at the present time." Why would it? The Church's teachings on homosexual acts are definitive acts regarding a moral issue; it cannot be changed! Not to mention that such a change would not wash with the Bible. The book is littered with doctrinal errors of this sort.
The authors also assert that the Church's survival depends on its people; another "Catholic LIte" and "power to thee people" push. This directly contradicts Christ's promise that the gates of hell will not prevail against his Church.
For the authors Christ's words apparently mean nothing in their "power to the people" scheme.
In this case (and in several others too numerous to mention here), the authors are pushing "facts" that are entirely contradictory to Scripture.
In Ch. 25 the authors state that women have moved into the mainstream of society "with the exception of the Catholic Church." This is ridiculous; women are just as much a part of the Church as of any other institution.
They complain that all the "leadership positions" are filled by men. Wrong again; lots of leadership positions in the Church (Catholic hospital directors, school principals, social service agency directors, diocesan chancellors, etc.) are open to women.
In Ch 25 the authors complain about women not being priests, ignoring the fact that John Paul II and every other recent pope has stated definitely that the Church has no authority to ordain women. This isn't explaining; it's pushing an agenda -- one that's at odds with authoritative Church teaching no less. It has no place in a book that supposedly explains Catholicism to the uninitiated.
Much of this book is but a screed pushing the authors' "Catholic Lite" view of what the church should be; in so doing, they make numerous factual and even doctrinal errors. This book bears no bishop's imprimatur; plus the title page has a statement saying that the opinions in the book are solely those of the authors.
Want to buy a book on Catholicism that explains our faith (all of it) as it really is, rather than how the "progressives" want it to be? Make sure it has a bishop's imprimatur; ask the publisher or Amazon if it does, before you buy it.
Many problems in the Church, such as the sex-abuse scandal, are the direct result of the very sort of "Catholic LIte" version of the faith that the authors are pushing. The sort of agenda pushed by the authors, and those who share their opinions, has done estensive damage to the Church and its faithful.
The book's title is a misnomer; it's not a guide to true Catholicism. It's a guide to what the authors want Catholicism to be -- a feel-good, morally relative, politically correct, overly tolerant, "lite" religion that makes people feel better about their sins, rather than strive to turn from them. Do not buy nor read this book.