Choosing Catholic Publishers and Books

Following up on yesterday’s post about the anti-holiness kids book published by Paulist Press, I thought it might be helpful to go through the various publishers we deal with to help you make decisions as individual readers and also as Catholic store owners when you are trying to choose titles to carry.

This is very important to us because of our Good Faith Guarantee.

Basically, we divide our publishers into five groups:

  1. Pope Benedict’s Library. These publishers make a point of carrying books that promote and defend the Faith. You can pretty much order any book from them without worry that the content is questionably Catholic. These books are also distinguished by their substantial content – no fluff here.
  2. The University of Steubenville Library – Very good books for the most part with a few fluffy titles and possible a stray questionable title in the mix. Ninety-five percent of the time you can buy from them without a worry.
  3. The Parish Library – You can find some very good stuff here, you can find some very bad stuff here. It all depends on who the librarian was.
  4. The Matthew Fox Circle of Energy Reading Room – Don’t buy anything from this publisher unless you find it on our site. They don’t have any problem publishing heresy with a few stray orthodox titles that somehow got mixed in.
  5. The Marcus Aurelius Library – These are books from publishers that aren’t Catholic and the books may not necessarily be specifically Catholic but have a Catholic world view.

Before I actually provide the list, please be aware that we aren’t the arbiters of orthodoxy, we just go by what the Church teaches and make our own judgments based on that. If you happen to be a publisher and think you are being unfairly categorized please contact us so we can update our list. This list isn’t meant to be a blanket condemnation of any publishers either. There are always a few good books available from any of these companies and by buying those books you will encourage them to produce more good titles.

I have moved the list over to our bookstore so it can be kept current there.
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10 Responses to Choosing Catholic Publishers and Books

  1. Rachel says:

    Very good information, thank you.

  2. Donald says:

    Thank you for this very helpful list.
    I can tell you that ALBA is connected with the Daughters of Saint Paul,
    some good titles but some questionable too. AVE MARIA Press, same thing,a
    a mix of quite a bit of questionable with some very good.

  3. Brian says:

    You might want to look at and review Regina Press as well.

    http://www.reginapress.com/rp/index.php

  4. Ray from MN says:

    Here are two publishers and Loome’s Theological Books for used rare and out of priint books.

    Bethlehem Books, Bathgate, ND, Wholesome, Character Building Literature
    http://www.bethlehembooks.com/

    Loome Theological Booksellers – Stillwater – Largest in the U.S.A. Used, Rare and Out of Prinit
    http://www.loomebooks.com/

    St Mary’s Press, Winona – Publications and Services for Catholic Youth
    http://www.smp.org/index.cfm

  5. Willi says:

    I think that you mean the Franciscan University bookstore, not the library. The good folks at the bookstore try very hard to choose orthodox books for their customers. On the other hand, the library has to provide books from many viewpoints, including those authors who are not orthodox, so that the students can learn to evaluate materials.

  6. James says:

    I lost my teaching position over this stuff! Sadly my former parish chose Loyola Press for their catechetical series called Christ Our Life. Talk about dissident, many references and suggested readings from the teachers manual are from none other than the great Karl Rahner, Peter Phan, and last but not least, AL GORE! If that’s their “references” then who’s writing the text? I have a pretty good idea. Only a few “token” orthodox theologians are included to keep (most of) the wolves at bay.

    Ever talk to a wall? That’s the kind of response received when they were challenged. I liked Ignatius Press’ Image of God. They didn’t. Too much Fr. Joe Fessio, I guess.

    As such, it’s no SMALL thing to pick not just a doctrinally correct text (i.e. USCCB list of approved texts) but one that teaches orthodoxy BOLDLY! Without wimping away from the uniquely “Cathollic” teaching on morality.

    Arrgghh….to live in a liberal diocese….

  7. killianm says:

    This posting was helpful to me today in more ways than you could know. Thanks for putting this resource together.

  8. Willliam Miller says:

    Wonderful stuff.

    There is a typo. Family Life Center is run by Steve Wood, not Steve Ray.

    Christmas blessings.

  9. Scott says:

    I recently heard about a protestant publisher of old, out-of-print children’s fiction with good moral messages: http://www.lamplighterpublishing.com. I’ve been looking for a Catholic alternative – with little luck. I’ll try some of the sites you mention here, but I’d also like to know if the Lamplighter books pose any significant doctrinal problems.

    Thanks for this list. It is most helpful.

  10. […] of Musings from a Catholic Bookstore provides us with criteria for good, orthodox Catholic books and publishers. (The full list can be found at Aquinas and More, his bookstore.) I appreciate his including […]

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