Page 6, 28th October 1938

28th October 1938
Page 6
Page 6, 28th October 1938 — REFUSAL OF IMPRIMATUR

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People: Denis Gwynn
Locations: Surrey


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Ste,—Calling attention, this week, to Mr. Denis Gwynn's article in the Dublin Review, you state (in italics) : " It appears, in fact, to be the general rule that the imprimatur will be refused to any book by a non-Catholic." And the statement recurs, in a context somewhat more pointed, where you quote Mr. Gwynn verbatim.

But is that really so? A censor, of course, could not give a " nihil obstat " to a book by law forbidden. But Canon Law touching this point (1399, §4) does not forbid books written by non-Catholics even when they professedly treat of religion, so long as it is certain that they contain nothing contrary to the Catholic faith. On what grounds, then, could a censor, carrying out the instructions given him in Canon 1393, § 2, refuse the " nihil obstat " to such a book? Are you perfectly sure that it has ever been done? I am honestly asking for information.

Also, as an example of " irritating and unnecessary rules " you mention " insistence upon Scriptural quotations in the Douai version." Is " insistence " quite the right word? Is there any constant record of the refusal of the imprimatur on these grounds? There would naturally be a genera! preference for quotations in the Douai version, as a rule: but that cannot justly he called irritating and unnecessary: it is merely reasonable. The trouble here lies in that word " insistence."


114, Maple Road, Surbiton, Surrey.

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