Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Sungenis' Books Continue to Lack Imprimaturs

It appears that Sungenis' long-standing difficulty in procuring imprimaturs for his books continues unabated. And while Sungenis has framed his difficulties as related solely to Bishop Rhoades as of late, the evidence proves otherwise.

Before any of them were written, Sungenis presumptuously assured his patrons that all of his CASB volumes would have imprimaturs. In doing so, he attempted to prematurely appropriate official Catholic clout in an effort to prime the well for the sale of his books. And as a result, he made a public issue of this matter. One cannot reasonably trumpet the expectation of an imprimatur in public in order to facilitate sales and then object when a denial of the same is also brought out in public. And clearly, Catholics have a legitimate right to know when a book with the word "Catholic" in the title and that deals with the Scriptures and theology has been refused the Church's official approbation.

To date, it appears that all three of Sungenis' "Catholic Apologetics Study Bible" (CASB) volumes have been rejected for an imprimatur. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) rejected his translation of Matthew in CASB1 because it was not actually a new translation, in spite of Sungenis' grand characterization of his work and also because of what the USCCB described as his use of "dynamic equivalency" in this translation (see here).

It should be noted that Sungenis continues to sell this unauthorized translation, apparently in direct violation of Canon Law: see Canon 825.

Although Sungenis had presumptuously assured his patrons that CASB 2 (The Apocalypse) would contain the Church's imprimatur before he had even submitted it for review (see here), CASB2 was rejected by Bishop Rhoades in early December, 2006. Sungenis and a few of his supporters then engaged in a campaign of deception designed to hide that rejection:

Sungenis and the CASB 2 (Apocalypse of St. John): More Source-Reference Problems

Sungenis and Co. Evasive on Simple Questions about Catholic Apologetics Study Bible (CASB) and Canon Law

Sungenis Smears Bishop, Continues to Mislead and Distort the Record

Sungenis then claimed to have submitted CASB2 to another bishop shortly thereafter (early 2007):

In fact, a little while after I received Bishop Rhoades letter, I wrote to Queenship Publishing and told them I would like to apply for an imprimatur for the CASB2 in Queenship's diocese. They obliged and the matter is in process (Sungenis, Jacob Michael, the Imprimatur and the Smear Campaign, p. 1; no longer available on-line.)

It has been almost a year and a half since then, yet no imprimatur has appeared on CASB2. Therefore, if Sungenis was telling the truth about submitting CASB2 to another bishop, it seems safe to conclude that the other bishop has rejected it as well.

Sungenis also claimed to have submitted CASB3 (Romans and James) to another bishop and he was waiting for approval before publishing it (see here).

However, CASB3 has been published and there is no mention of any imprimatur by Sungenis (here). As such, it seems reasonable to conclude that CASB3 has been rejected by another bishop as well.

Another interesting fact about a recent Sungenis book has been illuminated at Wikipedia as well. Galileo Was Wrong, which is substantially the same as the "doctoral dissertation" Sungenis submitted to Calumus International University for a Ph.D. in theology (see Just What the Doctor Ordered?) was refused consideration for an imprimatur because the book was judged as "primarily one of philosophy and science and not one that is primarily theological in nature" (see here). One might naturally ask how a work that focused primarily on philosophy and science could serve as a dissertation for a putative Ph.D. in theology.

In the end, it is noteworthy that Sungenis has not received an imprimatur on any of his books over the last 10 years.