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Publisher of the Month: The Catholic Truth Society

Our Publisher of the Month feature is a quick way to learn more about a religious publisher and their publications.

The Catholic Truth Society recently celebrated 150 years of publishing. The enterprise was started by a young priest (Father, later Cardinal, Herbert Vaughan) who was inspired by what he had seen in the United States. It was there that Protestant tract societies at the time were handing out huge numbers of often virulently anti-Catholic pamphlets. "Father Vaughan decided to meet them on their own ground," explains the CEO Pierapolo Finaldi, "and respond by publishing small inexpensive booklets and tracts that would educate and inform Catholics about their own faith and be a starting point for enquirers who were curious about the Catholic faith and its teachings."

Catholic Truth Society

Pierpaolo Finaldi - CEO

Now, 150 years on, and 7,000 different publications later, the CTS is still very much in business and is currently engaged in the same work: namely, expounding the truths of the Catholic faith to believers and nonbelievers alike. From its beginning, the founders of the CTS recognized the importance of supporting both the intellectual, devotional and liturgical life of British Catholics. Prayer books of various sizes and lengths were the stable publications produced by the CTS, with its Simple Prayer Book alone having sold, so far, more than 20 million copies. "We currently publish in every format, from prayer cards to leather-bound altar missals and pretty much everything in between," says Finaldi.

Praying the Our Father in Lent Carlo Acutis

So how does the CTS, intend to maintain the continuity of tradition in the digital age? "The CTS has a brand-new website serving customers across the world," says Finaldi. "We have a YouTube channel and are investing in podcasts as well as making use of social media. We are on Amazon, but we still have a hard presence through our bookracks in Catholic parishes across the UK.

Many see the digital revolution, as sounding the death knell for traditional books and their publishers: not so Finaldi. "With regards to books, the digital revolution seems to have come and gone. We are physical beings, and, as the Church has always recognized in her sacramental life, we need and love physical objects. Having said that, many of our books are also available in e-book format and we are investing in podcasts too."

Seeing the Pandemic Church Against Racism

Whether e-book, audiobook, podcast or just plain paper book, the question for every publisher is: What to publish? "The CTS has always tried to steer a middle course of dynamic orthodoxy. We look for texts that are not too academic and also not too banal. They have to be current but not modish, traditional but not reactionary, faithful but not dogmatic (in the bad sense), beautiful but not frivolous, simple but not too austere. Sometimes a book is not perfect but deals with a subject that is important and therefore must be done."


Reciprocity Life in Christ
Fratelli Tutti