Find accurate definitions of over 5,000 Catholic terms and phrases (including abbreviations). Based on Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.
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The Latin term for "let it be printed," which signifies the approval by a bishop of a religious work for publication. Authors are at liberty to obtain the imprimatur either from the bishop where they reside, or where the book is to be published, or where it is printed. Generally the imprimatur, along with the bishop's name and date of approval, is to be shown in the publication. According to a decree of the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (1975), "the Pastors of the Church have the duty and the right to be vigilant lest the faith and morals of the faithful be harmed by writings; and consequently even to demand that the publication of writings concerning the faith and morals should be submitted to the Church's approval, and also to condemn books and writings that attack faith or morals." (Etym. Latin imprimere, to impress, stamp imprint.)