By Mary Beth Baker
As a Catholic author, you know that the books you write have the potential to be more instrumental in people’s lives than any other books they might read. You’re not just grappling with ideas or telling great stories, you’re sharing Truth—and that means you also have the responsibility to ensure that what you write is in line with the Church’s teachings. This is so important that the Code of Canon Law requires that many books written on topics of faith and morals be submitted to a bishop (either the author’s bishop or the publisher’s) for judgment before publication. At Our Sunday Visitor, we take this responsibility seriously, both for our authors and for our readers, and we submit many of our titles to our bishop for review and approval before publication. When the bishop gives a book his approval, this is known as the imprimatur, which means “it may be printed.”
According to Canon Law, books that should be submitted for imprimatur are prayer books, catechisms and catechetical works, and books on Sacred Scripture, theology, canon law, ecclesiastical history, and religious or moral disciplines. While some of the books we publish do not fall specifically into any of these categories and therefore do not require an imprimatur, OSV still seeks theological review of many of our titles before publication. We are deeply committed, with our authors, to publishing works that can truly do good and help people know, live, and love their faith better. If you have questions about the imprimatur or think that your book may need one, ask your editor. We will work with you to ensure that your book has everything it needs to be an authoritative, inspiring, and maybe even life-changing resource.