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Definition:   The declaration that a book or other writing does not contain any error related to Catholic doctrine or moral teaching. It is therefore acceptable for Catholics. A book must be granted the imprimatur or it may not be published. Canon Law (822) demands that all writings that discuss faith or morals be submitted for approval to the bishop of the jurisdiction where the author or publisher resides. In order to receive an imprimatur, the author must cooperate with a designated censor who then provides the bishop with a nihil obstat (Latin: nothing hinders).

DiscussionCatholics are required to submit their minds and wills completely to the authority and teaching of their bishop, who is deemed to have the gift of infallible teaching. Private interpretation is forbidden to both priest and laity. This is another example of the cultic nature of Catholicism – leaders cutting followers off from the truth. It is the duty of all Christians to search the scriptures to confirm that they are receiving correct teaching (Acts 17:11). The true infallible teacher (the Holy Spirit) guides the Christian in the truth (1 Jn. 2:27).

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