TAN Books

TAN Books is a traditionalist Catholic American book distributor and publisher based in Gastonia, North Carolina.

TAN Books
TANbooks ColorFF Dark.svg
Parent companySaint Benedict Press
FounderThomas A. Nelson
Country of originUnited States
Headquarters locationGastonia, North Carolina
Key peopleConor Gallagher (President/CEO)
Publication typesBooks, Booklets, Prayer cards
Nonfiction topicsCatholicism
ImprintsConfraternity of the Precious Blood
Neumann Press
American Chesterton Society
Official websitewww.tanbooks.com


TAN Books was founded in 1967, as "TAN Books and Publishers," in Rockford, Illinois by Thomas A. Nelson (not to be confused with the founder of the Bible-publishing firm Thomas Nelson) to keep in print books teaching the traditional Catholic faith in the wake of the upheaval in the Church that followed the Second Vatican Council.[1] The company's name was formed from the initials of its founder. Over the next 40 years, TAN published hundreds of new and classic titles on theology, Scripture, Church history, traditional devotions (including St. Louis de Montfort's Secret of the Rosary, printing more than 4 million copies), and the lives of the saints, many of which were reprints of titles published by such notable American Catholic publishers as Benziger Brothers and B. Herder Book Company. TAN also published original works defending the Catholic Church's teachings on a number of contemporary social issues, such as abortion, compulsory sex education, and Freemasonry.

In 1971, TAN republished the Douay–Rheims Bible, which had fallen out of print by the late 1960s, photographically reproducing it from the 1899 John Murphy & Co. edition. In the 1990s, with the advent of computer-based word processing, TAN began re-typesetting many of the titles in its catalog, rather than relying solely upon photographic reproductions of out-of-print works. In 2004, actor and director Mel Gibson's Icon Productions granted TAN the license to publish the Catholic edition of The Passion: Photography from the Movie The Passion of the Christ, a collection of photographs of scenes from the film accompanied with excerpts from the film's screenplay and quotations from the Douay–Rheims.

Financial problems led TAN to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2005. The company was subsequently acquired by Saint Benedict Press in 2008.[2] Following its acquisition, "TAN Books and Publishers" was renamed "TAN Books," with the "TAN" acronym now standing for Tuum Adoramus Nomen (Latin for "Let Us Adore Thy Name"). The company has aimed to improve the quality of its products by commissioning more aesthetically-pleasing covers, employing more durable book construction, and continuing to re-typeset numerous titles in its catalog.

On October 31, 2018, TAN published The Smoke of Satan: How Corrupt and Cowardly Bishops Betrayed Christ, His Church, and the Faithful . . . and What Can Be Done About It by Catholic journalist Philip F. Lawler, in response to the 2018 resurgence of sexual abuse cases in the Church. TAN Books/Saint Benedict Press president and CEO Robert Gallagher, in his preface to the book, described the work as "the most difficult book we at TAN have published", as well as "one of the most important".[3]


  • TAN Books: Publishes reprints of classic Catholic works on theology, Scripture, traditional devotions, the Tridentine Mass, and lives of the saints, as well as new titles on these subjects by contemporary authors and a line of newly-typeset Douay–Rheims Bibles (co-branded with Saint Benedict Press). In addition, the former "Saint Benedict Press Classics" series is now marketed under the "TAN Classics" moniker. TAN has also, in recent years, published resources aimed toward Catholic homeschooling families; the company has also released a line of audiobooks for some of its new and classic titles.
  • Confraternity of the Precious Blood: TAN currently serves as the distributor of titles issued by the Confraternity (associated with the Brooklyn-based Sisters Adorers of the Precious Blood), including My Daily Bread, My Imitation of Christ, My Daily Psalm Book, and Christ in the Gospel.
  • Neumann Press: Acquired by TAN Books in 2013,[4][5] Neumann Press republishes classic Catholic children's works, history books, and novels aimed at students from primary to secondary school.
  • American Chesterton Society: Since May 2015, TAN Books has been the exclusive distributor of works published by the Society, which specializes in contemporary titles written in the tradition of Catholic philosopher G. K. Chesterton.

