The Catholic Church and the Bible

Why did historically, the Catholic Church suppress the Bible?

OBJECTION YOUR HONOR, assumes facts not in evidence.

It didn’t.

This is like asking “when did you stop beating your spouse?”

I suggest you read this:

shamelesspopery.com/did-the-catholic-church-try-to-suppress-the-bible/

The Catholic Church never suppressed the Bijble. Whoever told you it did, told you a lie.

The Church NEVER suppressed the Bible, and it is only because the Church existed that you have one. Think about that.

Of course, it DID suppress “Bible societies”, groups of people who spread lies about scriptures, made their own wacky interpretations, and dragged souls away from Christ in this manner.

Do you have solid evidence to support such a claim?

Nonsense: Here’s a good response from Radio Replies :

[size=3][FONT=&quot]Why is the Catholic Church antagonistic towards the Bible?[/size]

She is not. She protects and defends it. But she does teach that the private reading of the Bible with reliance solely upon one’s own powers of comprehension is no sure way to arrive at the truth taught by Christ. And experience bears out her teaching.No. Beautifully illuminated copies of the Scriptures, wrought by the Monks, were in the charge of the Clergy and the Churches, and from these the Word of God was carefully preached to the people. Before the invention of the printing press, a wider diffusion was impossible. No. The Catholic Church would have been very foolish to have copies multiplied only to destroy them. When the printing press was invented by the German Catholic Gutenberg in 1445, the first book printed was a Bible, before Protestantism had come into existence. She condemns the principle that Bibles should be distributed indiscriminately to people on the understanding that they will be able to attain the truth without the guidance of the Church, and by their own unaided efforts. The wildest absurdities have resulted from the theory of private interpretation of Scripture, and if it is not dangerous to Christianity to have a new pretended Christian Church arising every ten years from some mad-cap reading of an isolated text, I would like to know your idea of what is really dangerous to Christianity.

Does she herself forbid the reading of Scripture in the vernacular?

No. There are various Catholic societies for the diffusion of the Holy Gospels in the vernacular, such as the Society of St. Jerome, approved by the Church. Pope Pius X. granted special blessings to those who would read Scripture daily and recommend others to do so. But it is essential that the teachings of the living Church be kept in mind as a key to the true sense of the Bible.

**Was not the Bible unknown to the people before the Reformation?

** No. Beautifully illuminated copies of the Scriptures, wrought by the Monks, were in the charge of the Clergy and the Churches, and from these the Word of God was carefully preached to the people. Before the invention of the printing press, a wider diffusion was impossible.**
**
**Did not the Catholic Church bum all Bibles, and punish those who had copies?

** No. The Catholic Church would have been very foolish to have copies multiplied only to destroy them. When the printing press was invented by the German Catholic Gutenberg in 1445, the first book printed was a Bible, before Protestantism had come into existence.

**Yet does not the Catholic Church regard the work of the Bible Society as dangerous to Christianity?

** She condemns the principle that Bibles should be distributed indiscriminately to people on the understanding that they will be able to attain the truth without the guidance of the Church, and by their own unaided efforts. The wildest absurdities have resulted from the theory of private interpretation of Scripture, and if it is not dangerous to Christianity to have a new pretended Christian Church arising every ten years from some mad-cap reading of an isolated text, I would like to know your idea of what is really dangerous to Christianity.[/FONT]

People in authority are told things, and they believe it because…well, the preachers been to “Bible College” so he must know what he’s talking about. :eek:
I was told the same thing. And you’d be surprised how many people, in this day and age, believe it.

Yep, this was also my experience outside of the church. :thumbsup:

Here’s a good example. Who REALLY Preaches “A Different Gospel”?

Here’s another useful link: jloughnan.tripod.com/ca2bibchris1.htm#1003

I wonder who started this rumor. :nerd:

I don’t know why Catholics get so offended at this.

Bible reading by the laity was discouraged in a response to the reformation. People were coming up with their own doctrines and ideas apart from the Church and it led to all kinds of errors. The rapture is a prime example. In some cases the Bible was used to justify civil unlawful and cruel behavior. For a long time some in the Church held that interpretation of the Bible was best left to professionals.

The quality of early Bibles was questionable at best. Many Bibles were translated using street vernacular by people with little or no qualifications and had serious errors. Typographical errors were common as well. Many of these were banned and the easiest way to get rid of them was burning. Protestant Churches did their share of burning. Here is an example.

Thou shalt commit adultery.(Exodus 20:14)
The “Wicked Bible”, 1621

Any Bible containing this text is clearly not trustworthy and should be burned.

Some people added to the Bible or changed them, claiming revelation from God. The Book of Mormon is a perfect example. These should surely be gathered and destroyed IMO.

**biblecollectors.org/articles/untrustworthy_translations.htm

biblecollectors.org/articles/curiosities.htm**

I really don’t know why Catholics bristle so much when this comes up. Seriously, there is a Klingon Bible and a Bible which replaces the word God with the word Cat. We complain about the poor quality of the NAB don’t we? So why shouldn’t these sacrilegious works be banned and burned?

I’m a fan of the truth and the truth is that some in the Church did discourage Bible reading by the laity and some Bibles were banned and burned with good reason.

-Tim-

Plain and simple - the Catholic Church NEVER did that.

May God bless you and lead you to His Truth in the Holy Catholic Church! :slight_smile:

It didn’t. Next question?

:thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup:

How about me and you go outside and burn a pile of those nasty “Queen james” gay bibles?

