Council of Valencia

Can someone please explain what exactly happened at this medieval council as it relates to a list of forbidden books allegedly including Holy Scripture? I’ve tried searching online, and all i can find is site after site of HERETIC propaganda against God’s Holy Church. Not one historical site have I found, and, sort of troubling, not one Catholic site even includes it on the list of councils. In fact there is no mention of it at all from any Catholic sector. I think we need to start speaking up! Someone please help me. I want to be a priest, but i dont know how i can serve a Church that forbade the Scripture from the laity without a darn good reason.

Found it right here in the Library at Catholic Answers.

Here is the pertinent information:

The false charge:

Item: “Bible forbidden to laymen, placed on the Index of Forbidden Books by the Council of Valencia . . . [A.D.] 1229.”

This looks rather damaging, but Boettner has his history completely wrong. The first thing to note is that the **Index of Forbidden Books was established in 1559, so a council held in 1229 could hardly have listed a book on it. **

The second point is that there apparently has never been any Church council in Valencia, Spain. If there had been one, it could not have taken place in 1229 because Muslim Moors then controlled the city. It is inconceivable that Muslims, who were at war with Spanish Christians, and had been off and on for five centuries, would allow Catholic bishops to hold a council in one of their cities. The Christian armies did not liberate Valencia from Moorish rule until nine years later, 1238. So Valencia is out.

But there is another possibility, and that is Toulouse, France, where a council was held in 1229. And, yes, **that council dealt with the Bible. It was organized in reaction to the Albigensian or Catharist heresy, which held that there are two gods and that marriage is evil because all matter (and thus physical flesh) is evil. From this the heretics concluded that fornication could be no sin, and they even encouraged suicide among their members. In order to promulgate their sect, the Albigensians published an inaccurate translation of the Bible in the vernacular language (rather like the Jehovah’s Witnesses of today publishing their severely flawed New World Translation of the Bible, which has been deliberately mistranslated to support the sect’s claims). Had it been an accurate translation, the Church would not have been concerned. Vernacular versions had been appearing for centuries. But what came from the hands of the Albigensians was an adulterated Bible. The bishops at Toulouse forbade the reading of it because it was inaccurate. In this they were caring for their flocks, just as a Protestant minister of today might tell his flock not to read the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ New World Translation. **

The article on “Scripture” in the online Catholic Encyclopedia has information on this issue in Section VI. Attitude of the Church Towards the Reading of the Bible in the Vernacular.

Well thank you very much friends. Like i said i was kinda troubled when there was not even any historical info to be found. You’d think that someone out there on a reputable site would’ve covered this misconception by now.

oh well God bless you all!

It has been covered and covered and covered again from all quarters but Boettner’s book remains gospel to those who want to undermine the Church. This is a perfect illustration of the need to investigate unsupported claims. Check out Karl Keating’s book on Catholicism and Fundamentalism.


The Council of Valencia is a clear example of the Fundies lying for Jesus example. Anyone familiar with Spanish history would have known that the City was under Islamic rule and the key battle of Las Navas de Tolosa, the battle that change the tide of the Islamic conquest of Spain was just the year before in 1228.
Very unlikely that they would allow a Christian council on that city. The tide was just changing against them. They would most likely would have taken all the Catholic clergy prisioner.

Is a example of fundies incompetence in hatred that they even cannot tell a good lie well.

In fairness to Boettner, it should be said that we are all at the mercy of our sources: & his source for the error about Valencia (which was corrected at some point between 1962 & 1989, the dates of the first & fifth editions of his book) did not start with him.

It can be a traced to a book published in Scotland in 1855, which relies for some of its info (including the mention of Valencia) on a slightly earlier book (not seen by me). That’s as far back as I can trace it :slight_smile: Somebody well-acquainted with 19th-century anti-Catholic literature might trace it back even further.

As Boettner was an American, the likelihood is that his immediate source was American; which does not mean his source must have been anti-Catholic.

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