Home Forums All Things Catholic The Index (forbidden books) Reply To: The Index (forbidden books)


The first edition was published in 1559, the 20th and final edition was published in 1948.

On 7 December 1965, Pope Paul VI issued the Motu Proprio “Integrae servandae” that re-constituted the Holy Office as the “Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.” The Index was not listed as being a part of the newly-constituted Congregation’s competence, leading to questioning whether it still was. This question was put to Cardinal Ottaviani—Pro-Prefect of the Congregation—who responded in the negative.The Cardinal also indicated in his response that there was going to be a change in the Index soon.

A notification of 14 June 1966 from the Congregation, which was published on the 15 June 1966 issue of the Vatican’s newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, announced that, while the Index maintained its moral force, in that it taught Christians to beware, as required by the natural law itself, of those writings that could endanger faith and morality, it no longer had the force of ecclesiastical positive law with the associated penalties.

noteworthy Writers and religious figures on the Index include Jean Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, Voltaire, Denis Diderot, Victor Hugo, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, André Gide, Immanuel Kant, David Hume, René Descartes, Francis Bacon, John Milton, John Locke, Galileo Galilei, Blaise Pascal, Hugo Grotius, and Saint Faustina Kowalska. Charles Darwin’s works were notably never included (it is interesting to note that civil and non-Catholic religious authorities included some of these books as being dangerous, and prohibeted their import into their terretories too.)

Galileo was placed on the index not because of his science but because he ridiculed the Bible. Catholics are free to accept his science or reject it. If they accept his theories, they must add to them the understanding that however the universe was created, be it Galileo’s theory, Steven Hawkings, or Biblical, that it was God who was the author of Creation. While most Catholic theologians believe that Creation took place as described by most modern Scientist, and the two stories of Creations in Genesis 1 and 2 are not literal except that God brought all things into existance by His Will.

I’ve not yet found the entire text of the last issued Index on the Internet, and my own copy is in a box somewhere, as well as in Latin, so I doubt I’ll be posting it here any time soon. But if I find a copy online, I’ll let you know.