Procedures for Publishers

This page provides information about the Conformity Review Process for publishers. If after reading this page you have further questions, please contact our office and ask to speak with the Catechism Specialist.

Phone: (202) 541-3032 Fax: (202) 541-3055

The Subcommittee on the Catechism

Conformity Review Process

for publishers

This outline is meant to help familiarize publishers with the Conformity Review Process. All necessary forms are posted on the Forms & Protocols page.

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STEP 01

PUBLISHER CONTACTS A REVIEWER

Using the list of approved reviewers*, the publisher finds a reviewer who can/is willing to complete a review.

* Please contact our office if you need a copy of the list of approved reviewers.

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STEP 02

REVIEWER WILL SPEAK TO STAFF

The reviewer will inform staff about the upcoming review and find out when the Subcommittee's next review meetings are.

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STEP 03

REVIEWER WILL CONFIRM DATE WITH PUBLISHER

The reviewer and publisher will try to find a mutually acceptable review date. If the publisher and the reviewer cannot find a mutually acceptable date, the publisher is free to work with a different reviewer.

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STEP 04

PUBLISHER ENTERS INTO CONTRACT WITH REVIEWER

All contracts are written by the publishers. The reviewer is contracted for $75/hour and is allowed up to 70 hours to complete the initial review.

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STEP 05

PUBLISHER SENDS REVIEWER ALL FORMS & MATERIALS

All necessary forms are posted on the Forms & Protocols page. The reviewer examines the submitted materials and prepares a report for the Subcommittee.

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STEP 06

THE SUBCOMMITTEE WILL REVIEW THE MATERIALS

At the scheduled meeting, the Subcommittee will review the report and documentation supplied by the reviewer to determine whether the text should be found in conformity with the Catechism.

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STEP 07

THE SUBCOMMITTEE PROVIDES THEIR RESPONSE

The Subcommittee informs the publisher of their findings. The publisher might be required to work with the reviewer to make corrections before the text is declared in conformity.

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Letters and Reports on the Conformity Review Process

Protocol for Assessing the Conformity of Materials with the Catechism: the instrument used for the evaluation of catechetical materials as to their conformity to the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

Letter on Criteria and Applicability: This is an update to the 2010 letter of criteria and applicability, concerning what catechetical materials are eligible for the conformity review process.

Letter on Supplemental Materials: This letter clarifies the policy concerning the review of supplemental materials.

Letter on Revisions of Materials: This letter clarifies the policy concerning the review of materials that have been revised.

Letter on the Use of Scripture: Guidelines for the Treatment and the Interpretation of Sacred Scripture in Catechetical Texts. This letter was offered as guidelines in November 2011.

Letter on Boilerplate Language: This letter explains the use of "boilerplate" language in reports and includes the list of definitions.

Oral Report, given by Archbishop Hughes to the General Assembly of Bishops in 2003.

Oral Report, given by Archbishop Buechlein to the General Assembly of Bishops in 1997. This report lists ten particular doctrinal deficiencies which were a concern in catechetical materials.

Common Questions about the Conformity Review Process

1) How do I know if my text is eligible for review?

Please read the Letter on Criteria and Applicability. This document will offer clarification on what types of texts are typically accepted for the review process.

2) How do I submit a text for the Conformity Review Process?

If you believe that your text or series is eligible for conformity review, and you have not participated in the process before, or if you have questions about submitting a new text, then please contact our office and ask to speak to the Catechism Specialist. Please be prepared to explain the purpose and audience of your catechetical text and your reason for submitting it for review. It is recommended that this happen at least one month prior to submitting a text; early notification will help ensure that materials are properly prepared for the review.

3) How long is the Conformity Review Process?

The review process can vary in length of time based on many factors, including the size of the text or series, the type of text or series, and the time of year during which it is submitted. The process generally lasts between three to six months. The Subcommittee on the Catechism cannot give any guarantee on the outcome of a review or about how long the review process will take from beginning to end. Staff is happy to maintain correspondence with publishers throughout the process, and is ready to assist with questions as necessary.

4) Our publishing house is submitting a text for the first time, what should we do?

Contact the office in advance and notify staff of the intent to submit materials: include specifics about the texts and supplementary materials which will be submitted for review.

 

Working with the Reviewer

  • Publishers are responsible for writing the contract with the reviewer. Reviewers may work a maximum of 70 hours at a rate of $75/hour, unless given permission by the office and the publisher. Most reviews do not need all 70 hours to be completed.
  • Publishers should coordinate with reviewers about the manner and format of how materials will be submitted.
  • Reviewers must maintain strict confidentiality.
  • Publisher must complete an internal assessment of the materials, using one of the protocol instruments. If possible, mark the actual text of the materials where the specific protocol items are found.

During the Review Process

  • The publisher should anticipate approximately 3 months for an initial review to be completed: larger series will likely take longer.
  • The publisher may communicate with the staff of the Subcommittee on the Catechism, but no progress report can be given until the initial review is completed.
  • The Subcommittee on the Catechism, its staff, and reviewers will maintain strict confidentiality about reviews in progress: it will not disclose to anyone what series or texts are under review; however, if an individual publisher wishes to make known that it has submitted material, the publisher is free to do so.

After the Initial Review and Report by the Subcommittee on the Catechism

  • The Subcommittee will communicate the results of the review to the publisher, with any required changes necessary for conformity.
  • The publisher will have the opportunity to work with the contracted reviewer about how necessary changes will be implemented. The amount of time for this additional work will vary according to the nature of the requirements.
  • Once the changes satisfactorily meet the requirements of the Subcommittee, a declaration of conformity will be issued to the publisher for the specific series or text reviewed. This declaration is to be placed on the copyright page of the specific text.
  • The Subcommittee or the Secretariat will release copies of a review report to no one except the publisher who submitted the material; if a publisher wishes to release a conformity review report from the Subcommittee, it is free to do so provided the report is released in its entirety.
  • Unless the publisher requests differently, the Subcommittee on the Catechism will make public the names of those series or texts that have received a declaration of conformity and add it to the Conformity Review List.