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I was buying a new suit. I wanted to make sure it was black and not navy blue, so I asked another shopper about the color. I’m color blind. I often have to ask someone about colors. Blue, pink, purple, and black can all look the same to me, depending on the shade. Brown, red, maroon, and green cause me great difficulty. For me, confusion best describes the experience of trying to distinguish one color from another. Consulting someone saves me from appearing in public wearing embarrassing color combinations. I need someone else’s seal of approval, the guidance of someone I trust, someone who wouldn’t steer me wrong.
I went through a similar process in the production of this article. Someone read this after I wrote it and made suggestions and edits. The cut-and-paste process was shared. Someone asked, “Is this what you wanted to say?” Someone else suggested, “Maybe it’s better to say it this way.” At Liguorian, editors and designers review this publication and all its parts before it’s printed and posted on the internet to determine if it is accurate and of value. With many texts in the Catholic world, publishers often seek an imprimatur before publishing a work.
The word imprimatur comes from the Latin imprimere, which means to imprint. An imprimatur simply states that after a process of review and evaluation by the Church—usually someone in authority or someone who has knowledge of the topic—the publisher is given permission to print the piece that was reviewed. It’s a kind of declaration, stating, “Let this be printed!”