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Imprimatur #104426
09/22/04 10:08 PM
09/22/04 10:08 PM
Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 1,252
New Mexico USA
paromer Offline OP
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paromer  Offline OP
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Dear Friends,

I was taught to look for a Nihil Obstat and Imprimatur (by a Catholic bishop) on Roman Catholic books. This assures me that the work has no errors in Catholic faith and morals.

Does the Byzantine Church have equivalent
approvals of religious books?

BTW I have seen the words, "With Ecclesiastical Approbation" on a leaflet published by Byzantine Seminary Press.

Christ is our peace.

Paul

Re: Imprimatur #104427
09/23/04 07:03 PM
09/23/04 07:03 PM
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Pittsburgh, PA
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Bill from Pgh
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Dear Paul,

The "Byzantine Book of Prayer" from Byzantine Seminary Press does have them.

They read,

Nihil Obstat:
Reverend Msgr. Alan Borsuk

Imprimatur:
+ Judson M. Procyk, D.D.
Metropolitan Archbishop of Pittsburgh


I believe they're used in the Catholic Churches for approved Bibles, Prayerbooks, and catechetical works.

Bill

Re: Imprimatur #104428
09/23/04 07:46 PM
09/23/04 07:46 PM
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byzanTN Offline
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I remember back in the 60s a Dutch Catechism was published with all the necessary ecclesiastical approvals. It was withdrawn and revised for being heretical. You still have to look at books carefully, since you never know how closely the authorities actually read them. I think something can slip by occasionaly, but in general those approvals are pretty good guarantees that the works contain nothing contrary to faith and morals.

Re: Imprimatur #104429
09/23/04 09:00 PM
09/23/04 09:00 PM
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Hermitage, PA
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Chtec Offline
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Among the Orthodox, it is common to see a book (typically of a liturgical or devotional nature) printed "with the blessing" of a particular hierarch, Synod, etc. This serves the same function as the Imprimatur and Nihil Obstat.

This same style seems to be used among many Greek Catholics as well. For example, the Malyj Trebnik from Rome has the phrase "With the Blessings of the Holy Roman Apostolic Throne."

Dave

Re: Imprimatur #104430
09/23/04 09:34 PM
09/23/04 09:34 PM
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Kansas/UGCC
Diak Offline
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Paul, like most things Eastern, it depends. smile

I do agree with Dave's observations. Today many Greek Catholic books use language such as "with the blessing of so and so", "ecclesiastical approbation", etc. and not a formal imprimatur.

Up through the 1970s you can commonly find the nihil obstat and imprimatur in Greek Catholic liturgical and theological books. No doubt a reflection of latinizations in the process.

Bishop Raya [like in Byzantine Daily Worship] used to give himself the imprimatur just as a formality. wink That way he didn't have to worry about interjected Latinizations by giving it to someone else to get the imprimatur. Finally both he and Archbishop Elias [Zogby] just stopped it entirely in the 1970s as did many Eastern Catholic writers. No one in Rome said a word about discontinuing this practice.

Archimandrite Robert Taft, a Greek Catholic Jesuit, has written perhaps the greatest and most profound work on the Liturgy of the Hours in existence [in both the East and West]. It carries no imprimatur.

There are still occasionally rare exceptions. Fr. George Appleyard wrote a book entitled "Light of the East", written specifically for Latin RCIA programs as a primer to Eastern Catholics.

He did procure an imprimatur, and to my understanding it was only because it was written specifically for the Latins and thus had to be presented to various Latin bishops for approval to use in RCIA programs. The more conservative Latin bishops will often not allow anything catechetical without an imprimatur.

Re: Imprimatur #104431
09/23/04 10:05 PM
09/23/04 10:05 PM
Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 1,252
New Mexico USA
paromer Offline OP
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paromer  Offline OP
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Thanks to all of you for the good answers to my question.

I don't want to be an expert on approvals for Catholic reading materials, but as a homeschooling catechist I look for an imprimatur on Bibles, including children's Bibles, catechisms, and books on the lives of the saints.

God bless you,

Paul

Re: Imprimatur #104432
09/23/04 10:13 PM
09/23/04 10:13 PM
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Chtec Offline
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I just remembered a small prayer booklet for children that was prepared by the Metropolia (now the OCA) sometime in the 1950's or so. In the front, it had something to the effect of:

"Nothing Objectionable: Fr. Georges Florovsky
Approved for Publication: Metropolitan +Leonty"

So, there are cases of Orthodox publications using the Latin style if not the actual Latin words.

Dave

Re: Imprimatur #104433
09/23/04 10:22 PM
09/23/04 10:22 PM
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Diak Offline
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Paul, I do see your concern, which is completely understandable from your perspective as a Latin homeschooling dad. You want an objective call from the hierarchy that the book is free of error for Catholics. That used to be the purpose of the nihil obstat and imprimatur, both of which were necessary for a book to be considered "Catholic".

But as you most certainly know, one must still be vigilant and look everything over before using it. I have seen books full of garbage with imprimaturs.

As a Greek Catholic homeschooling dad I admittedly have a very different perspective on this issue, as most of the catechetical works and prayer books we use at home are Orthodox.

Dave, I also remember seeing something in Russian, perhaps from Bulgakov, at least in that time frame, that had something very similar to what you have described in the cover.

Re: Imprimatur #104434
09/23/04 10:39 PM
09/23/04 10:39 PM
Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 1,252
New Mexico USA
paromer Offline OP
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paromer  Offline OP
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Diak,

I understand what you are saying. An imprimatur is not magic and there are orthodox materials that do not have official church approval. God gave us the Holy Spirit to discern good from evil, orthodox from unorthodox.

I have run into questionable catechisms that did have a bishop's imprimatur. That little voice inside of me said to look elsewhere for Catholic teaching for my children.

Thanks be to God! There are a number of orthodox Catholic children's catechisms on the market.

Paul

Re: Imprimatur #104435
09/24/04 08:04 AM
09/24/04 08:04 AM
Joined: Nov 2001
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Canada
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Dear Friends,

I get a chuckle from these kind of discussions when it comes to the approval of Bible translations.

I can see this on the inside of the first page:

"The Nihil Obstat only guarantees that what is written herein is free from formal error and therefore may be published.

"However, the Nihil Obstat in no way affirms that the church authorities granting it necessarily agree with the contents . . ." smile

Alex

Re: Imprimatur #104436
09/24/04 09:31 PM
09/24/04 09:31 PM
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Pittsburgh, PA
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Bill from Pgh
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Dear Alex,

I read pretty much the same thing this morning.

So what does it mean? That it gaurantees there are no guarantees?

Bill


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