An imprimi potest, a nihil obstat and an imprimatur (by Richard Cushing) on a book published by Random House in 1953. The book in question is the English translation by Louis J. Gallagher, S.J. of De Christiana expeditione apud Sinas by Matteo Ricci, S.J. and Nicolas Trigault, S.J.

Nihil obstat is an "attestation by a church censor that a book contains nothing damaging to faith or morals".[1] The Censor Librorum delegated by a bishop of the Roman Catholic Church reviews the text in question, but the nihil obstat is not a certification that those granting it agree with the contents, opinions or statements expressed in the work; instead, it merely confirms "that it contains nothing contrary to faith or morals."[1]

Translated into English, this Latin phrase means "nothing hinders" or "nothing stands in the way".[1][2] It is therefore also used to indicate that a proposal or idea in the general sense has no opposition.

The nihil obstat is the first step, along with the imprimi potest, toward the granting of an Imprimatur. Under older Canon Law, a book written by a member of a religious order had to receive two nihil obstats by members of the order to receive the imprimi potest.

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 citation needed
  2. citation needed

External links

gl:Nihil obstatpt:Nihil obstat

sk:Nihil obstat

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