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Reflections: Catholic Book Review Section

Summa Theologica

Bk.Rev./Ex. | Home | Daily Digest | Reflections: A-Z | Categorized

Reflections: 

 Catholic Book Review & Exchange Section

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Authorship / Editing of Written Materials

Bookcase of the Mind

Books Vs. the Cross

Duty to Submit Pernicious Books for Judgment

Ecclesiastical Examination of Written Materials

Effects of Good Books

Good Books Are Our Friends

Great Literature

Injurious / Odious Writings

Learning and Love

Liberty / Written Materials

Literature in the Home

Modernist Writings

On the Writings of St. Frances de Sales

Popes on the Writings of St. Thomas Aquinas

Reading Recommendations

Reading Secular Literature Before Holy Scripture

Rejected Writings

Reparation / Misuse of Communications

Spiritual Reading

St. Francis de Sales Declared Patron Saint of Writers

St. Jerome and Books

St. Thomas Aquinas on His Own Masterful Writings

Traditional Obligation of Catholic Booksellers

Warnings / Cautions Concerning Written Materials

We Should Not Look to Heterodox Works

Writings to be Rejected / Shunned

Misc. / Written Materials

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Quotation

"Can. 1386 § 1 Secular clerics are forbidden, without the consent of their Ordinaries, [and likewise] religious without the permission of their major Superiors and local Ordinaries, to edit books that treat of profane [secular] things and to write for or supervise newspapers, pamphlets, and periodical literature. § 2 Neither shall laity, unless persuaded by just and reasonable cause approved by the local Ordinary, write for newspapers, pamphlets or periodical literature that is accustomed to attacking the Catholic religion or good morals." (1917 Code of Canon Law)

"Believe me, the writing of pious books, the composing of the sublimest poetry; all that does not equal the smallest act of self-denial." (St. Therese of Lisieux, Doctor of the Church)

"If thou writest, thy composition has no charms for me, unless I read there the name of Jesus." (St. Bernard of Clairvaux, Doctor of the Church)

"[St. Francis de Sales], by his example, teaches them in no uncertain manner precisely how they should write. In the first place, and this the most important of all, each writer should endeavor in every way and as far as this may be possible to obtain a complete comprehension of the teachings of the Church. They should never compromise where the truth is involved, nor, because of fear of possibly offending an opponent, minimize or dissimulate it. They should pay particular attention to literary style and should try to express their thoughts clearly and in beautiful language so that their readers will the more readily come to love the truth. When it is necessary to enter into controversy, they should be prepared to refute error and to overcome the wiles of the wicked, but always in a way that will demonstrate clearly that they are animated by the highest principles and moved only by Christian charity." (Pope Pius XI, "Rerum Omnium Perturbationem", 1923)

"The fact that many Catholic writers also go beyond the limits determined by the Fathers and the Church herself is extremely regrettable. In the name of higher knowledge and historical research (they say), they are looking for that progress of dogmas which is, in reality, nothing but the corruption of dogmas." (Pope St. Pius X, "Lamentabili Sane", 1907)

CONDEMNED ERROR #22: "The obligation by which Catholic teachers and authors are strictly bound is confined to those things only which are proposed to universal belief as dogmas of faith by the infallible judgment of the Church." (Error Condemned by Pope Pius IX, "Syllabus of Errors", 1864)

Also See: St. Francis de Sales Declared Patron Saint of Writers

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"And do your best to hard up whatever you can in that little book-case of your mind; you want to fill it as full as possible." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

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"The Cross is precious because it enlightens the mind and gives it an understanding which no book in the world can give." (St. Louis de Montfort)

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"Can. 1397 § 1 It is for all the faithful, especially clerics and [those] constituted in ecclesiastical dignity and those excelling in doctrine, to send to local Ordinaries or to the Apostolic See books that they judge pernicious; this pertains by a special title to Legates of the Holy See, local Ordinaries, and Rectors of Catholic Universities. § 2 It is expedient that in the denunciation of depraved books, there should be indicated not only the title of the book but also, insofar as this can be done, the causes explained why the book should be considered for prohibition. § 3 Those to whom the denunciation is sent must religiously observe secrecy regarding the name of the one denouncing it. § 4 Local Ordinaries personally, or where it is necessary, through suitable priests, shall be vigilant about the books that are published in their own territory or set out for sale. § 5 Books that require a detailed examination or for which there seems to be required a decision of the supreme authority in order to bring about a salutary result, should be sent by the Ordinaries for the judgment of the Apostolic See." (1917 Code of Canon Law)

Also See: Ecclesiastical Examination of Written Materials

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"The Church has always taken action to destroy the plague of bad books. This was true even in apostolic times for we read that the apostles themselves burned a large number of books." (Pope Gregory XVI, "Mirari Vos", 1832)

"But it is not enough to hinder the reading and the sale of bad books - it is also necessary to prevent them from being printed. Hence let the Bishops use the utmost severity in granting permission to print." (Pope St. Pius X, "Pascendi Dominici Gregis", 1907)

"'We must fight valiantly,' Clement XIII says in an encyclical letter about the banning of bad books, 'as much as the matter itself demands and must exterminate the deadly poison of so many books; for never will the material for error be withdrawn, unless the criminal sources of depravity perish in flames.' Thus it is evident that this Holy See has always striven, throughout the ages, to condemn and to remove suspect and harmful books." (Pope Gregory XVI, "Mirari Vos", 1832)

"Can. 823 §1 In order to safeguard the integrity of faith and morals, pastors of the Church have the duty and the right to ensure that in writings or in the use of the means of social communication there should be no ill effect on the faith and morals of Christ's faithful. They also have the duty and the right to demand that where writings of the faithful touch upon matters of faith and morals, these be submitted to their judgement. Moreover, they have the duty and the right to condemn writings which harm true faith or good morals. §2 For Christ's faithful entrusted to their care, the duty and the right mentioned in §1 belong to the Bishops, both as individuals and in particular councils or Episcopal Conferences; for the whole people of God, they belong to the supreme authority in the Church." (1983 Code of Canon Law)

"Can. 824 §1 Unless it is otherwise provided, the local Ordinary whose permission or approval for publishing a book is to be sought according to the canons of this title, is the author's proper local Ordinary, or the Ordinary of the place in which the book is published. §2 Unless the contrary is clear, what is said in the canons of this title about books, applies also to any writings intended for publication." (1983 Code of Canon Law)

"Can. 825 §1 Books of the sacred Scriptures may not be published unless they are approved by the Apostolic See or the Episcopal Conference. The publication of translations of the sacred Scriptures requires the approval of the same authority, and they must have necessary and sufficient annotations." (1983 Code of Canon Law)

"Can. 826 §2 To republish liturgical books or to publish translations of all or part of them, it must be established, by an attestation of the Ordinary of the place in which they are published, that they accord with an approved edition." (1983 Code of Canon Law)

"Can. 826 §3 Prayer books, for either the public or the private use of the faithful, are not to be published without the permission of the local Ordinary." (1983 Code of Canon Law)

"Can. 828 Collections of decrees or acts published by any ecclesiastical authority may not be republished without first seeking the permission of the same authority and observing the conditions which it lays down." (1983 Code of Canon Law)

