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The Encyclopedia bears the imprimatur of the Most Reverend Archbishop under whose jurisdiction it is published.
In constituting the Editors the ecclesiastical censors, he has given them a singular proof of his confidence and of his desire to facilitate the publication of the work which he has promoted most effectively by his influence and kindly co-operation.
Contributors have been chosen for their special knowledge and skill in presenting the subject, and they assume the responsibility for what they have written.
As for Catholics, their duty as members of the Church impels them to learn more and more fully its principles; while among Protestants the desire for a more intimate and accurate knowledge of things Catholic increases in proportion to the growth of the Church in numbers and in importance.
The Catholic clergy are naturally expected to direct inquirers to sources of the needed information; yet they find only too often that the proper answers to the questions proposed are not to be met with in English literature.
The Editors are fully aware that there is no specifically Catholic science, that mathematics, physiology and other branches of human knowledge are neither Catholic, Jewish, nor Protestant; but when it is commonly asserted that Catholic principles are an obstacle to scientific research, it seems not only proper but needful to register what and how much Catholics have contributed to every department of knowledge.
No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe.
What the Church teaches and has taught; what she has done and is still doing for the highest welfare of mankind; her methods, past and present; her struggles, her triumphs, and the achievements of her members, not only for her own immediate benefit, but for the broadening and deepening of all true science, literature and art all come within the scope of the Catholic Encyclopedia.