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Clerics who, according to ecclesiastical law, are appointed by the bishop of a diocese to examine before publication those writings or other media of communication that are subject to the Church's supervision. In each case, the censor is to give his judgment in writing. If this favorable, it should appear on the published work, usually under the phrase "nihil obstat," meaning "nothing hinders [publication]," along with the name of the censor. The bishop's "imprimatur" assumes a previous censorship. In religious communities a prior censorship may be required for its members. If their institute approves, the work may then be submitted to diocesan censorship. (Etym. Latin censor, a taxer, valuer, critic.)
All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.