"Can. 829 The approval or permission to publish some work is valid for the original text but not for new editions or translations of the same." (1983 Code of Canon Law)

"Can. 830 §1 Every local Ordinary retains the right to appoint persons whom he considers competent to give a judgement about books. The Episcopal Conference, however, may draw up a list of censors who are outstanding for their knowledge, right doctrine and prudence, to be available to diocesan curias; it may even establish a commission of censors whom the local Ordinary can consult. §2 In carrying out this task, a censor must put aside all preference of persons and look only to the teaching of the Church concerning faith and morals, as declared by its magisterium. §3 The censor must give an opinion in writing. If it is favorable, the Ordinary may, in his prudent judgement, give his permission for the work to be published, adding his own name and the date and place of the permission. If he does not give this permission, the Ordinary must inform the author of the reasons for the refusal." (1983 Code of Canon Law)

"Can. 1384 § a. The Church has the right of requiring that books that have not been recognized by her prior judgment not be published by the faithful, and that those published by anyone be prohibited for a just cause. § 2 Those things that are prescribed about books in this title are applicable to daily publications, periodicals, and other published writings, unless it appears otherwise." (1917 Code of Canon Law)

"Can. 1395 § 1 The right and duty of prohibiting books for a just cause belongs not only to the supreme ecclesiastical authority for the universal Church, but for their subjects also to particular Councils and to local Ordinaries. § 2 From this prohibition there is given recourse to the Holy See, but it is not, however, suspensive. § 3 Even the Abbot of a monastery of its own right and the supreme Moderator of a clerical exempt religious [Institute] with his Chapter or Council, can prohibit books for his subjects for a just cause; likewise, if there is danger in delay, other major Superiors can [act] with their own Council, notwithstanding the requirement that the matter go as quickly as possible to the supreme Moderator." (1917 Code of Canon Law)

"Can. 1396 Books condemned by the Apostolic See are considered prohibited in any place and in any language." (1917 Code of Canon Law)

"Can. 1398 § 1 The prohibition of books brings it about that the book cannot be published, read, retained, sold, translated into another language, or in any other way communicated to others without necessary permission. § 2 A book that in any manner is prohibited cannot once again be brought out unless, the corrections having been made, permission is given by him who prohibited the book, or by his Superior or successor." (1917 Code of Canon Law)

"Let them combat novelties of words remembering the admonitions of Leo XIII: 'It is impossible to approve in Catholic publications of a style inspired by unsound novelty which seems to deride the piety of the faithful and dwells on the introduction of a new order of Christian life, on new directions of the Church, on new aspirations of the modern soul, on a new vocation of the clergy, on a new Christian civilization.' Language of this kind is not to be tolerated either in books or from chairs of learning. The Councils [of Vigilance] must not neglect the books treating of the pious traditions of different places or of sacred relics. Let them not permit such questions to be discussed in periodicals destined to stimulate piety, neither with expressions savoring of mockery or contempt, nor by dogmatic pronouncements, especially when, as is often the case, what is stated as a certainty either does not pass the limits of probability or is merely based on prejudiced opinion." (Pope St. Pius X, "Pascendi Dominici Gregis", 1907)

"To give you some more general directions, Venerable Brethren, in a matter of such moment, We bid you do everything in your power to drive out of your dioceses, even by solemn interdict, any pernicious books that may be in circulation there. The Holy See neglects no means to put down writings of this kind, but the number of them has now grown to such an extent that it is impossible to censure them all. Hence it happens that the medicine sometimes arrives too late, for the disease has taken root during the delay. We will, therefore, that the Bishops, putting aside all fear and the prudence of the flesh, despising the outcries of the wicked, gently by all means but constantly, do each his own share of this work, remembering the injunctions of Leo XIII in the Apostolic Constitution Officiorum: 'Let the Ordinaries, acting in this also as Delegates of the Apostolic See, exert themselves to prescribe and to put out of reach of the faithful injurious books or other writings printed or circulated in their dioceses.' In this passage the Bishops, it is true, receive a right, but they have also a duty imposed on them. Let no Bishop think that he fulfils this duty by denouncing to us one or two books, while a great many others of the same kind are being published and circulated. Nor are you to be deterred by the fact that a book has obtained the Imprimatur elsewhere, both because this may be merely simulated, and because it may have been granted through carelessness or easiness or excessive confidence in the author as may sometimes happen in religious Orders. Besides, just as the same food does not agree equally with everybody, it may happen that a book harmless in one may, on account of the different circumstances, be hurtful in another. Should a Bishop, therefore, after having taken the advice of prudent persons, deem it right to condemn any of such books in his diocese, We not only give him ample faculty to do so but We impose it upon him as a duty to do so. Of course, it is Our wish that in such action proper regard be used, and sometimes it will suffice to restrict the prohibition to the clergy; but even in such cases it will be obligatory on Catholic booksellers not to put on sale books condemned by the Bishop." (Pope St. Pius X, "Pascendi Dominici Gregis", 1907) 

It is certainly possible to obtain without difficulty some learning by reading books. The skill of book-printing has been invented, or rather improved and perfected, with God's assistance, particularly in our time. Without doubt it has brought many benefits to men and women since, at small expense, it is possible to possess a great number of books. These permit minds to devote themselves very readily to scholarly studies. Thus there can easily result, particularly among Catholics, men competent in all kinds of languages; and we desire to see in the Roman church, in good supply, men of this type who are capable of instructing even unbelievers in the holy commandments, and of gathering them for their salvation into the body of the faithful by the teaching of the Christian faith. Complaints from many persons, however, have reached our ears and those of the apostolic see. In fact, some printers have the boldness to print and sell to the public, in different parts of the world, books - some translated into Latin from Greek, Hebrew, Arabic and Chaldean as well as some issued directly in Latin or a vernacular language - containing errors opposed to the faith as well as pernicious views contrary to the Christian religion and to the reputation of prominent persons of rank. The readers are not edified. Indeed, they lapse into very great errors not only in the realm of faith but also in that of life and morals. This has often given rise to various scandals, as experience has taught, and there is daily the fear that even greater scandals are developing. That is why, to prevent what has been a healthy discovery for the glory of God, the advance of the faith, and the propagation of good skills, from being misused for the opposite purposes and becoming an obstacle to the salvation of Christians, we have judged that our care must be exercised over the printing of books, precisely so that thorns do not grow up with the good seed or poisons become mixed with medicines. It is our desire to provide a suitable remedy for this danger, with the approval of this sacred council, so that the business of book-printing may go ahead with greater satisfaction the more that there is employed in the future, with greater zeal and prudence, a more attentive supervision. We therefore establish and ordain that henceforth, for all future time, no one may dare to print or have printed any book or other writing of whatever kind in Rome or in any other cities and dioceses, without the book or writings having first been closely examined, at Rome by our vicar and the master of the sacred palace, in other cities and dioceses by the bishop or some other person who knows about the printing of books and writings of this kind and who has been delegated to this office by the bishop in question, and also by the inquisitor of heresy for the city or diocese where the said printing is to take place, and unless the books or writings have been approved by a warrant signed in their own hand, which must be given, under pain of excommunication, freely and without delay." (Fifth Lateran Council)

