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Thanks Jon. And it is availible in reprint too. Tan Books has republished it. You can find it in most good libraries. The Daughters of St. Paul published an edition in the late 1960’s early 70’s that had the CofTrent along with some of the documents of Vatican II. The Catechism of the Council of Trent was originally published as a guide for priests to assure that they taught the sam Catholic doctrine everywhere. Today since most people can read, it has been in continous reprint since first published by Pope St. Pius V.
James: I did not mean for my comments to be comprehensive, there were any number of reasons why literacy was so low. My point was to stress how written material was expensive and not commonplace as it is today. Books in public settings, such as Bibles in Catholic Churches that were set out for those who could read were usually chained down in order to prevent them from being stolen and re-sold. You are probably too young to remember pay phones with phonebooks that were attached by a heavy cable in order to prevent people from walking away with them. But it was the same concept.
That aside, Cathedrals were called the Bibles of the Illiterate, because many a large Cathedral prior to the reformation were painted, or filled with statues and carved depictions of Bible themes, in this manner those who could not read words, could “read” the stories from the Bible and the lives of the Saints on the interior and exterior of Cathedrals.