Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Banning the Bible

In 1229 the Roman Catholic Council of Toulouse put the Bible on the index of Forbidden books stating," We prohibit also the permitting of the laity, to have the books of the Old and New Testament, unless any one should wish to have a psalter or breviary for divine service...But we strictly forbid the above mentioned books in the vulgar tongue."

The Council of Trent reaffirmed this decree. Pope Clement XI also affirmed this in his Bull Unigenitus in 1713. Leo XIII in the 1890's allowed the laity to read the Bible but only the Latin Vulgate and only with permission, and the Pope forbid you try to interpret the Bible by yourself, the laity are not able. Of course they probably couldn't read Latin either. I will grant you that the Bible is and was read in the church, but only by the priest, and than with the Rome's interpretation thereof.

Pope Clement XI condemned Bible reading in the Bull Unigenitus, by condemning the following statements by Pasquier Quesnel the Jansenist:

(Again, all the following, condemned by Pope Clement XI:)

79. It is useful and necessary at all times, in all places, and for every kind of person, to study and to know the spirit, the piety, and the mysteries of Sacred Scripture.80. The reading of Sacred Scripture is for all.81. The sacred obscurity of the Word of God is no reason for the laity to dispense themselves from reading it.82. The Lord's Day ought to be sanctified by Christians with readings of pious works and above all of the Holy Scriptures. It is harmful for a Christian to wish to withdraw from this reading.83. It is an illusion to persuade oneself that knowledge of the mysteries of religion should not be communicated to women by the reading of Sacred Scriptures. Not from the simplicity of women, but from the proud knowledge of men has arisen the abuse of the Scriptures and have heresies been born.84. To snatch away from the hands of Christians the New Testament, or to hold it closed against them by taking away from them the means of understanding it, is to close for them the mouth of Christ.85.

To forbid Christians to read Sacred Scripture, especially the Gospels, is to forbid the use of light to the sons of light, and to cause them to suffer a kind of excommunication.

This dogmatic constitution [Unigenitus] was confirmed by the same Clement XI in the Bull "Pastoralis Officii" (Aug. 28, 1718) against the Appellantes, in which he declares that certain Catholics "who did not accept the Bull "Unigenitus" were clearly outside the bosom of the Roman Church; by Innocent XIII in a decree published on Jan. 8, 1722; by Benedict XIII and the Roman Synod in 1725; by Benedict XIV in the encyclical, "Ex omnibus Christiani orbis regionibus" on Oct. 16, 1756; it was accepted by the Gallic clergy in assemblies in 1723, 1726, 1730, by the councils of Avignon 1725 and Ebred, 1727, and by the whole Catholic world.

Here is what Pope Benedict XIV said about the bull Unigenitus:

3. The authority of the apostolic constitution which begins with the word Unigenitus is certainly so great and lays claim everywhere to such sincere veneration and obedience that no one can withdraw the submission due it or oppose it without risking the loss of eternal salvation.
Ex omnibus Christiani orbis regionibus, Encyclical of Pope Benedict XIV promulgated on October 16, 1756.

Research by Michael Scheifler at