"With regard to priests who are correspondents or collaborators of periodicals, as it happens not infrequently that they write matter infected with Modernism for their papers or periodicals, let the Bishops see to it that this is not permitted to happen, and, should they fail in this duty, let the Bishops make due provision with authority delegated by the Supreme Pontiff. Let there be, as far as this is possible, a special Censor for newspapers and periodicals written by Catholics. It shall be his office to read in due time each number after it has been published, and if he find anything dangerous in it let him order that it be corrected. The Bishop shall have the same right even when the Censor has seen nothing objectionable in a publication." (Pope St. Pius X, "Pascendi Dominici Gregis", 1907)

Also See: Duty to Submit Pernicious Books for Judgment | Injurious / Odious Writings | Rejected Writings | Writings to be Rejected / Shunned | Reading Recommendations

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"There are many striking examples of the salutary effects of the reading of pious books. Outstanding is the case of Augustine whose great services to the Church had their origin in such reading: 'Take, read; take, read; I took (the epistles of Paul the Apostle), I opened, I read in silence; it was as though the darkness of all my doubting was driven away by the light of peace which had entered my soul.'" (Pope St. Pius X, Haerent Animo)

Also See: Good Books Are Our Friends

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"Everyone knows the great influence that is exerted by the voice of a friend who gives candid advice, assists by his counsel, corrects, encourages and leads one away from error. Blessed is the man who has found a true friend; he that has found him has found a treasure. We should, then, count pious books among our true friends. They solemnly remind us of our duties and of the prescriptions of legitimate discipline; they arouse the heavenly voices that were stifled in our souls; they rid our resolutions of listlessness; they disturb our deceitful complacency; they show the true nature of less worthy affections to which we have sought to close our eyes; they bring to light the many dangers which beset the path of the imprudent. They render all these services with such kindly discretion that they prove themselves to be not only our friends, but the very best of friends. They are always at hand, constantly beside us to assist us in the needs of our souls; their voice is never harsh, their advice is never self-seeking, their words are never timid or deceitful." (Pope St. Pius X, "Haerent Animo", 1908)

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"Catholic writers have produced most of the world's greatest literature...literature written by Catholics is one of the word's greatest treasures." (Curran)

Also See: Reading Recommendations

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"Can. 2344 Whoever gives injury to the Roman Pontiff, a Cardinal of the H.R.C., a Legate of the Roman Pontiff, to Sacred Roman Congregations, Tribunals of the Apostolic See, and their major Officials, and their own Ordinary by public journals, sermons, or pamphlets whether directly or indirectly, or who excites animosity or odium against their acts, decrees, decisions, or sentences shall be punished by an Ordinary not only at the request of a party but even by office with censures and, or order to accomplish satisfaction, other appropriate penalties and penances for the gravity of the fault and the repair of scandal." (1917 Code of Canon Law)

"Can. 1369 A person is to be punished with a just penalty, who, at a public event or assembly, or in a published writing, or by otherwise using the means of social communication, utters blasphemy, or gravely harms good morals, or expresses insults or excites hatred or contempt against religion or the Church" (1983 Code of Canon Law)

Also See: Duty to Submit Pernicious Books for Judgment | Modernist Writings | Rejected Writings | Warnings / Cautions Concerning Written Materials | We Should Not Look to Heterodox Works | Writings to be Rejected / Shunned

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"What would be the good of learning without love? It would puff up. And love without learning? It would go astray" (St. Bernard of Clairvaux, Doctor of the Church)

"...according to [St.] Thomas [Aquinas], by far the most important benefit to be derived from sacred studies, is that they inspire a man with a great love for God and a great longing for eternal things." (Pope Pius XI, "Studiorum Ducem", 1923)

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"So, also, liberty of thinking and of publishing whatsoever each one likes without any hindrance is not in itself a good over which society can rejoice. On the contrary, it is the source and origin of many evils. Liberty, that element of perfection for man, should be applied in relation to that which is true and good. However, the essence of goodness and truth cannot be changed at the will of man, but remains ever one and the same, and by the nature of things is immutable. If the mind assents to false opinions, if the will chooses and follows after the evil, then neither the mind nor the will can achieve its perfection. Both fall from their native dignity and are corrupted. Whatever, therefore, is opposed to virtue and truth, may not be permitted to come before the eyes of men to tempt them. And much less can be sanctioned by the favor and protection of laws." (Pope Leo XIII)

"We must now consider briefly liberty of speech, and liberty of the press. It is hardly necessary to say that there can be no such right as this, if it be not used in moderation, and if it pass beyond the bounds and end of all true liberty. For right is a moral power which - as We have before said and must again and again repeat - it is absurd to suppose that nature has accorded indifferently to truth and falsehood, to justice and injustice. Men have a right freely and prudently to propagate throughout the State what things soever are true and honorable, so that as many as possible may possess them; but lying opinions, than which no mental plague is greater, and vices which corrupt the heart and moral life should be diligently repressed by public authority, lest they insidiously work the ruin of the State. The excesses of an unbridled intellect, which unfailingly end in the oppression of the untutored multitude, are no less rightly controlled by the authority of the law than are the injuries inflicted by violence upon the weak. And this all the more surely, because by far the greater part of the community is either absolutely unable, or able only with great difficulty, to escape from illusions and deceitful subtleties, especially such as flatter the passions. If unbridled license of speech and of writing be granted to all, nothing will remain sacred and inviolate; even the highest and truest mandates of natures, justly held to be the common and noblest heritage of the human race, will not be spared. Thus, truth being gradually obscured by darkness, pernicious and manifold error, as too often happens, will easily prevail. Thus, too, license will gain what liberty loses; for liberty will ever be more free and secure in proportion as license is kept in fuller restraint. In regard, however, to all matter of opinion which God leaves to man's free discussion, full liberty of thought and of speech is naturally within the right of everyone; for such liberty never leads men to suppress the truth, but often to discover it and make it known." (Pope Leo XIII, "Libertas Praestantissimum", 1888)

"And so from what has been said it follows that it is by no means lawful to demand, to defend, and to grant indiscriminate freedom of thought, writing, teaching, and likewise of belief, as if so many rights which nature has given to man. For if nature had truly given these, it would be right to reject God's power, and human liberty could be restrained by no law. - Similarly it follows that these kinds of freedom can indeed be tolerated, if there are just reasons, yet with definite moderation, lest they degenerate into caprice and indulgence." (Pope Leo XIII, "Libertas praestantissimum", June 20, 1888 A.D.)

