Vatican to work with Apple, iTunes to produce e-books

From CNA:

Vatican publisher enters e-book market in Italiano
Posted on August 30, 2012 by Cindy Wooden

VATICAN CITY — The Vatican publishing house’s exclusive contract with Apple to market a series of books through iTunes made headlines in Italy, where it marked a real breakthrough.

For the first time, books published directly by the Libreria Editrice Vaticana (LEV), are available electronically.

The 13 e-books are only in Italian and only cover LEV’s illustrated thematic collections of Pope Benedict XVI’s weekly general audience talks on subjects including: praying with the Psalms; the Apostles; Paul and the first disciples; and the early fathers of the church.

LEV licenses other publishers around the world to release and market the collections in other languages, both in print and in electronic form. Ignatius Press offers both the printed and electronic versions of the audience collections in the United States. Father Costa said the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops also has the rights to the electronic version in English.

(The bishops’ conference publishing office already offers thematic collections of papal talks — on the Eucharist and on Mary, among other subjects — in e-book form through its online bookstore, iTunes and Amazon.)

Father Costa said LEV chose Apple for its e-book rollout because Apple was the first company to approach the Vatican about handling electronic versions of its books in Italian. While Italian collections of the pope’s audience talks will remain with Apple, he said LEV is likely to work with Amazon on producing other e-books in Italian.


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  1. Mike Morrow says:

    So…an “exclusive contract with Apple”. That’s great…Vatican aligning with Apple, whose corporation policies advance extreme left-wing and liberal causes…especially abortion.

    Just great. I feel so proud.

  2. TC says:


    So much for the new evangelisation. It’s bad enough that all Catholic Bibles, missals, hymnals &c are locked up in copyright (ever hear of creative commons?) and exclusive publishing contracts; now the Vatican is allying itself with slave-driving, gay-marriage supporting Apple.
    Why has the Church been behind the curve on every new infotech since the printing press? It is to weep.

  3. Supertradmum says:

    Commentators, if we avoided all businesses which support abortion, we would not be using laptops, desktops, the Internet and commenting on this blog.

    This is the sad truth. If more pro-life Catholics went into the tech business, I would be happy with alternatives. As it is, we are all caught in this death-web, unless we totally give up journalism and the use of any form of media.

    This is a good move and we do not have much time to evangelize and get the Word across before our freedoms and access end. Already there are laws lined up in the EU which would make many of the Pope’s and the Church’s statements illegal. We do not have much time.

  4. Michelle F says:

    Please don’t get too worked up over the Vatican’s contract with Apple. The article says that the reason they went with Apple was that Apple was the first company to ask them whether they could distribute their books. The Vatican didn’t choose them because they like Apple – although I think they are a little too fixated on Apple products (iPhone app, Holy Father’s iPod, etc.).

    I would like to see more books and other publications coming from official Catholic sources such as the Vatican. I checked the Ignatius Press link above and it wasn’t working, but I think it was a problem at Ignatius Press’ end.

    I also looked at the USCCB’s website. I noticed their books are in e-book or e-pub format. They didn’t explain what they meant by “e-book” format, so I did a Google search. It looks like their “e-book” format is for use with a web browser, not an e-book reader device.

    Someone should tell the Vatican and the USCCB about the Mobipocket (*.mobi) format. This can be read on Kindle devices (wonderful little things!), and they wouldn’t have to deal with Amazon in order to distribute the books.

  5. Supertradmum says:

    I just checked the Ignatius site and it is working. As to Amazon, which does support PP, again, in Europe, there are few choices as to getting certain books, either in print or e-books.

  6. Andrew says:

    “LEV is likely to work with Amazon on producing other e-books in Italian.”

    Why? And why Amazon? What can Amazon contribute? The technology to produce these things is widely accessible to enyone, isn’t it? Why do you need to hook up with an institution that publicly supports policies aimed to undermined the institution of marriage? Why not just record these books and sell them through paxbooks (the Vatican bookstore)? Set up some kind of a downloading utility and you are ready to go.

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  8. DeaconDonB says:

    Just because the Vatican is contracting with Apple does not mean they agree or supports Apple’s support of same sex marriage. Same as with Amazon’s support of same sex marriage. I definitely do not support Amazon’s support of same sex relationships but I use their services because they provide books and other things that are helpful to me. Just as Cardinal Dolan’s Closing Benediction at the Democratic Convention. He definitely does not support their platform of Abortion, gay marriage, and the Democrats push to force the Church to pay for contraceptives, abortion, sterilization. It is an opportunity to express views of the Church’s teachings.

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