Omnis obstat is a Latin phrase printed at the start of A Short Guide to Catholic Church History - in essence, a declaration of objection for the textbook's content by Orcus Cardinal Bugloss (Saint Fidgeta and Other Parodies, 51).
Nihil obstat (Latin, "nothing hinders" or "nothing stands in the way") is a declaration of no objection to an initiative or an appointment, or more particularly to mean an attestation by a church censor that a book contains nothing damaging to faith or morals.
The introductory text of A Short Guide to Catholic Church History parodies the permissions that were required by canon law at the beginning of any book with religious or theological content:
- imprimi potest
- nihil obstat (replaced by omnis obstat)
- imprimatur (replaced by nemo me impune lacessit)
Bellairs's faux-textbook does not include the imprimi potest (Latin, "it can be printed"), a declaration that writings on questions of religion or morals may be printed.
Bugloss signs the omnis obstat (Latin, "everything stands in the way"): "a typical Bellairsian comment on the Church's attitude towards progress." Bowen points out that Bishop Bugloss uncharacteristically signs the first statement rather than the second