"Here We must include that harmful and never sufficiently denounced freedom to publish any writings whatever and disseminate them to the people, which some dare to demand and promote with so great a clamor. We are horrified to see what monstrous doctrines and prodigious errors are disseminated far and wide in countless books, pamphlets, and other writings which, though small in weight, are very great in malice. We are in tears at the abuse which proceeds from them over the face of the earth. Some are so carried away that they contentiously assert that the flock of errors arising from them is sufficiently compensated by the publication of some book which defends religion and truth. Every law condemns deliberately doing evil simply because there is some hope that good may result. Is there any sane man who would say poison ought to be distributed, sold publicly, stored, and even drunk because some antidote is available and those who use it may be snatched from death again and again?" (Pope Gregory XVI, "Mirari Vos", 1832)

Also See: Modernist Writings 

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"The prevailing spirit of the household corresponds with the literature in the home." (St. John Vianney)

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Also See: Modernism (Topic Page)

"And here we have already some of the artifices employed by Modernists to exploit their wares. What efforts they make to win new recruits! They seize upon chairs in the seminaries and universities, and gradually make of them chairs of pestilence. From these sacred chairs they scatter, though not always openly, the seeds of their doctrines; they proclaim their teachings without disguise in congresses; they introduce them and make them the vogue in social institutions. Under their own names and under pseudonyms they publish numbers of books, newspapers, reviews, and sometimes one and the same writer adopts a variety of pseudonyms to trap the incautious reader into believing in a whole multitude of Modernist writers - in short they leave nothing untried, in action, discourses, writings, as though there were a frenzy of propaganda upon them." (Pope St. Pius X, "Pascendi Dominici Gregis", 1907)

"It is also the duty of the bishops to prevent writings infected with Modernism or favorable to it from being read when they have been published, and to hinder their publication when they have not. No book or paper or periodical of this kind must ever be permitted to seminarians or university students. The injury to them would be equal to that caused by immoral reading - nay, it would be greater for such writings poison Christian life at its very fount. The same decision is to be taken concerning the writings of some Catholics, who, though not badly disposed themselves but ill-instructed in theological studies and imbued with modern philosophy, strive to make this harmonize with the faith, and, as they say, to turn it to the profit of the faith. The name and reputation of these authors cause them to be read without suspicion, and they are, therefore, all the more dangerous in preparing the way for Modernism." (Pope St. Pius X, "Pascendi Dominici Gregis", 1907) 

"With regard to priests who are correspondents or collaborators of periodicals, as it happens not infrequently that they write matter infected with Modernism for their papers or periodicals, let the Bishops see to it that this is not permitted to happen, and, should they fail in this duty, let the Bishops make due provision with authority delegated by the Supreme Pontiff. Let there be, as far as this is possible, a special Censor for newspapers and periodicals written by Catholics. It shall be his office to read in due time each number after it has been published, and if he find anything dangerous in it let him order that it be corrected. The Bishop shall have the same right even when the Censor has seen nothing objectionable in a publication." (Pope St. Pius X, "Pascendi Dominici Gregis", 1907)

"This, surely, will be quite clear to one who observes how the modernists act quite in conformity with what they teach. For much seems to have been written and spoken by them in contrary fashion so that one might easily think them doubtful and uncertain. But this takes place deliberately and advisedly, namely, in accord with the opinion which they hold on the mutual exclusion of faith and science. Thus in their books we find certain things which a Catholic entirely approves, yet on turning the page certain things which one could think were dictated by a rationalist. So, when writing history they make no mention of the divinity of Christ, but when preaching in the churches they profess it most strongly. Likewise, when discussing history they have no place for the Councils and the Fathers, but when teaching catechism, they refer to the former and the latter with respect. Thus, too, they separate theological and pastoral exegesis from the scientific and the historical. Similarly, on the principle that science in no wise depends on faith, when they are treating of philosophy, history, and criticism, with no special horror about following in the tracks of Luther, they display in every way a contempt for Catholic precepts, the Holy Fathers, the Ecumenical Synods, and the ecclesiastical magisterium; and if they are criticized for this, they complain that they are being deprived of their freedom. Finally, professing that faith must be made subject to science, they rebuke the Church generally and openly, because she refuses most resolutely to subject and accommodate her teachings to the opinions of philosophy; but they, repudiating the old theology for this purpose, endeavor to bring in the new, which follows the ravings of the philosophers." (Pope St. Pius X, "Pascendi dominici gregis", 1907 A.D.)

"The fact that many Catholic writers also go beyond the limits determined by the Fathers and the Church herself is extremely regrettable. In the name of higher knowledge and historical research (they say), they are looking for that progress of dogmas which is, in reality, nothing but the corruption of dogmas." (Pope St. Pius X, "Lamentabili Sane", 1907)

Also See: Injurious / Odious Writings | Duty to Submit Pernicious Books for Judgment | Rejected Writings | Warnings / Cautions Concerning Written Materials | We Should Not Look to Heterodox Works | Writings to be Rejected / Shunned

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"You can easily see, therefore, how important it is for the Christian people to turn to the example of holiness given by St. Francis [de Sales], so that they may be edified thereby and may make his teachings the rule of their own lives. It would be impossible to exaggerate the value of his books and pamphlets, of which We have written, to attain this purpose. These books ought to be distributed as widely as possible among Catholics, for his writings are easy to understand and can be read with great pleasure. They cannot but inspire in the souls of the faithful a love of true and solid piety, a love which the clergy can develop with most happy results if they but learn to assimilate thoroughly the teachings of St. Francis and to imitate the kindly qualities which characterized his preaching." (Pope Pius XI, "Rerum Omnium Perturbationem", 1923)

"St. Francis [de Sales] published many works of piety, among which we may single out his two best known books, 'Philothea - An Introduction to the Devout Life' and 'The Treatise on the Love of God'. In the 'Introduction to the Devout Life' St. Francis, after showing clearly how hardness of heart discourages one in the practice of virtue and is altogether foreign to genuine piety (he does not strip piety of that severity which is in harmony with the Christian manner of life) then sets himself expressly to prove that holiness is perfectly possible in every state and condition of secular life, and to show how each man can live in the world in such a manner as to save his own soul, provided only he keeps himself free from the spirit of the world. At the same time we learn from the Saint how not only to perform the customary acts of everyday life, (with the exception, of course, of sin) but also a fact which all do not know, how to do these things correctly with the sole intention of pleasing God... After having pointed out how we must flee sin, fight against our evil inclinations, and avoid all useless and harmful actions, he then goes on expounding the nature of those practices of piety which cause the soul to grow, as well as how it is possible for man to remain ever united to God. Following this, he shows how necessary it is to select out a special virtue for constant practice on our part until we can say that we have mastered it. He writes, too, on the individual virtues, on modesty, on moral and immoral language, on licit and dangerous amusements, on fidelity to God, on the duties of husband and wife, of widows, and of young women. Finally, he teaches us how not only to conquer dangers, temptations, and the allurements of pleasure, but how every year it is necessary for each of us to renew and to rekindle his love of God by the making of holy resolutions. May it please God that this book, the most perfect of its kind in the opinion of contemporaries of the Saint, be read now as it formerly was by practically every one. If this were done, Christian piety certainly would flourish the world over and the Church of God could rejoice in the assurance of a widespread attainment of holiness by her children. 'The Treatise on the Love of God,' however, is a much more important and significant book than any of the others he published. In this work the saintly Doctor gives a veritable history of the love of God, explaining its origin and development among men, at the same time showing how divine love begins to cool and then to languish. He also outlines the methods of developing and of growing in the love of God. When necessary he even goes deeply into explanations of the most difficult problems as, for example, that of efficacious grace, predestination, and the gift of faith. This he does not do dryly but, by reason of the agile and well-stored mind which he possessed, in such a way that his discussions abound in most beautiful language and are filled with an equally desirable function. He was also accustomed to illustrate his thoughts by an almost infinite variety of metaphors, examples, and quotations taken from the most part from the Holy Scriptures, all of which gave the impression that what he wrote flowed no less from this heart and the depths of his being than from his intellect." (Pope Pius XI, "Rerum Omnium Perturbationem", 1923)

