authorities in communion with her, to the present time, I subjoin them, with some slight variations, in English, (the Latin being inserted in almost every edition, foreign, as well as Roman,) from the valuable Illustrations of Biblical Literature, &c. by the Rev. JAMES TOWNLEY *

RULES. I. All books condemned by the supreme pontiffs, or general councils, before the year 1515, and not comprised in the present Index, are, nevertheless, to be considered as condemned.

II. The books of heresiarchs, whether of those who broached or disseminated their heresies prior to the year above-mentioned, or of those who have been, or are, the heads or leaders of heretics, as Luther, Zuingle, Calvin, Balthasar Pacimon. tanus, Swenchfeld, and other similar ones, are altogether forbidden, whatever may be their names, titles, or subjects. And the books of other heretics, which treat professedly upon religion, are totally condemned; but those which do not treat upon religion are allowed to be read, after having been examined and approved by Catholic divines, by order of the bishops and inquisitors. Those Catholic books also are permitted to be read, which have been composed by

* Vol. ii. pp. 479-485.

authors who have afterwards fallen into heresy, or who, after their fall, have returned into the bosom of the church, provided they have been approved by the theological faculty of some Catholic university, or by the general inquisition.

III. Translations of ecclesiastical writers, which have been hitherto published by condemned authors, are permitted to be read, if they contain nothing contrary to sound doctrine. Translations of the Old Testament may also be allowed, but only to learned and pious men, at the discretion of the bishop; provided they use them merely as elucidations of the Vulgate version, in order to understand the Holy Scriptures, and not as the Sacred Text itself. But translations of the New Testament made by authors of the first class of this Index, are allowed to no one, since little advantage, but much danger, generally arises from reading them. If notes accompany the versions which are allowed to be read, or are joined to the Vulgate edition, they may be permitted to be read by the same persons as the versions, after the suspected places have been expunged by the theological faculty of some Catholic university, or by the general inquisitor. On the same conditions, also, pious and learned men may be permitted to have what is called Vatablus's Bible, or any part of it. But the

preface and Prolegomena of the Bible published by Isidorus Clarius are, however, excepted; and the text of his editions is not to be considered as the text of the vulgate edition.

IV. Inasmuch as it is manifest from experience, that if the Holy Bible, translated into the vulgar tongue, be indiscriminately allowed to every one, the temerity of men will cause more evil than good to arise from it, it is, on this point, referred to the judgment of the bishops or inquisitors, who may, by the advice of the priest or confessor, permit the reading of the Bible translated into the vulgar tongue by Catholic authors, to those persons whose faith and piety, they apprehend, will be augmented, and not injured by it; and this permission they must have in writing. But if

any one shall have the presumption to read or possess it without such written permission, he shall not receive absolution until he have first delivered

up such Bible to the ordinary. Booksellers, however, who shall sell, or otherwise dispose of Bibles in the vulgar tongue, to any person not having such permission, shall forfeit the value of the books, to be applied by the bishop to some pious use; and be subjected to such other penalties as the bishop shall judge proper, according to the quality of the offence. But regulars shall neither read nor


purchase such Bibles without a special licence from their superiors.

V. Books of which heretics are the editors, but which contain little or nothing of their own, being mere compilations from others, as lexicons, concordances, apophthegms, similies, indexes, and others of a similar kind, may be allowed by the bishops and inquisitors, after having made, with the advice of Catholic divines, such corrections and emendations as may be deemed requisite.

VI. Books of controversy betwixt the Catholics and heretics of the present time, written in the vulgar tongue, are not to be indiscriminately allowed, but are to be subject to the same regulations as Bibles in the vulgar tongue. As to those works in the vulgar tongue which treat of morality, contemplation, confession, and similar subjects, and which contain nothing contrary to sound doctrine, there is no reason why they should be prohibited: the same may be said also of sermons in the vulgar tongue, designed for the people. And if, in any kingdom or province, any books have been hitherto prohibited, as containing things not proper to be read, without selection, by all sorts of persons, they may be allowed by the bishop and inquisitor, after having corrected them, if written by Catholic authors.

VII. Books professedly treating of lascivious or obscene subjects, or narrating or teaching them, are utterly prohibited, since, not only faith, but morals, which are readily corrupted by the perusal of them, are to be attended to ; and those who possess them shall be severely punished by the bishop. But the works of antiquity, written by the heathens, are permitted to be read, because of the elegance and propriety of the language; though on no account shall they be suffered to be read by young persons.

VIII. Books, the principal subject of which is good, but in which some things are occasionally introduced tending to heresy and impiety, divination or superstition, may be allowed, after they have been corrected by Catholic divines, by the authority of the general inquisition. The same judgment is also formed of prefaces, summaries, or notes, taken from condemned authors, and inserted in the works of authors not condemned ; but such works must not be printed in future, until they have been amended.

IX. All books and writings of geomancy, hydromancy, aëromancy, pyromancy, onomancy, chiromancy, and necromancy; or which treat of sorceries, poisons, auguries, auspices, or magical incantations, are utterly rejected. The bishops shall also diligently guard against any persons

« ElőzőTovább »