Recently I was discussing and lamenting with friends the proliferation of heretical books written by individuals calling themselves Catholic or at least purporting to have expert knowledge of the Church or Christianity in general. I read a lot and my friends read a lot. We’re inquisitive people and have at least a little ability to discern works that are in accordance with orthodox teachings and those that are not. The vast majority of people in the Church lack such a foundation and are easily lead astray by dreck by the likes of Dan Brown, Gary Wills, and John Shelby Spong.

Once upon a time, the Church maintained a list of books that Catholics ought not read, called the Index. It’s impractical in this age of mass communication for the Church to maintain such a list. However, a queriable database of books that have been given an imprimatur and/or nihil obstat would be nice. Speaking of this useful service with my friends, an idea occurred to me.

What if we created a wiki with information about popular theological books? I lack the time to set something like that up, but I’m sure someone else could do it. Somewhere in this vast blogosphere is an individual or group with the time and know-how to set up a WikiIndex. Please spread this meme if you’d like to see this idea come to fruition.

Update: I’ve discovered that the software used to create Wikipedia is open source. Woohoo!