"In fact, St. Francis [de Sales] preached so well that his sermons were but 'an exposition of the grace and power which dwelt within his own soul.' His sermons, since they were largely made up of the teachings of the Bible and of the Fathers, became not only a source of sound doctrine but were agreeable and persuasive to his hearers as well by reason of the sweetness of the love which filled his heart. It is not surprising then that such a great number of heretics returned to the Church because of his work and that, following the guidance of such a teacher, so many of the faithful have, during the last three hundred years, attained a truly high degree of perfection." (Pope Pius XI, "Rerum Omnium Perturbationem", 1923)

"[I]t would be a wonderful aid to the furthering of piety if the sermons and writings of St. Francis [de Sales] were brought to the attention of Christian peoples." (Pope Pius XI, "Rerum Omnium Perturbationem", 1923)

Also See: St. Francis de Sales Declared Patron Saint of Writers

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"If anyone, therefore, desires to understand fully all the implications of the commandment to love God, the growth of charity and the conjoined gifts of the Holy Ghost, the differences between the various states of life, such as the state of perfection, the religious life and the apostolate, and the nature and value of each, all these and other articles of ascetical and mystical theology, he must have recourse in the first place to the Angelic Doctor [St. Thomas]." (Pope Pius XI, "Studiorum Ducem", 1923)

"And as [St. Thomas] is, as We have said, the perfect theologian, so he gives infallible rules and precepts of life not only for individuals, but also for civil and domestic society which is the object also of moral science, both economic and politic." (Pope Pius XI, "Studiorum Ducem", 1923)

"There can be no doubt that Aquinas raised Theology to the highest eminence, for his knowledge of divine things was absolutely perfect and the power of his mind made him a marvelously capable philosopher. Thomas is therefore considered the Prince of teachers in our schools, not so much on account of his philosophical system as because of his theological studies. There is no branch of theology in which he did not exercise the incredible fecundity of his genius." (Pope Pius XI, "Studiorum Ducem", 1923)

"...as we well know from the experience of centuries, the method of Aquinas is singularly preeminent both for teaching students and for bringing truth to light; his doctrine is in harmony with Divine Revelation, and is most effective both for safeguarding the foundation of the faith and for reaping, safely and usefully, the fruits of sound progress." (Pope Pius XII, "Humani Generis", 1950)

"After this slight sketch of the great virtues of Thomas, it is easy to understand the preeminence of his doctrine and the marvelous authority it enjoys in the Church. Our Predecessors, indeed, have always unanimously extolled it. Even during the lifetime of the saint, Alexander IV had no hesitation in addressing him in these terms: 'To Our beloved son, Thomas Aquinas, distinguished alike for nobility of blood and integrity of character, who has acquired by the grace of God the treasure of divine and human learning.' After his death, again, John XXII seemed to consecrate both his virtues and his doctrine when, addressing the Cardinals, he uttered in full Consistory the memorable sentence: 'He alone enlightened the Church more than all other doctors; a man can derive more profit in a year from his books than from pondering all his life the teaching of others'." (Pope Pius XI, "Studiorum Ducem", 1923)

"Whether it is ignorance or fear, or both, that inspires this conduct in them, certain it is that the passion for novelty is always united in them with hatred of scholasticism, and there is no surer sign that a man is on the way to Modernism than when he begins to show his dislike for this system." (Pope St. Pius X, "Pascendi Dominici Gregis", 1907)

"We exhort you, venerable brethren, in all earnestness to restore the golden wisdom of St. Thomas, and to spread it far and wide for the defense and beauty of the Catholic faith, for the good of society, and for the advantage of all the sciences... But, lest the false for the true or the corrupt for the pure be drunk in, be ye watchful that the doctrine of Thomas be drawn from his own fountains, or at least from those rivulets which, derived from the very fount, have thus far flowed, according to the established agreement of learned men, pure and clear; be careful to guard the minds of youth from those which are said to flow thence, but in reality are gathered from strange and unwholesome streams." (Pope Leo XIII, "Aeterni Patris", 1879)

"The aim of the whole theology of St. Thomas is to bring us into close living intimacy with God. For even as in his childhood at Monte Cassino he unceasingly put the question: 'What is God?'; so all the books he wrote concerning the creation of the world, the nature of man, laws, the virtues, and the sacraments, are all concerned with God, the Author of eternal salvation." (Pope Pius XI, "Studiorum Ducem", 1923)

"Among the Scholastic Doctors, the chief and master of all towers Thomas Aquinas, who, as Cajetan observes, because 'he most venerated the ancient Doctors of the Church, in a certain way seems to have inherited the intellect of all.' The doctrines of those illustrious men, like the scattered members of a body, Thomas collected together and cemented, distributed in wonderful order, and so increased with important additions that he is rightly and deservedly esteemed the special bulwark and glory of the Catholic faith. With his spirit at once humble and swift, his memory ready and tenacious, his life spotless throughout, a lover of truth for its own sake, richly endowed with human and divine science, like the sun he heated the world with the warmth of his virtues and filled it with the splendor of his teaching. Philosophy has no part which he did not touch finely at once and thoroughly; on the laws of reasoning, on God and incorporeal substances, on man and other sensible things, on human actions and their principles, he reasoned in such a manner that in him there is wanting neither a full array of questions, nor an apt disposal of the various parts, nor the best method of proceeding, nor soundness of principles or strength of argument, nor clearness and elegance of style, nor a facility for explaining what is abstruse." (Pope Leo XIII, "Aeterni Patris", 1879)

"He enjoyed a more than human reputation for intellect and learning and Pius V was therefore moved to enroll him officially among the holy Doctors with the title of Angelic. Again, could there be any more manifest indication of the very high esteem in which this Doctor is held by the Church than the fact that the Fathers of Trent resolved that two volumes only, Holy Scripture and the Summa Theologica, should be reverently laid open on the altar during their deliberations? And in this order of ideas, to avoid recapitulating the innumerable testimonies of the Apostolic See, We are happy to recall that the philosophy of Aquinas was revived by the authority and at the instance of Leo XIII; the merit of Our illustrious Predecessor in so doing is such, as We have said elsewhere, that if he had not been the author of many acts and decrees of surpassing wisdom, this alone would be sufficient to establish his undying glory. Pope Pius X of saintly memory followed shortly afterwards in his footsteps, more particularly in his Motu Proprio Doctoris Angelici, in which this memorable phrase occurs: 'For ever since the happy death of the Doctor, the Church has not held a single Council but he has been present at it with all the wealth of his doctrine.' Closer to Us, Our greatly regretted Predecessor Benedict XV repeatedly declared that he was entirely of the same opinion and he is to be praised for having promulgated the Code of Canon Law in which 'the system, philosophy and principles of the Angelic Doctor' are unreservedly sanctioned. We so heartily approve the magnificent tribute of praise bestowed upon this most divine genius that We consider that Thomas should be called not only the Angelic, but also the Common or Universal Doctor of the Church; for the Church has adopted his philosophy for her own, as innumerable documents of every kind attest. It would be an endless task to explain here all the reasons which moved Our Predecessors in this respect, and it will be sufficient perhaps to point out that Thomas wrote under the inspiration of the supernatural spirit which animated his life and that his writings, which contain the principles of, and the laws governing, all sacred studies, must be said to possess a universal character." (Pope Pius XI, "Studiorum Ducem", 1923)

