Mexican church forbids bible reading!


#1

I was talking to my fiends mother the other day. She is Christian but does not go to church. Her parents were Catholic but her mother left the church when the Catholic church in Mexico forbid lay persons to read the bible. I told her that there had to be a good reason like when the church burned the wycliff and tyndale bibles. She said it was because the Catholic church did not want laypersons to misinterpret the bible. Does anyone know about this happening in Mexico? Was it an abuse or was there a good reason?


#2

Even if it was an abuse… that’s no reason to leave the Church. Just tell the bishop, or a Cardinal, or whatever. That’s why there’s checks in the system.


#3

No me dices! :eek:

I have a few thoughts about why, if the Church did indeed ban Bible reading, why it did so:

  1. As you mentioend, there may have been bad translations floating around. Especially in the hands of un-educated individuals, bad translations can be devastating to Catholics, especially when fundamentalists use the manipulated text to manipulate Catholic minds.

  2. A particular problem with the diocese in which Cathoilcs were challenging the bishop and/or priests to change certain rules and beliefs.

  3. The Church wanted to keep theological interpretation for those who are actually proficient in understanding the different methods used in interpretting the Bible. This approach is, in fact, supported by several passages in the New Testament.

Hope that helps


#4

The church has always taught reading the Bible is a good thing heck the church has given indulgences for hundreds of years for reading the Bible. Maybe an individual priest was doing his parish a disservice and maybe overworked just didn’t want to answer the many questions that accompany a parish full of Bible readers this was a the case of some overworked priest pre vatican 2. Since then many deacons and qualified laypersons have helped out priest having Bible studies and answering lay person questions that naturally occur when one reads the Bible without constant direction. No one priest can handles all these typical questions. SInce Vatican 2 the church has been explicit in encouraging the laity to read and in some cases teach the Bible. In that sense encouragement from the parish preist concerning Bible reading has gotten better. This is not an excuse for that behavior just an observation on how everyone relied on the parish priest to answer every theological quesiton and some priest being human just discouraged the questions since they were overworked to begin with. Even today a preist seldom has time to guide many Bible studies unless there are multiple priest at a parish more and more deacons and sisters and lay scripture scholars are doing Bible teaching.


#5

[quote=swimstud]I was talking to my fiends mother the other day. She is Christian but does not go to church. Her parents were Catholic but her mother left the church when the Catholic church in Mexico forbid lay persons to read the bible. I told her that there had to be a good reason like when the church burned the wycliff and tyndale bibles. She said it was because the Catholic church did not want laypersons to misinterpret the bible. Does anyone know about this happening in Mexico? Was it an abuse or was there a good reason?
[/quote]

Who? What? Where? When? Why? Please!


#6

Use common sense here. I’d think that an entire country’s Church would invoke some kind of pastoral letter or open declaration that the Bible was not to be read. Does this document exist? If not, then why would you believe such tripe? I had a Jehovah’s Witness come to my door and tell me the same thing about the American Church. Don’t leave Peter because of Judas! Sure there are some misguided and downright heretical priests and religious in the Church. Jesus said there would be but that we were NEVER to leave Mother Church.

Bible reading has ALWAYS been encouraged by the Church. So much so that many Popes have offered indulgences tied directly to reading Scripture.


#7

I was once a party to the following conversation:

Rabid Fundamentalist “Catholics aren’t allowed to read the Bible.”

Practicing Catholic: “Yes, we are.”

RF: “No, they’re not.”

PC: “Yes, we are.”

RF: “You obviously don’t know any Catholics.”

PC: “I am a Catholic.”

RF: “Does your priest know you read the Bible?”

PC: “Of course. He sometimes attends our study group.”

RF: “Well, that must be new – Catholics weren’t allowed to read the Bible a few years back.”

PC: “I have my great-grandparents’ Bible. They were allowed to read the Bible.”

RF: “No they weren’t – they must have read it secretly.”

PC: “There’s a section in the front, signed by a Bishop, that urges every Catholic to read the Bible.”

RF: “I don’t believe it.”

The moral of this story is, before we discuss the Church in Mexico forbidding reading the Bible, we should get an official statement from a Mexican bishop.


