Why are there not Bibles in the pews of Catholic churches?


My grandparents received a family Bible for their wedding long before my mother was born in 1953.

So again, this was a regional heresy, not a widespread one.


This is not true for at least two reasons:

  1. many people, esp the educated, understood Latin - esp to get by in Church. And when I say educated, I don’t mean just college.

    • Some in grade school learned Latin, and almost everyone who went to High School learned Latin.
    • And if they went to Catholic School, they studied Latin from first grade.
  2. during the Sermon, many priests (if not most) re-read the readings in the vernacular as part of his sermon. And if he didn’t read it word for word, he still did a though homily regarding the reading.


BYOB. Bring your own Bible. We got Missals for Mass, but reading the Bible and praying the Rosary before Mass is always a good idea.


My Kindle Bible gets more use than my paper one. Nearly always close at hand.


That, and one or another of the Bible apps on my phone :smiley:


Interesting. I use book Bibles more so than on computer. Although I have 3 on this tablet, I find it more difficult than real books.

Guess preference.



I’m a visual learner, so I’ve always paid better attention when I read along during the Scripture readings. There’s an iBreviary app that I use at Mass. It has a Missal and includes the Scripture readings, as well as the Liturgy of the Hours and other prayers.



I have iMissal which does not use wi-fi, which I use at Mass, and Laudate, which I use for home, because it uses wi-fi. iMissal has the readings, but no Bible. Laudate does have the Bible, but the Bible I use is in Kindle books. I am getting fairly good at navigating it. At Mass, I do not read the readings, but I sit close to the front, so that I can lipread, which takes some concentration because at times I have double vision.

Your iBreviary must be a new member of the iMissal family, more like Laudate.


Aboslute nonsense. The Mass drips with Scripture, Scripture oozes from the walls of the building, and we are highly encouraged to study the Sacred Scriptures. The Catecism says

  • "The Church “forcefully and specifically exhorts all the Christian faithful. . . to learn the surpassing knowledge of Jesus Christ, by frequent reading of the divine Scriptures. Ignorance of the Scriptures is ignorance of Christ.”

And there are MOUNTAINS of formal teaching, commentaries and guidance from the Church.

A reputation that is totally, utterly and in all ways completely undeserved.

Your neighbor hasn’t the slightest clue what she’s talking about.


Wow! I can’t believe she said that… All the Catholics I know have bibles in their homes and read and study them…


The neighbor is kind of young to have such a distorted belief … that only priests are allowed to have a Bible.


Practically speaking if a parish has spent money on missals, hymn books, and Office books there may not be enough money left to buy Bibles too. Add in the cost of sacristy supplies and general maintenance of a parish, Bibles fall down the priority list.

Most Catholics wouldn’t use a Bible during Mass as everything is in the missal anyway (or printed on a sheet) and others who go to spend time before the Blessed Sacrament or to pray in church would take their own devotional reading or Bible. I’ve always been able to borrow a Bible if I’ve forgotten mine from a small supply kept in church.

Most of the Anglican churches I used to attend didn’t have Bibles in the pews either as everything was in the Prayer Book.

Lots of Catholic Bibles now come with notes and cross references. The Cathechism is bursting with biblical references. Let’s not forget either that Catholics have long been encouraged to read and study Scripture in lectio divina and, as previously mentioned, granted indulgences for the prayer reading of Scripture.


But if that is what she was taught as a child in the 40’s and 50’s, then of course she is going to believe it. (And just to put at rest a previous poster’s comments, her mind is quite sharp. But thank you for assuming otherwise.)


That’s actually not standard in Protestant churches, either.

There weren’t Bibles in the pew at my parents’ Protestant church, and when I see the Protestant college kids after church on Sunday, they’re often carrying around their Bibles. If they are bringing their own Bibles, why should there be a Bible in the pew?


Yeah, sounds more like somebody making up a good excuse for herself not to bother reading it.


The fact that she was poorly catechized does not make a stereotype true. If she was taught that a certain race was inferior in the 40s and 50s, people would be blaming her for not expanding her thinking and just going on what she was taught. However, she makes a totally incorrect statement about Catholicism based on wrong stuff she was taught, and somehow this is our problem to solve?

Adults need to take some responsibility for not maintaining stupidity throughout their life based on something they were allegedly taught (this is highly questionable IMHO) 60 years ago.


You realize, don’t you, that this was a common teaching, especially in that era? And you realize that when the Catholic Church teaches something through official institutions such as Catholic schools (and presumably by Catholic nuns), there is very little leeway for challenging that teaching? Isn’t that in the rule book? Don’t challenge the Church?


We have provided you with an entire thread of evidence that this was NOT a common teaching at least after WWII and possibly even before. To the extent I have heard about it at all, it’s rooted back in the 30s and your friend is too young to have been around.

Yet you keep insisting that this was somehow the norm. It sounds like you are bound and determined to believe this and perpetuate a wrong stereotype yourself rather than correcting your friend and accepting that maybe you had a misconception here.


This reminds me. I went to a public school, and a few years of Latin was required of all students. I wasn’t very good at it but I could translate a gospel passage from the Latin if I had to.
This is in addition to all the other things already mentioned.


It may have been a "common teaching " of non-Catholics and anti-Catholics about the Church. That does not mean that it was ever an actual teaching of the Church.
I grew up with the Bible. I went to Mass and heard the priest reading Bible passages. We had the Bible in my house. When I got old enough I bought my own copy. I would have been astonished and horrified if my priest had tried to tell me I shouldn’t read the Scriptures.

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