"Moreover, the Angelic Doctor pushed his philosophic inquiry into the reasons and principles of things, which because they are most comprehensive and contain in their bosom, so to say, the seeds of almost infinite truths, were to be unfolded in good time by later masters and with a goodly yield. And as he also used this philosophic method in the refutation of error, he won this title to distinction for himself: that, single-handed, he victoriously combated the errors of former times, and supplied invincible arms to put those to rout which might in after-times spring up. Again, clearly distinguishing, as is fitting, reason from faith, while happily associating the one with the other, he both preserved the rights and had regard for the dignity of each; so much so, indeed, that reason borne on the wings of Thomas to its human height, can scarcely rise higher, while faith could scarcely expect more or stronger aids from reason than those which she has already obtained through Thomas. For these reasons most learned men, in former ages especially, of the highest repute in theology and philosophy, after mastering with infinite pains the immortal works of Thomas, gave themselves up not so much to be instructed in his angelic wisdom as to be nourished upon it. It is known that nearly all the founders and lawgivers of the religious orders commanded their members to study and religiously adhere to the teachings of St. Thomas, fearful least any of them should swerve even in the slightest degree from the footsteps of so great a man. To say nothing of the family of St. Dominic, which rightly claims this great teacher for its own glory, the statutes of the Benedictines, the Carmelites, the Augustinians, the Society of Jesus, and many others all testify that they are bound by this law. And, here, how pleasantly one's thoughts fly back to those celebrated schools and universities which flourished of old in Europe - to Paris, Salamanca, Alcala, to Douay, Toulouse, and Louvain, to Padua and Bologna, to Naples and Coimbra, and to many another! All know how the fame of these seats of learning grew with their years, and that their judgment, often asked in matters of grave moment, held great weight everywhere. And we know how in those great homes of human wisdom, as in his own kingdom, Thomas reigned supreme; and that the minds of all, of teachers as well as of taught, rested in wonderful harmony under the shield and authority of the Angelic Doctor. But, furthermore, Our predecessors in the Roman pontificate have celebrated the wisdom of Thomas Aquinas by exceptional tributes of praise and the most ample testimonials. Clement VI in the bull 'In Ordine;' Nicholas V in his brief to the friars of the Order of Preachers, 1451; Benedict XIII in the bull 'Pretiosus,' and others bear witness that the universal Church borrows luster from his admirable teaching; while St. Pius V declares in the bull 'Mirabilis' that heresies, confounded and convicted by the same teaching, were dissipated, and the whole world daily freed from fatal errors; others, such as Clement XII in the bull 'Verbo Dei'. affirm that most fruitful blessings have spread abroad from his writings over the whole Church, and that he is worthy of the honor which is bestowed on the greatest Doctors of the Church, on Gregory and Ambrose, Augustine and Jerome; while others have not hesitated to propose St. Thomas for the exemplar and master of the universities and great centers of learning whom they may follow with unfaltering feet. On which point the words of Blessed Urban V to the University of Toulouse are worthy of recall: 'It is our will, which We hereby enjoin upon you, that ye follow the teaching of Blessed Thomas as the true and Catholic doctrine and that ye labor with all your force to profit by the same.' Innocent XII, followed the example of Urban in the case of the University of Louvain, in the letter in the form of a brief addressed to that university on February 6, 1694, and Benedict XIV in the letter in the form of a brief addressed on August 26, 1752, to the Dionysian College in Granada; while to these judgments of great Pontiffs on Thomas Aquinas comes the crowning testimony of Innocent VI: 'His teaching above that of others, the canonical writings alone excepted, enjoys such a precision of language, an order of matters, a truth of conclusions, that those who hold to it are never found swerving from the path of truth, and he who dare assail it will always be suspected of error.' The ecumenical councils, also, where blossoms the flower of all earthly wisdom, have always been careful to hold Thomas Aquinas in singular honor. In the Councils of Lyons, Vienna, Florence, and the Vatican one might almost say that Thomas took part and presided over the deliberations and decrees of the Fathers, contending against the errors of the Greeks, of heretics and rationalists, with invincible force and with the happiest results. But the chief and special glory of Thomas, one which he has shared with none of the Catholic Doctors, is that the Fathers of Trent made it part of the order of conclave to lay upon the altar, together with sacred Scripture and the decrees of the supreme Pontiffs, the 'Summa' of Thomas Aquinas, whence to seek counsel, reason, and inspiration. A last triumph was reserved for this incomparable man - namely, to compel the homage, praise, and admiration of even the very enemies of the Catholic name. For it has come to light that there were not lacking among the leaders of heretical sects some who openly declared that, if the teaching of Thomas Aquinas were only taken away, they could easily battle with all Catholic teachers, gain the victory, and abolish the Church. A vain hope, indeed, but no vain testimony." (Pope Leo XIII, "Aeterni Patris", 1879)

Also See: St. Thomas Aquinas on His Own Masterful Writings

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Reading Recommen-

dations 

"It is clear and very practical. Yes, my daughter, the Spiritual Combat is a great book, and a book dear to me. I have carried it in my pocket for at least eighteen years, and I never read it without profit." (St. Francis de Sales, Doctor of the Church)

"Have always at hand some approved book of devotion, such as the spiritual works of St. Bonaventure, of Gerson, of Thomas a Kempis, etc., etc., and read a little in them every day, with as much devotion as if you were reading a letter from those saints." (St. Francis De Sales, Doctor of the Church)

"Without hesitation, however, to the doctors piously and correctly discussing the word of truth, and to those very clear expositors of Sacred Scripture, namely, Cyprian, Hilary, Ambrose, Jerome, Augustine, and others living tranquilly in Catholic piety, we reverently and obediently submit our hearing and our understanding, and to the best of our ability we embrace the things which they have written for our salvation." (Council of Valence III, 855 A.D.)

"And although no one can lay a foundation other than that, which has been laid, which is Christ Jesus (cf. 1 Cor. 3:11), nevertheless for the purpose of instruction the holy, that is, the Roman Church, does not forbid these writings also, that is: the Sacred Synod of Nicea... Ephesus...[and] Chalcedon... to be received after those of the Old or New Testament, which we regularly accept... Likewise the works of blessed Caecilius Cyprian... [and in the same way the works of Gregory Nazianzen, Basil, Athanasius, John (Chrysostom) Theophilus, Cyril of Alexandria, Hilary, Ambrose, Augustine, Jerome, (and) Prosper may be admitted]. Also the epistle of blessed Leo the Pope to Flavian Likewise it decrees that the works and treatises of all the orthodox Fathers who in no [way] have deviated from the society of the holy Roman Church... ought to be read. Likewise, too, the decretal epistles, which the most blessed Popes... have written, ought to be received with reverence" (Pope St. Gelasius I, circa 495 A.D.)