St. John of the Cross wrote to priests about the importance of proclaiming the Scriptures, “You read the scriptures, and the people read you.”
I have read the unfounded criticism of non-Christians the limitation of Bibles even in Catholic monasteries. These criticisms of course were leaving out the expense of producing books prior to the invention of the printing press were one more attempt at anti-Catholicism.
St. John’s remark was made at such time when not only were there few printed copies of scripture, but few were literate laity. The almost universal literacy of the modern world is unprecedented.
St. Jerome said,“Ignorance of scripture was ignorance of God.” Since God has entrusted the Church with His teaching authority, why would the Church want to suppress scripture?
As has already been pointed out, it is not so much that it suppressed the Bible as it suppressed questionable translations. Suppressing “questionable” translations would include the work of even diligent scholars to ensure authenticity. Only those translations, such as the Douay-Rheims, submitted to the authority of the Church and deemed trustworthy were considered acceptable.

That is absolutely true; the laity were actively discouraged from reading Holy Scripture. Some see that as a good thing, some see that as a travesty. Modern Christians of all stripes can’t hardly fathom not owning a Bible of their own, so it is hard to realize the full import of what it meant in ages past to either not be allowed to own one, or to read one on one’s own. Good reasons and bad reasons abounded, but to be dismissive of the facts (on either side) is not a good thing.

The truth is that it was easy to convert an uneducated peasant by telling them some over-simplified doctrine and showing them a verse or two in the Bible to back it up. Some would argue that it is still easy to do and I don’t disagree.

The Church sometimes reacted to the denominations which came out of the reformation with a mixture of confrontation and withdrawal. This is one of the reasons why the Jesuits were formed, to defend the Church against false doctrines taught during the reformation.

Pope John XXIII realized that a strategy of withdrawal, suppression and confrontation was untenable in a world where more and more people were educated and where radio, television, telephones and jet travel made collaboration and sharing of information so much easier. This was the whole reason for the Second Vatican Council, to stop the turn inward and allow the world to make full use of the Church and her teaching.

The Second Vatican Council was a major U-turn in attitude with which many in the Church struggled. Some still struggle with things like Pope Benedict XVI’s dialog with the Muslims but it makes us look silly when we deny the past and bury our head in the sand.

-Tim-

But is what you’re talking about “suppression” of the Bible as the OP means it in post #1? Or is what you’re describing something different than “suppression”? It seems to me that it is.

The peace of Christ,
Mark

Exactly. Kliska seems to be of the opinion that the Catholic laity was ‘actively discouraged’ from reading the bible during the time period when people were actually literate enough to do so --basically in Europe, the U.S., and Canada, that would have been pretty much from 1850 on (prior to this, while ‘many’ could read, many more could not.) Compulsory free public schools along with rising immigrant populations whose first priorities were schools and churches, both places of learning, led to this kind of literacy which was unknown before then. The idea that people in those years were ‘actively discouraged from reading the Bible if they were Catholics’ would have been quite the news to my grandparents, born in 1887 and 1890, who were avid Bible readers their lives long having the example of THEIR parents and grandparents who did so as well.

Now I’m old but not old enough to have lived in the 19th century for firsthand information, but it seems to me that all I ever HEAR is ‘anecdotal’ evidence from people who swore that their dad and granddad etc were all ‘told’ by ‘the priest’ or ‘the teachers’ NOT to read the Bible.

Yet I have my grandparents’ Bible from 1900 with the Imprimatur and the INDULGENCE for daily Bible reading right there in the front. So if there were well-intentioned priests who wrongly professed ‘don’t read the Bible’, anybody who actually LOOKED at a Catholic Bible could see right in the front that Bible reading was ENCOURAGED. And all my anecdotal experience family wise is that we were ENCOURAGED to read the Bible.

So --who to believe? Internet posters and articles which speak of a ‘dark time’ (usually prior to the springtime of Vatican 2) where the people were told to pray (but not the Bible), pay, and obey --or internet posters and articles who speak of their families’ long traditions of reading the Bible regularly?

I grew up during Vatican II. We owned Bibles even before the Council met. Because I made my First Communion in the First Grade, I was a year ahead in catechism classes which were taught using the Baltimore Catechism, except for 4th grade Catechism.
Fourth Grade Catechism was a Brown book of Bible stories. Yes, this book was used Pre-Vatican II. I also owned my own Children’s Bible which I read from cover to cover.

Catechism in those days was pretty much a matter of rote memorization. Yes, there was homework and tests were given each week. It ended at Grade 8, although some students joined the social Catholic Youth Organization (CYO).

It is true that the Reformation brought confrontation and Vatican II did seek to change that approach with a greater emphasis on dialogue. There are many Catholics, not simply non-Catholics who have bought into the notions that Catholics should not read the Bible. While non-Catholics tote their Bibles to services, or find them in the pews that is not the case with Catholics. We find missalettes. In past generations we carried our own missals. What does a missal contain except for the readings taken from Scripture, from the Bible. The connection is simply not made. Although Catholics, especially since Vatican II, have been encouraged to read the Bible on their own, they do not.
Then we come back to St. Jerome who warned us that “Ignorance of Scripture is Ignorance of God.” The person who does know his/her scripture can see through over-simplified doctrines of somebody trying draw him/her away from the Catholic Church.

I just reading John Newman. The call for the laity to read scripture is renewed with Vatican I if I’m not mistaken.

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