Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Dictionary

A modern dictionary of Catholic terms, both common and obscure. Find accurate definitions of words and phrases.

Search:

Or browse the dictionary by selecting a letter!
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

FORBIDDEN BOOKS

Written material that Catholics are forbidden to read, except for grave reasons, because it is contrary to Christian faith or morals. Lists of forbidden books date from the earliest centuries; for example, Pope Innocent, in 417, forbade the faithful to read the apocryphal Scriptures. The first extensive list, called the Index Librorum Prohibitorum (List of Prohibited Books), was issued by the Congregation of the Inquisition under Pope Paul IV in 1557. In 1571 Pope St. Pius V established a special Congregation of the Index, which survived until 1917, when pope Benedict XV transferred its responsibilities to the Holy Office. When the Code of Canon Law was published in 1918, twenty-one separate laws (1395-1405) dealt with the matter of forbidden books, and severe ecclesiastical penalties were imposed for disobedience. In 1966 the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith declared that the Index and its corresponding penalties were no longer binding in law. However, no basic change was made in the Church's attitude toward reading literature contrary to revealed truth. Catholics are still obliged to refrain from reading whatever would be a proximate danger to their faith and Christian virtue.

All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.

Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Famous actors bring the New Testament to dramatic life in this audio Bible 2 hours ago
Preparing for the Jubilee of Mercy 4 hours ago
Final Liturgical Year volume for 2014-2015 now available August 31
Church Fathers: The Third Century and the School of Alexandria August 29
Every Aspect of the Catholic Thing August 28

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Pope Francis: welcome with compassion those who have remarried outside the Church CWN - August 5
Pope Francis: SSPX priests will licitly and validly absolve sins during Jubilee of Mercy CWN - 15 hours ago