Ignatius Press’ goof up with the new “Joseph Ratzinger-Collected Works: Theology of the Liturgy”

Massively screwed up page numbering.

For your Caveat Emptor file.

Some time back I advertised that Ignatius Press was about to release Joseph Ratzinger-Collected Works: Theology of the Liturgy and that it was available for pre-order.

Lots of you… lots… pre-ordered it.

I regret to say now that the edition I received, and I’ll bet a lot of you received, is massively screwed up.  The pagination is fouled up in the last part of the book, from about pp. 528 ff.

Apparently, it was an error by the printer.  Who else?

I wrote to Ignatius and got back this response:

The new printing will be ready in about a week – at that time everyone who bought a book from us will be receiving a corrected version.  If you bought it elsewhere, please contact them for a replacement.

Thank you,

[name edited]

Really helpful, I’d say.

I received mine as a gift, so I am out of luck.  No customer support.

So, folks, keep this in mind.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Elizabeth D says:

    Ignatius tweeted something cryptic about this a while back and I could discover what it meant only by finding the negative reviews on Amazon about what had happened with the printing (I did not order the book myself). I think Ignatius is probably disappointed and really embarrassed.

    Ignatius Press is one of the greatest Catholic organizations today. They do a whole array of tremendous and precious work. They just goofed.

  2. akp1 says:

    Mine is on the way – I was going to give it as a gift. Even if yours was a gift, I’d have thought Ignatius Press would replace it.

  3. VexillaRegis says:

    Fr Z, don’t you think this blog entry will do the trick for you ;-)?

  4. Charles E Flynn says:

    If the gift was purchased through Amazon, the giver can obtain a replacement through Amazon.

    The InsightScoop blog makes it clear that the error was made by the printer.

  5. MaryW says:

    Thanks for the heads up, Father. Had not gotten that far into the book. Notified Amazon and I should receive a replacement by June 12. They will notify UPS who will p/u defective book from my home, postage-free return. No leg-work required on my part, all in all just a very minor inconvenience.

  6. Fern says:

    Oh dear, just checked mine and it also is in error! Mary W, do you know if we have to wrap etc to get UPS to pick up defective book and call them? Just imagine how confused this ole lady, who is already confused, would have been had she gotten that far in the book :)
    Thanks for the “heads-up, Father.

  7. Father Bartoloma says:

    Rather symbolic if you asked me. A lot of Joseph Ratzinger’s work “is massively screwed up” nowadays.

  8. SimonR says:

    I bought my copy from a private bookseller and it was shipped earlier this week. I am expecting it to arrive either Saturday or Monday.

    It will be impractical for me to return the book and I will have to buy another copy when the new print run is completed.

    Sadly, it will cost me quite a bit of money in the end which is very disappointing and I will end up with two massive 700 page books!

  9. MaryW says:

    Fern –

    Yes, Amazon’s instructions are to wrap the package and they have the option whereby they will contact UPS to pick up. Amazon will send you an email of a label to download which is to be placed inside the return package. If you are unable to print the label you can have Amazon email it to a friend who can do this for you. I had them email mine to my son-in-law as I use an ipad and I’m not hooked up to a printer. Hope this helps. If you have any other questions, let me know.

    From one ole lady to another.

  10. Mike says:

    I love the ease of ordering from Amazon, but when something like this happens–every blue moon or so–ahgrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

  11. Allan S. says:

    OTOH…maybe this will make it affordable for those of us who couldn’t have afforded a copy? Perhaps they will offer the messed up ones that come back at a real discount?

  12. Venerator Sti Lot says:


    Forgive me if I am talking at cross-purposes, or simply through my hat (as I did not order one, anywhere), but I would contact both the private bookseller and Ignatius Press.

    I can’t see why replacement needs to imply return, if ‘proof of purchase’ is clear.
    Thus, I should imagine either your bookseller could get it freely replaced from Ignatius or you could directly: I don’t know how the shipping, etc., expenses would be handled…

    I can imagine Ignatius would not want a lot of defective copies ‘out there’, in circulation, but if the text itself is not “massively screwed up”, or ‘only’ in the way of omissions (such that Writing Q is defective because some text is missing, but Writings P and R are complete – to imagine an example), the book is not useless, and any copy of that print-run could simply be annotated as ‘defective in the sense of incomplete’ to warn any future (second-hand) readers…

    I hope this is not a financial nightmare for the excellent Ignatius Press, as well as (probably) a logistic one!

  13. Titus says:

    I saw Ignatius’s notice and looked through my copy: I have to confess I don’t see the pagination error. The pages appear to be numbered correctly. Or is it that the page numbers are right, but the text is wrong? I have to confess only having looked at the numbers.

  14. Militans says:

    I have a copy pre-ordered from Amazon due to arrive 19-22nd June – is the problem that pages were put in the wrong order or what’s up?

  15. Fern says:

    Thanks, MaryW, all actions completed and with your help, all went well. UPS will pick up next week. The spokesman at Amazon was friendly and helpful!

  16. Mark Scott Abeln says:

    The *printer* goofed? That is odd — these days, publishers typically deliver full layouts to the printer, which includes everything including page numbers. Unless the printers are traditionalists who still use hot lead type.

    Possibly, the printer also did the page layout, and so this kind of error could happen, but that seems unusual.

  17. John says:

    I just bought one on Amazon and it’s backordered. It should be a great book. Thanks!

  18. Titus says:

    For the record, I re-checked my copy and it was, indeed, misprinted. And it’s not that the wrong pages numbers are on the right pages, it’s that the whole page is located in the wrong place. It went back yesterday.

    “The *printer* goofed? That is odd — these days, publishers typically deliver full layouts to the printer”

    True, but there’s still the mechanical process of assembling the printed pages into a book. If the printed folios are loaded into the binding machine incorrectly, you get a book that’s a mess. That might be what happened. Or, and we’ve all seen this, sometimes you can have some manner of formatting error that pushes text around inside the body of a document: the printer could have caused some sort of error of this sort while making final checks.

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