Criticism and legal troublesEdit

Since TAN's acquisition by Saint Benedict Press and the end of Nelson's involvement with the company, some traditionalist Catholics have expressed displeasure with TAN due to their perception that the company has abandoned its prior firmly-traditionalist editorial policy in favor of one intended to cater to conservative Catholics who, while doctrinally orthodox, accept the changes in Catholic practice that followed the Second Vatican Council. They cite the removal of works from TAN's catalog that question the validity and/or rubrical integrity of the Mass of Paul VI (The Great Sacrilege by Father James Wathen; The Ottaviani Intervention, translated with commentary by Father Anthony Cekada), question the orthodoxy of the Council itself (In the Murky Waters of Vatican II by Atila Sinke Guimarães), criticize modern Bible translations (Which Bible Should You Read? by TAN's founder, Thomas A. Nelson), and uphold the Catholic Church as the one true faith in contrast to post-conciliar emphases on ecumenism and religious liberty.[citation needed]

Baronius Press, Ltd. v. Saint Benedict Press, LLC (2016–2019)Edit

1st Complaint (filed 2016)

On September 29, 2016, Baronius Press, a British publisher of traditional Catholic books, filed a civil lawsuit against TAN Books and Saint Benedict Press.[6] The lawsuit alleged that TAN had violated Baronius's ownership of the copyright for the English translation of Ludwig Ott's Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma (Grundriß der katholischen Dogmatik in the original German). Baronius Press purchased the exclusive rights to the English translation from the original copyright holders in 2009, and obtained an exclusive license with the underlying owner of the German original in 2011. The English translation of Fundamentals had been in the public domain in the United States since its initial publication in 1954, as U.S. copyright law did not provide automatic copyright protection to works initially published in foreign countries (the English translation of Fundamentals was originally published in Ireland).[7] All foreign authored works had copyright restored on January 1, 1996 under the Uruguay Round Agreements Act. TAN continued to publish the same edition legitimately until 2011 as a reliance party.

In 2012 TAN announced on its website that it was working on a new, revised edition of the work due to the original English translation containing numerous errata. Baronius subsequently informed TAN that it owned the rights to Fundamentals in 2013. Instead of publishing its planned revised edition, TAN elected to reprint the original edition of Fundamentals again in 2013 in hardcover, prompting Baronius to file suit against Saint Benedict Press for copyright violation.

The lawsuit was settled on March 25, 2019. As a result of the settlement, TAN/SBP was forced to cease publication not only of Fundamentals, but also other works it had published to which Baronius had subsequently acquired the exclusive English-language rights, including Francois Trochu's Saint Bernadette Soubirous and The Sermons of the Curé d'Ars and numerous works by Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange.


  1. ^ "About TAN". Archived from the original on 1998-12-06.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  2. ^ Saint Benedict Press
  3. ^ Lawler, Philip F. (2018). The Smoke of Satan: How Corrupt and Cowardly Bishops Betrayed Christ, His Church, and the Faithful . . . and What Can Be Done About It. Charlotte, NC: TAN Books. p. vii. ISBN 9781505113495.
  4. ^ Jessica (2013-10-23). "Shower of Roses: Tan Books Acquires Neumann Press!". Shower of Roses. Retrieved 2016-07-03.
  5. ^ TAN Books. "TAN Books Acquires Neumann Press". Retrieved 2016-07-03.
  6. ^ Baronius Press, Ltd. v. Saint Benedict Press, LLC (District Court, WD North Carolina September 29, 2016). Text
  7. ^ Hirtle, Peter B. (2008). "Copyright Renewal, Copyright Restoration, and the Difficulty of Determining Copyright Status". D-Lib Magazine. 14 (7/8).

See alsoEdit

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