Page 6, 11th November 1938

11th November 1938
Page 6
Page 6, 11th November 1938 — IMPRIMATUR AND THE CLERGY

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Locations: Surrey


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SIR,—In a recent article Mr. Gwynn wrote that a priest was always obliged to have an imprimatur to whatever book he wished to,publish. This is not so. He is subject to the ordinary rules for the preliminary examination of books. What he is bound beyond that to do is to ask leave of his bishop (of his superior, if he is a religious), to publish any kind of book, " in obsequium," as a sign of respectful submission.

The rules for the prohibition of books are often spoken of as the " Index." For example, it is asked, " Does the Index bind?" The question should be " Do the rules for the prohibition of books bind?" The Index is a list, published quite rarely, of condemned books. A book is on the Index because it is condemned, not vice versa. If my memory does not play me false, the last edition of the Index was about ten years ago. Perhaps there was a reprint in 1933.

EDWARD FENNESSY (REV.). St. Edward's, Sutton Park, Guildford, Surrey.

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