USCCB Restricts Free Spread Of Lumen Fidei; “Just Like St. Paul Did With Book Of Galations.”

July 14, 2013 by  
Filed under Uncategorized, Vatican


Washington, DC––Just a week after the USCCB accused popular Catholic blogger and writer Brandon Vogt of “violating civil and moral law” and stealing from the Pope for making available Pope Francis’ new encyclical as a free download, USCCB officials are now stepping up efforts to justify their stance. In a written statement to the press late last night, an anonymous Bishop attempted to clarify reasons why they called on Vogt to cease providing Lumen Fidei for free, saying, “We do this in the same spirit that led St. Paul to, after having written the Book of Galations, restrict that very book to the people of Galatia without first paying for it.” But Brandon Vogt is not the only person targeted by the USCCB for  providing Church documents without a fee. Founder and CEO of Flocknote Matthew Warner was recently pressured into restricting his highly popular Read the Catechism in a Year to mere snippets of the Catechism after USCCB officials felt he too was “stealing from the Pope.” “The fact is that stealing is stealing, and we cannot justify it,” the anonymous USCCB official went on his letter. “After all, where would the Church be today if St. Peter had allowed everyone in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia to read and distribute his first Epistle without proper financial compensation?”

  • Will

    How do you think the Galatians felt about strangers reading their mail

  • Christian Schmemann

    Strange. I just checked the Vatican website, and I was able to find copies of the entire encyclical letter in several different languages. Why does the USCCB think it has a right to enforce copyrights on items that the Vatican freely posts on the internet? The only reason I can think of is that the USCCB is now starting to fear that American Catholics and other Americans will start seeing that the USCCB is more interested in neoconservative ideology than the Catholic Faith.

    Given the chasms that separate what the USCCB teaches from what the Pope teaches, I wonder if America even has any legitimate organisation of Catholic Faith? It is patently obvious that the USCCB does not teach the same Faith that the Pope teaches, given their tacit approval that the USCCB gave to Paul Ryan’s extreme Randian Objectivist politics last year via their silence. If the USCCB does not teach the same things the Pope teaches, the the USCCB is not a legitimate Catholic organization, and American Catholicism is in a state of schism with the rest of the Catholic World.

    • Sir Louis

      There is a copyright notice on the encylical at the Vatican web site. There is good reason to control the content of what purport to be copies of an encyclical. That is done through copyright. It does not mean that a royalty need be collected, nor does it prevent the copyright holder from giving blanket permission to copy a work provided that it is published complete and unchanged and that full and proper attribution is given. That’s what the Vatican should do.

      • Andy, Bad Person

        In which case they should put it in the Creative Commons. This allows them to control the content and prevent its commercialization without restricting its distribution. It’s a naked money grab by the USCCB, that wants exclusive rights to sell it.

        • Howard

          They should do the same thing with the NAB and the translation of the Mass.

  • I wish this was funny, but it’s more sad.

  • Jeremy A. Ingle

    As the editor and publisher of a Catholic newspaper, I simply applied to the Vatican Publishing House for non-exclusive rights to re-publish Lumen Fidei in my newspaper. Granted, a free permission would have been best in my opinion, but their $25 rights fee wasn’t unreasonable. I have never tried to go through the USCCB for permission on anything… I go straight to the Vatican.

    Great job on all you do, “Eye of the Tiber.” We always get a great chuckle out of your very well-done stories.

    – J.A.Ingle
    Editor/Publisher, Oremus Press

  • The problem isn’t with the restriction per se. The problem is in not spending a very small fraction of a cent to insert the details of how copyright shall be enforced that is the legitimate problem. There are only a few options:
    1. They haven’t thought of it, not being men of the world who pay attention to creative commons, in which case they might learn something and benefit the Church by lowering transaction costs with transparency while taking the opportunity to spread Jesus’ message via the mechanism of stewardship.
    2. They want to make bucks but are ashamed of it which is why they don’t post their duplication policy for all to see. This is the suspicion that is fueling outrage but is, generally, premature to say the least. Charity applies to bishops too after all.
    3. They’re organizationally fouled up and copyright policy review has been stuck in a committee since JP II’s day and frankly, nobody who can move it forward has it on the top of their to do list. This I actually find the most likely.

  • Don Lond

    if St. peter was at all discreet, he might have used a home based e-mail system like Hillary–then no one could have pilfered his words for dissemination.

  • BroVinny

    Why is Galatians spelled wrong? Or is this part of the joke?

    • Monk

      Must be some apocryphal version. In fact, many consider the whole USCCB to be apocryphal, too.