"It soon became clear what sort of a 'vessel of election' the Lord had wrought in [St.] Augustine and for what brilliant deeds he was destined. Ordained priest and later advanced to the bishopric of Hippo, he shed the light of his abundant learning not merely on Christian Africa, but on the entire Church, bestowing the while the blessings of his apostolate. He meditated on books of Holy Writ, long and earnestly did he offer to the Lord the prayers, whereof the meaning and the accent still live in his writings. That he might daily better fathom and understand the truths of Divine Revelation, he read through with close scrutiny the works of the Fathers and Doctors who preceded him and whom he regarded with humble veneration. Though he came after those holy men, like dazzling stars shed luster on the Catholic name - Clement of Rome, for example, and Irenaeus, Hilary and Athanasius, Cyprian and Ambrose, Basil, Gregory of Nazianzus and John Chrysostom; though a contemporary of Jerome, nevertheless Augustine still excites in all men the greatest admiration because of the subtlety and depth of his thoughts and because of the marvelous wisdom breathing from the pages, which through long span of nearly fifty years he wrote and published." (Pope Pius XI, "Ad Salutem", 1930)

"Can anyone be unaware how thoroughly familiar with the doctrine of [St.] Augustine were the Roman Pontiffs, during the ages that followed close upon his death, as Leo the Great, for example, and Gregory the Great? Thus Saint Gregory, thinking as highly of Augustine as he thought humbly of himself, wrote to Innocentius, prefect of Africa: 'If you wish to feast on choice food, read the works of blessed Augustine, your fellow countryman. His writings are as fine wheat. Seek not for our bran." (Pope Pius XI, "Ad Salutem", 1930)

"[St.] Thomas of Aquin is an honor to mankind, for perhaps there never existed a man whose intellect surpassed his. He is one of the brightest ornaments of the Church, for not one of her doctors has equaled him in the clearness and precision wherewith he has explained her doctrines." (Gueranger)

Also See: On the Writings of St. Francis de Sales | Popes on the Writings of St. Thomas Aquinas

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"As soldiers however drill and exercise themselves in mock fights, so we may train ourselves by studying profane literature [that is, secular/non-sacred literature] before turning to the sacred Scriptures. But we must read with discernment." (St. Basil, Doctor of the Church)

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Reminder:  Rejected items listed herein are not comprehensive.

"If anyone does not anathematize Arius, Eunomius, Macedonius, Apollinarius Nestorius, Eutyches and Origen, as well as their heretical books, and also all other heretics who have already been condemned and anathematized by the holy, Catholic and apostolic Church and by the four holy synods which have already been mentioned, and also all those who have thought or now think in the same way as the aforesaid heretics and who persist in their error even to death: let him be anathema." (Canon 11, Second Council of Constantinople)

"If anyone reads the Scriptures, which Priscillian has distorted according to his own error, or Dictinius's treatises, which Dictinius himself wrote before he was converted - or whatsoever writings of the heretics under the name of the Patriarchs, of the Prophets, or of the Apostles they have devised in agreement with their own error, and follows or defends their impious creations, let him be anathema." (Council of Braga II, 561 A.D.)

"Moreover, because the preceding errors and many others are contained in the books or writings of Martin Luther, we likewise condemn, reprobate, and reject completely the books and all the writings and sermons of the said Martin, whether in Latin or any other language, containing the said errors or any one of them; and we wish them to be regarded as utterly condemned, reprobated, and rejected. We forbid each and every one of the faithful of either sex, in virtue of holy obedience and under the above penalties to be incurred automatically, to read, assert, preach, praise, print, publish, or defend them. They will incur these penalties if they presume to uphold them in any way, personally or through another or others, directly or indirectly, tacitly or explicitly, publicly or occultly, either in their own homes or in other public or private places." (Pope Leo X, "Exsurge Domine", 1520)

"Finally, that every danger of error may efficaciously be prevented, We condemn and We proscribe that all, as they call them, catechisms and books of the Carbonari, in which those things that are accustomed to be carried out in their meetings, their statues, codices, and all books written in their defense, whether they be published in type or manuscripts, are delineated by the Carbonari, and We forbid, under the same pain of major excommunication reserved in the same way, every one of the faithful to read or to possess the books mentioned above, and We command that they hand over those materials, either to the Ordinaries, or to others, to whom the right of receiving them pertains." (Pope Pius VII, "Ecclesiam a Jesu Christo", 1821)

[Question:] "Whether the doctrines, which today are called theosophical, can be in harmony with Catholic doctrine; and thus whether it is permitted to join theosophical societies, attend their meetings, and read their books, daily papers, journals, and writings. - Reply: In the negative in all cases." (Reply of the Holy Office, July 18, 1919 A.D.) 

"This same John Wyclif wrote books called by him Dialogus and Trialogus and many other treatises, works and pamphlets in which he included and taught the above and many other damnable articles. He issued the books for public reading, in order to publish his perverse doctrine, and from them have followed many scandals, losses and dangers to souls in various regions, especially in the kingdoms of England and Bohemia. Masters and doctors of the universities and houses of study at Oxford and Prague, opposing with God's strength these articles and books, later refuted the above articles in scholastic form. They were condemned, moreover, by the most reverend fathers who were then the archbishops and bishops of Canterbury, York and Prague, legates of the apostolic see in the kingdoms of England and of Bohemia. The said archbishop of Prague, commissary of the apostolic see in this matter, also judicially decreed that the books of the same John Wyclif were to be burnt and he forbade the reading of those that survived. After these things had again been brought to the notice of the apostolic see and a general council, the Roman pontiff condemned the said books, treatises and pamphlets at the lately held council of Rome, ordering them to be publicly burnt and strictly forbidding anyone called a Christian to dare to read, expound, hold or make any use of any one or more of the said books, volumes, treatises and pamphlets, or even to cite them publicly or privately, except in order to refute them. In order that this dangerous and most foul doctrine might be eliminated from the Church's midst, he ordered, by his apostolic authority and under pain of ecclesiastical censure, that all such books, treatises, volumes and pamphlets should be diligently sought out by the local ordinaries and should then be publicly burnt; and he added that if necessary those who do not obey should be proceeded against as if they were promoters of heresy...This holy synod, therefore, in the name of our lord Jesus Christ, in ratifying and approving the sentences of the aforesaid archbishops and of the council of Rome, repudiates and condemns for ever, by this decree, the aforesaid articles and each one of them in particular, and the books of John Wyclif called by him Dialogus and Trialogus, and the same author's other books, volumes, treatises and pamphlets (no matter what name these may go under, and for which purpose this description is to be regarded as an adequate listing of them). It forbids the reading, teaching, expounding and citing of the said books or of any one of them in particular, unless it is for the purpose of refuting them. It forbids each and every Catholic henceforth, under pain of anathema, to preach, teach or affirm in public the said articles or any one of them in particular, or to teach, approve or hold the said books, or to refer to them in any way, unless this is done, as has been said, for the purpose of refuting them. It orders, moreover, that the aforesaid books, treatises, volumes and pamphlets are to be burnt in public, in accordance with the decree of the synod of Rome, as stated above. This holy synod orders local ordinaries to attend with vigilance to the execution and due observance of these things, insofar as each one is responsible, in accordance with the law and canonical sanctions." (Council of Constance)

"[The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith] sees itself obliged now to declare that in his writing, Prof. Hans Kung has abandoned the integrity of the Catholic faith and can no longer be considered as a Catholic theologian or, as such, exercise his office to teach" (Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, 1975)

"Other things which have been written or published by heretics or schismatics, the Catholic and apostolic Roman Church in nowise receives." (Pope St. Gelasius I, circa 495 A.D.)