#8

[quote=GoodSamaritan]Use common sense here. I’d think that an entire country’s Church would invoke some kind of pastoral letter or open declaration that the Bible was not to be read. Does this document exist? If not, then why would you believe such tripe? I had a Jehovah’s Witness come to my door and tell me the same thing about the American Church. Don’t leave Peter because of Judas! Sure there are some misguided and downright heretical priests and religious in the Church. Jesus said there would be but that we were NEVER to leave Mother Church.

Bible reading has ALWAYS been encouraged by the Church. So much so that many Popes have offered indulgences tied directly to reading Scripture.
[/quote]

Yes. The story is the same sort of thing you get on anti-catholic websites and message boards. You know, the ones that say the Lateran Council or the Council of Trent forbade people to read the bible.

When you check up on it you find they’ve quoted out of context, and it is false and unapproved translations of the Bible that have been banned.


#9

Not five miles from where I live there is a “training center” for evangelists who spend a year there and then go into Mexico to evamgelise. These are Pentacostal types.

The Mormans also really work Mexico hard.

Of course they will use their Bibles. I said THEIR Bibles. So I can understand why Catholics would tell the undereducated not to read their Protestant Bibles.


#10

[quote=Exporter]Not five miles from where I live there is a “training center” for evangelists who spend a year there and then go into Mexico to evamgelise. These are Pentacostal types.

The Mormans also really work Mexico hard.

Of course they will use their Bibles. I said THEIR Bibles. So I can understand why Catholics would tell the undereducated not to read their Protestant Bibles.
[/quote]

Here comes my serpent-and-dove personality. The Mexican Church has a lot of troubles with catechesis owing to many political and social conditions in that country – not least of which was the suppression of the Church in the last Century. Ignorance is widespread. Do you suppose Evangelicals take advantage of that and TELL Mexicans that the Catholic Church forbids Bible reading as a way to undermine their confidence?

OK. I’m going to confession right now for even having had such a thought.


#11

I have been to Mexico many times and have never found a Catholic Church that has taught that. Usually when I ask a priest there if there is any apologetic type material, he responds that we should first read the Bible. This sounds like some anti-catholic rumor, or some isolated incident that doesn’t really hold water. The Mexican Catholic Churches do everything they can to get people to go to Mass, get involved and listen to the Word of God.
Due to suppression and ignorance the Church has many problems with Catechesis.

I had an uncle who was mad at the Church because he said they wouldn’t let just anyone teach at the Church, but at the Iglesia Universal (pare de sufrir) Church anyone could read and teach the Bible. He thought it was unfair to have to go to seminary, too much commitment!


#12

[quote=swimstud]Ithe Catholic church in Mexico forbid lay persons to read the bible.
[/quote]

The Church stipulates a plenary indulgence for reading the Bible for half an hour or more!

Could you please provide something more substantive. Please cite the directive or diocesan instructions which state this. Also please give the date, time, name, and authority of the person doing it.

Or, is this yet another baseless accusation?


#13

Posted By:Ignatius
Could you please provide something more substantive. Please cite the directive or diocesan instructions which state this. Also please give the date, time, name, and authority of the person doing it.

Or, is this yet another baseless accusation?


I don’t have any other information but my friend’s mother is very honest. I was hoping someone else had heard of the Mexican church banning bibles for a reason. I guess it was probably a mininterpretation on her mother’s behalf. Thanks for the comments.


#14

Well being Mexican American I don’t believe this one bit! My mother taught to read the bible and i remember even reading the bible with my grandparents. My Grandmother talks about how they had to read the bible when they were smaller. So I would never believe that this story is true.


#15

It’s another baseless anti-Catholic rumor.


#16

Someone told me that the laws banning Christianity made during the communist days are still on the books although not enforced. Is it true?

Scott


#17

[quote=Scott Waddell]Someone told me that the laws banning Christianity made during the communist days are still on the books although not enforced. Is it true?

[/quote]

Mexico was never communist. Anti-clericalism is what you’re thinking of, and the laws banned priests and bishops from holding public office.


#18

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.