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It was designed "to give its readers full and authoritative information on the entire cycle of Catholic interests, action and doctrine".
The Catholic Encyclopedia was published by the Robert Appleton Company, a publishing company incorporated at New York in February 1905 for the express purpose of publishing the encyclopedia.
In particular, it predates the creation of the Vatican City State (1929) and the Second Vatican Council (1962–1965), which introduced many significant changes in Catholic practice: For example, the online version of the entries on Judaism and Islam at states in an editorial note: "To complement this article, which was taken from the 1910 Catholic Encyclopedia, New Advent recommends a prayerful reading of 'Nostra Aetate' from the Second Vatican Council." The editors had their first editorial meeting at the office of The Messenger, on West 16th Street, New York City.
The text received a nihil obstat from an official censor, Remy Lafort, on November 1, 1908 and an imprimatur from John Murphy Farley, Archbishop of New York.
This review process was presumably accelerated by the reuse of older authorized publications.
The five members of the encyclopedia's Editorial Board also served as the directors of the company.
In 1912 the company's name was changed to The Encyclopedia Press.
is an English-language encyclopedia published in the United States.
It offers in-depth portrayals of historical and philosophical ideas, persons and events, from a Catholic perspective, including issues that divide Catholicism from Protestantism and other faith communities.Since the encyclopedia was first published starting in 1907 and has never been updated (versus the New Catholic Encyclopedia), many of its entries may be out of date either with respect to the wider culture or to the Catholic ecclesiastical world.It records the accomplishments of Catholics and others in nearly all intellectual and professional pursuits, including artists, educators, poets and scientists.While more limited in focus than other general encyclopedias, it was far broader in scope than previous efforts at comprehensive Catholic encyclopedias, which had studied only internal Church affairs.
Publication of the encyclopedia's volumes was the sole business conducted by the company during the project's lifetime.
The encyclopedia was designed to serve the Roman Catholic Church, concentrating on information related to the Church and explaining matters from the Catholic point of view.