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There is a myth circulating in the Protestant circle that, now and/or in the past, Catholics were forbidden from reading the Holy Bible.

This myth opposes the centuries old practice of promoting the Catholic Bible:

1. The first Bible was compiled by scholars of the Catholic Church during the second and third century. It was approved by the Catholic Councils of Hippo in 393 A.D. and Carthage in 397 A.D.

2. The first Bible to be printed was a Catholic Bible under the auspices of the Catholic Church. It was printed by the Catholic inventor of the printing press, Johannes Gutenberg.

3. The first Bible to have Chapters and numbered verses was produced by the Catholic Cardinal Archbishop of Canterbury, Stephen Langton.

4. Everyday during the Holy Mass, throughout the world, there are 2 Bible readings, 3 on Sundays.

5. Most Catholic homes have a Bible.

6. The Bible is taught in Catholic Schools.

7. All Catholics are free to purchase a Holy Bible if they wish to do so and are encouraged to read it in their leisure time.

The origin of the myth

1. In the past, most Holy Bibles owned by the Catholic Church were locked away in a safe place. This was to prevent them from being stolen. Many of these Holy Bibles were hand written, they being incredibly valuable due to their scarcity.

2. It is alleged that the Church forbade Catholics from reading the Holy Bible by placing it on the index of Forbidden Books. The Bibles placed on the Index of Forbidden Books were Protestant Bibles that lacked 7 books and/or badly translated versions of the Bible.


The Diocese of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada, is the only place in the world that I know of where in the days before Vatican II, Catholics were forbidden from reading the Holy Bible. Even local priests will admit to this practice. The explanation given for this non-Catholic practice is that the local priests feared if Catholics were to read the Bible, they would give it their own personal interpretation. Not being qualified to interpret the Holy Bible, they were forbidden to read it.

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