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Imprimatur

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An imprimatur (Latin for "let it be printed") is a license to print granted by a bishop of the Roman Catholic Church. When the Church held secular power, as in medieval Europe before the Reformation, the imprimatur was required by printers.

The heart of the controversy of Galileo and the Church was that he obtained an imprimatur from a bishop in Florence rather than from the higher authorities in Rome, who both disapproved and felt that Galileo knew or should have known to consult them.

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