Gutenberg excommunicated


#1

A friend of mine was discussing the Catholic Church with a person who is probably an anti-Catholic. This person told my friend that Gutenberg was excommunicated for inventing the printing press. This is a new one to me. Has anyone run across this accusation before? Do you know where it comes from?

Thanks,
MP


#2

[quote=Michael Paul]A friend of mine was discussing the Catholic Church with a person who is probably an anti-Catholic. This person told my friend that Gutenberg was excommunicated for inventing the printing press. This is a new one to me. Has anyone run across this accusation before? Do you know where it comes from?

Thanks,
MP
[/quote]

From the Catholic Encyclopedia at newadvent.org/cathen/07090a.htm

Little more is known of Gutenberg. We are aware that his declining years were spent in the court of Archbishop Adolf of Nassau, to whose suite he was appointed on 18 January, 1465. The distinction thus conferred on him carried with it allowances of clothing and other necessities which saved him from actual want. In all likelihood he died at Mainz towards the end of 1467 or the beginning of 1468, and was buried probably as a tertiary in the Franciscan church, no longer in existence.

Strange end for a man who had been "excommunicated."http://forums.catholic.com/images/icons/icon12.gif


#3

[quote=Michael Paul]A friend of mine was discussing the Catholic Church with a person who is probably an anti-Catholic. This person told my friend that Gutenberg was excommunicated for inventing the printing press. This is a new one to me. Has anyone run across this accusation before? Do you know where it comes from?

Thanks,
MP
[/quote]

Happy Horse Manure. Gutenberg printed the first book, which was The Bible, for the Catholic Church. Prots who usually don’t know their history (the majority, unfortunately) think that Gutenberg invented the printing press and printed bibles for Luther whilst hiding from the dark, dastardly Catholic Church. In reality he printed the first book–the Catholic Bible-- FOR the Catholic Church in 1455. Luther wasn’t even born for another 30 years. The “Reformation” obviously took place much later.

It’s so easy to tell lies about things, then let others run around trying to cleanup the mess.


#4

[quote=Michael Paul]This person told my friend that Gutenberg was excommunicated for inventing the printing press.
[/quote]

Just to pick nits, Gutenberg did not invent the printing press. Europeans had been pressing wood blocks against paper for years before Gutenberg came along. What he did was invent movable metal type.


#5

There is a reason for this canard.

Many Protestants claim Catholics were “not allowed” to read the Bible. The quickest rebuttal to that is, “Then who were Gutenberg’s bibles printed for?” Gutenberg died before Maartin Luther was born!

Hmmm . . . well, ah, Gutenberg got excommunicated for printing the Bible. Yeah! That’s it! The Church excommunicated him! http://forums.catholic.com/images/icons/icon12.gif


#6

I’ve actually heard this one before - that people were not permitted to read the Bible. I believe, correct me if I’m wrong, that at one time the Bibles were attached to the Church not to forbid people from them but because they were rare and many fake/poor copies were being made available to the public. But again I’m not sure about this.

Don’t you hate when you someone says something to you that you know is wrong but can’t tell them why because you don’t have all the right info, then it’s too late! That drives me batty.


#7

[quote=ProudArmyWife]I’ve actually heard this one before - that people were not permitted to read the Bible. I believe, correct me if I’m wrong, that at one time the Bibles were attached to the Church not to forbid people from them but because they were rare and many fake/poor copies were being made available to the public. But again I’m not sure about this.
[/quote]

You are correct on all counts. It was hard and expensive to make a Bible, and there were fake ones circulating that were dangerous to the faith (there still are, but sadly the printing press is a double-edged sword). The Church never “hid” the bible, it just made sure it was solidly transcripted and protected from the ravages of time and the environment due to costs.


#8

[quote=ProudArmyWife]I’ve actually heard this one before - that people were not permitted to read the Bible. I believe, correct me if I’m wrong, that at one time the Bibles were attached to the Church not to forbid people from them but because they were rare and many fake/poor copies were being made available to the public. But again I’m not sure about this.
[/quote]

First of all, prohibition against reading the Bible was ENGLISH, not Catholic. The Wycliffe Bible was a poor early English translation, and Wycliffe was not above inserting his political ideas. The Wycliffe Bible was used to justify the Peasant Rebellion of 1382, and continued to be used by the Lollards (who were so radical that even the Puritans had to suppress them.)

The English, becoming Protestant, blamed the Church for their own political leader’s suppression of the Wycliffe Bible.

[quote=ProudArmyWife]Don’t you hate when you someone says something to you that you know is wrong but can’t tell them why because you don’t have all the right info, then it’s too late! That drives me batty.
[/quote]

The burden of proof is on the person making the claim. The proper answer is, “Can you give me a website or a book where I can verify that claim?” If they respond, it will usually be some obviously wierd site or book.

When they claim biblical authorities – look up their cites and read the whole chapter. You’ll find they often use non-existant verses, or verses taken entirely out of context.

When you look it up, use a good bible, with good footnotes and explanations – I like the New American Bible for Catholics. You will usually find that what they consider damning – like “the Whore of Babylon” – means something entirely different.


#9

Another interesting tidbit about controlling the distribution of Bibles:
The Authorized or King James Version was compiled because king James wanted something SAFE to put into the hands of his subjects *instead of the Geneva Bible *which, although a protestant version, it contained marginal notes that his royal person believed dangerous to the established order and his own authority.

+T+
Michael


#10

[quote=Hesychios]Another interesting tidbit about controlling the distribution of Bibles:
The Authorized or King James Version was compiled because king James wanted something SAFE to put into the hands of his subjects *instead of the Geneva Bible *which, although a protestant version, it contained marginal notes that his royal person believed dangerous to the established order and his own authority.

+T+
Michael
[/quote]

That’s why I and II Maccabees is not in the King James version – the theme is overthrowing a king.


#11

[quote=Timidity]Just to pick nits, Gutenberg did not invent the printing press. Europeans had been pressing wood blocks against paper for years before Gutenberg came along. What he did was invent movable metal type.
[/quote]

Printing with wooden blocks having been invented in 1436 - at least according to the entry “Printing” in the 1910 edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica :slight_smile:


#12

[quote=vern humphrey]That’s why I and II Maccabees is not in the King James version – the theme is overthrowing a king.
[/quote]

Uh, I and II (and III and IV) Maccabees, along with the Deuterocanonicals, as well as 1 & 2 Esdras, plus Psalm 151 are all in the King James. They were sandwiched betwen the OT and NT. It’s today’s printed editions that no longer contain them. But yes indeedy, these books were translated.


#13

[quote=vern humphrey]That’s why I and II Maccabees is not in the King James version – the theme is overthrowing a king.
[/quote]

Not to let silly things like facts ruin a good tale, but 1 and 2 Maccabees were in the original KJV. The Archbishop of Cantebury did not officially remove the books until 1885.


#14

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