CTS is publishing Jesus of Nazareth II, the release of which is now only 11 days away. We asked Commissioning Editor Pierpaolo Finaldi about the work involved in putting together such an important book. Catholic Compass: How did the CTS end up publishing Vol. II, when Volume I was published by Doubleday in America and by Harry Potter’s Publishers, Bloomsbury in the UK?
“In the past decade there has definitely been a move by the Vatican publishing house, who control the rights to the Pope’s writings, towards ensuring that Catholic books are published by Catholic Publishing houses. I think it’s only fair that when the really big official or semi-official Catholic publishing events come around that they don’t get creamed off by secular publishers who the rest of the time don’t give a hoot about religion and sometimes devote a great proportion of their list to denigrating it.
“l also think that it reflects the thinking behind the norms in Liturgiam Authenticam (2000) which required that in future all Liturgical books should be published by companies whose publishing list is in accordance with the teaching of the Church.
“The world English rights for Jesus of Nazareth II were given to the American Publisher Ignatius Press with whom CTS has been working closely over the past few years, and after the successful publication of Light of the World by them and us, they licenced the book to the CTS for the UK and Ireland.”
Catholic Compass: Tell us briefly what stages publishing something like this involves?
“Pope Benedict wrote many famous books before he became Pope and he has some longstanding agreements with publishers, for example Herder in Germany and Ignatius in America. Since he Became Pope the rights to all his texts have been dealt with by Libreria Editrice Vaticana and they have honoured those agreements.
“The Pope writes in German so translations need to be prepared. Some texts, such as this one are translated by the Vatican Secretariat of State, and others, like Light of the World are translated at the behest of the publishers. On that one, Ignatius did an amazing job at very short notice.
“Most Publishers have distribution partners for other territories and this book fell into that category. I think Ignatius was also happy to work with us because of the long-standing service we have provided to the Papal magisterium since CTS began.”
Catholic Compass: How long have the CTS been working on Jesus of Nazareth Vol. II?<
“It’s been known for a long while that this book was coming out so we’ve been preparing for this for about a year.”
Catholic Compass: What does this project mean for the CTS?
“CTS exists to publish and promote Catholic teaching and practice through the written word and there’s a beautiful symmetry to the fact that we are publishing Jesus of Nazareth II and the New Missal in the same year. What an opportunity for catechesis… to get to know Jesus and the Mass better! Lex orandi and lex credendi what we believe and what we practice. These are exciting times for the CTS and the Church at large.”