This is what they told me.
It seems so absurd to me that they would not allow use of the CCC by Catholics. Surely you want people to hear and understand the Church's message?
I don't recall Jesus demanding that His parables be copyrighted and that the Apostles needed explicit legal permission or licenses to spread the Gospel.
Use of the Catechism is the least if the worry's for the American Catholics. As you pointed out attendance is down, baptism is down and yet the USCCB "plays the fiddle as Rome burns." In a recent survey 70% of Catholics don't believe the Christ exists in the eucharist. That's a huge problem for UDCCB, play on okay on stupid as they come.
I’ve had conversations with this person myself and it simply doesn’t make sense. My understanding is that the Holy See screwed over the USCCB in the contracts which is messed up in its own right.
Is it helpful to boycott this project or is that not even putting a dent in the problem? I’d like to learn but I don’t want to promote shady tactics.
"I knew that the above statement was simply false...."
Be careful of rash judgment. I do not think you can say that.
We have to interpret everything in the best possible light. It is clear that the contracts and guidelines have certain requirements for copyright permission (such as minimizing loss of legitimate income the USCCB stands to receive as licensee of the Catechism), and that those requirements, set in stone, made it impossible to grant permission in this case. One could debate the merits of those requirements, whatever they may be, but I think charity and justice forbid us to assume that the representative was lying.
In the Catholic world, you must be 'Schmitz'd' to get anywhere. Only a handful (or slightly more) have been 'anointed'.
I admire your tenacity.
Ummmm But Ms. USCCB gave you permission, you wanted more, so why doth you protest (too much, methinks)? You end with hierarchical hostility and a universal underscore which deserves in fullness of truth to be read together with our Creed (another poorly catechized magisterium) "...we believe in one holy, catholic and apostolic Church..." i.e. Our Roman Catholic Bishops matter! But reading your bi-line (disordered pun unintended) and your October crash reveals the Trojan-horse that is your blobg ...and more the poor choice of email@example.com for publishing.
Your last name is Damian! Enough said.
But seriously, I am so glad to see a law student posting on Catholicism.
As a law student and 3L you have already taken conlaw I and maybe conlaw II as well. You should have an understanding of the theory of the Constitution by now. In brief: we have a separation of powers, bc centralized power will result in a loss of liberty for, and tyrannical abuse of, the governed.
Personally, I subscribe to that theory. I'm a big fan of the Constitution.
Now, by contrast to the Constitution, here is the canon law of the Church on who holds the power:
Can. 391 §1. It is for the diocesan bishop to govern the particular church entrusted to him with legislative, executive, and judicial power according to the norm of law.
§2. The bishop exercises legislative power himself. He exercises executive power either personally or through vicars general or episcopal vicars according to the norm of law. He exercises judicial power either personally or through the judicial vicar and judges according to the norm of law.
See any problems? I do.
Problem no. 1: no separation of powers. All the powers of governance in a diocese are in ONE person. That means he can exercise power arbitrarily or tyrannically and there are no checks on the exercise of those powers. Thus, the faithful have no defense against abuses of power.
Problem no. 2: no accountability. The bishop rules over the faithful, and he serves until he is 75. His job is secure, as he will receive a pension when he retires. If his rule is negligent, he cannot be impeached or removed from office. And of course, he cannot be voted out. Thus, the faithful have no recourse in the case of a bishop they don't like.
That should give you an idea as to why our problems are "cyclical" as you put it. Better said, they are "recurring" and insoluble. And that they are so, is indicative of a systemic problem.
Lastly, if you consider that the theory of how a bishop governs was developed during the time of the Roman emperors, you can see why its theory is based largely on history--which changes--rather than on any immutable ecclesiology.
As a young Catholic guy in law school who obviously isn't afraid to think or speak publicly, maybe you should consider, as an avocation, revolutionizing the government of the Catholic Church. Copyright issues are small potatoes.
My take has always been that the Catechism is a money maker for each national Church body, they hold exclusive rights to all printed editions, and it is available on their website for reading, as well, for free, as for access in the United States and likewise free for any English speaker in the world with internet access.
Now, you did not mention how access to your planned site was to be done, but you mentioned "start-up", plus the prior mentioned efforts were clearly subscription, all to say there was going to be money coming in. If your site was going to be free access, you should have stated so plainly.
There IS free access to the Catechism on the USCCB site, and this all strikes me as folk sore they cannot make money on the USCCB property. I think your complaint about providing links is fairly lame. It all sounds rather entitled to me.
I wanted a copy at home so i did it the old fashioned way and bought one. And no computer required, no internet required, powered by sunshine if no electricity available.
Meanwhile, you act as if folk are being denied oxygen because you were not allowed to use someone else's property for own site traffic builder/money maker. And act as if your generation is simply incapable of reading or comprehending anything without guidance or electronic devices.
Thanks for this great article. My friends and I refer to the American Church as Catholic, Inc. It’s rather bewildering, actually, and I think Pope Francis gets it right when he speaks of the idolatry of money. That is the link between clericalism and the rest of the rot, including the horde of lawyers. I work for the church: I’ve never had a more infuriating or less humane employer. What does that say? But you are so right to continue your work. As you say, we ARE the Church.
For 18 months, our family dinner time has ended with reading a short passage from the CCC with commentary to make it accessible for our children (at least those old enough to understand). One thing I discovered is that the text is beautifully written (for the most part), but benefits tremendously from oral presentation (especially for younger listeners). I'm also a professional musician and lay apologist, and for months, I've been planning a podcast in which I accompany reading of the CCC with newly composed background music, and then provide commentary to draw out points for new Catholics and interested non-Catholic listeners. These are two populations that are not likely to take a deep dive into the Catechism, but might be drawn in by a new way of sharing its content. How frustrating to learn that this podcast might not see the light of day. That said, I just reviewed fair use (https://www.copyright.gov/fair-use/more-info.html), and certainly a creative or critical engagement of the text such as this might hold up in court as fair use. (Curious what Chris's take is on this position.) In any case, thanks for documenting your experience.
Why not just use an older catechism? The Catechism of St. Pius X, or the Baltimore Catechism, or the Catechism of Trent?
My Synod comment is "If we are called to defend the Faith on issues of abortion, homosexuality, trans ____, etc., how is the common catholic supposed to defend the Faith if it is not explained from the pulpit? Perhaps the answers could be found in the catechism.......
From what I understand, the USCCB has the exclusive rights to publish the English translation of the Catechism. The copyright to the original text, however, is held in Rome and is subject to Italian copyright laws. The USCCB does not have the authority or permission to grant usage rights to the text.
For example: St. Charles Boromeo Catholic Church in Picayune, Mississippi has a searchable, indexed version of The Second Edition English Translation of the Catechism of the Catholic Church on their website. The copyright permission is listed as:
Copyright permission for posting of the english translation of the CATECHISM OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH on the Saint Charles Borromeo Catholic Church web site was granted by Amministrazione Del Patrimonio Della Sede Apostolica, case number 130389.
Flocknote/Matt Warner has been sending out Catechism in a Year daily emails for several years now. I know because I've been getting them in my inbox since October of 2012. In early 2013, they switched to the YouCat as a temporary workaround for the copyright issues, and then later got permission from the USCCB to directly use the text from the CCCC/Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church and link to the full Catechism text (don't have enough time at the moment to dig around gmail to figure out when that switch happened).