"Several works of Fr. Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, some of which were posthumously published, are being edited and are gaining a good deal of success. Prescinding from a judgement about those points that concern the positive sciences, it is sufficiently clear that the above-mentioned works abound in such ambiguities and indeed even serious errors, as to offend Catholic doctrine. For this reason, the most eminent and most revered Fathers of the Holy Office exhort all Ordinaries as well as the superiors of Religious institutes, rectors of seminaries and presidents of universities, effectively to protect the minds, particularly of the youth, against the dangers presented by the works of Fr. Teilhard de Chardin and of his followers." (Sacred Congregation of the Holy Office, June 30, 1962 A.D.)

"The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith today published a 'Notification Regarding the Book 'Just Love. A Framework for Christian Sexual Ethics' by Sister Margaret A. Farley R.S.M'. The document warns the faithful that the work in question 'is not in conformity with the teaching of the Church...' ... The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith wrote to Sr. Farley in 2010 enclosing a preliminary evaluation of her book and indicating the doctrinal problems it contained, however her answer failed to clarify those issues in a satisfactory manner. The Congregation therefore proceeded to examine the volume following the procedure for 'examination in cases of urgency'. In June 2011 a commission of experts confirmed that the 'book contained erroneous propositions, the dissemination of which risks grave harm to the faithful'... In addressing various moral issues, Sr. Farley either ignores the constant teaching of the Magisterium or, where it is occasionally mentioned, treats it as one opinion among others. ... Sr. Farley also manifests a defective understanding of the objective nature of the natural moral law'." (VIS - Notification from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, 6/4/12)

Also See: Injurious / Odious Writings | Duty to Submit Pernicious Books for Judgment | Modernist Writings | Warnings / Cautions Concerning Written Materials | We Should Not Look to Heterodox Works | Writings to be Rejected / Shunned

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Reparation / Misuse of Communic-

ations

"Father, in union with all those who celebrate the Eucharist, I wish to offer myself, a small victim, with Jesus, the Victim: In atonement for the error and scandal spread throughout the world through the misuse of the media of social communication; to appeal to your mercy for those persons who, deceived and seduced by the influence of these interments, stray from your fatherly love; for the conversions of those persons who in the use of these instruments reject the teaching of Christ and his Church and thus warp the minds, the hearts, and the undertakings of men and women" (Bl. James Alberione)

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"Make a practice of reading spiritual and devout books. They serve to feed the imagination and to keep the heart recollected, and they lead men of good will to occupy their minds with what has appealed to them, for what the heart is full of is always the first to suggest itself to the mind." (St. Peter of Alcantara)

"To preserve purity, three things are necessary; the practice of the Presence of God, prayer, and the Sacraments; and again, the reading of holy books - this nourishes the soul." (St. John Vianney)

"It is to be hoped that before turning in for the night you do a little devotional reading. This will give you some helpful thoughts to dwell upon while you go to bed, and as you get up in the morning." (St. John Vianney)

"Give some time, if it is only a half an hour in every day, to devotional reading, which is as necessary to the well ordering of the mind as the hand of the gardener is to prevent weeds destroying your favorite flowers." (St. Elizabeth Ann Seton)

"You will not see anyone who is really striving after his spiritual advancement who is not given to spiritual reading. And as to him who neglects it, the fact will soon be observed in his progress." (St. Athanasius, Doctor of the Church)

"For if the devil will not dare to approach a house where a Gospel is lying, much less will any evil spirit, or any sinful nature, ever touch or enter a soul which bears about with it such sentiments as it contains. Sanctify then thy soul, sanctify thy body, by having these ever in thy heart, and on thy tongue. For if foul speech defiles and invites devils, it is clear that spiritual reading sanctifies and draws down the grace of the Spirit." (St. John Chrysostom, Doctor of the Church)

"There are many striking examples of the salutary effects of the reading of pious books. Outstanding is the case of Augustine whose great services to the Church had their origin in such reading: 'Take, read; take, read; I took (the epistles of Paul the Apostle), I opened, I read in silence; it was as though the darkness of all my doubting was driven away by the light of peace which had entered my soul.'" (Pope St. Pius X, "Haerent Animo", 1908)

"Reading well-chosen and recommended books of formation is also of great help both in offering a wider and deeper formation and in providing examples and testimonies of virtue." (The Pontifical Council for the Family, 1995)

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"We take this happy occasion, after mature deliberation and in full knowledge, by Our Apostolic authority, to hereby publish, confirm and declare by this encyclical, everything to the contrary notwithstanding, St. Francis de Sales, Bishop of Geneva and Doctor of the Church, to be the Heavenly Patron of all Writers." (Pope Pius XI, "Rerum Omnium Perturbationem", 1923)

Also See: On the Writings of St. Francis de Sales

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"Postumianus, who spent six months with [St. Jerome] at Bethlehem, says: 'He is wholly occupied in reading and with books; he rests neither day nor night; he is always either reading or writing something.'" (Pope Benedict XV, "Spiritus Paraclitus", 1920)

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"The end of my labors has come. All that I have written appears to me as so much straw after the things that have been revealed to me." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

Also See: Popes on the Writings of St. Thomas Aquinas

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"Can. 1404 Booksellers shall not sell, exchange, or stock books that by design treat of obscenities; nor shall they have other prohibited [books] for sale unless they have sought the required permission from the Apostolic See, nor will they sell them unless they prudently believe that they are being approached by a legitimate [e.g. authorized] buyer." (1917 Code of Canon Law)

"Should a Bishop, therefore, after having taken the advice of prudent persons, deem it right to condemn any of such books in his diocese, We not only give him ample faculty to do so but We impose it upon him as a duty to do so. Of course, it is Our wish that in such action proper regard be used, and sometimes it will suffice to restrict the prohibition to the clergy; but even in such cases it will be obligatory on Catholic booksellers not to put on sale books condemned by the Bishop." (Pope St. Pius X, "Pascendi Dominici Gregis", 1907) 

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Reminder:  Warnings / cautions listed herein are not comprehensive.

"How often today must parents and educators bewail the corruption of youth brought about by the modern theater and the vile book!" (Pope Pius XI, "Divini Illius Magistri", 1929)

"Nothing is more degrading than to make one's self the servant of that murder of souls [Satan], by helping him to lay his snares for them. Yet this is what is done by the authors of bad books, those who spread them, and those who lend them; this is what is done by all those who voluntarily scandalize their neighbor." (Fr. Delaporte)

"The passion which does not appear to be allied to the sin of impurity, but which, nevertheless, enters deep into the heart, is that curiosity which prompts the reading of bad or dangerous books. Nothing more dreadful, nothing more injurious to the purity of young persons than those novels and books of gallantry, which, under the pretext of elegance of diction or beauty of language, corrupt the educated mind. If such reading forms the mind, it spoils the soul; if it gives us a knowledge of the world, it destroys Christianity; and thus, by the loss of devotion, by the loss of the holy fear of God, and purity of conscience, such reading leads insensibly to the loss of chastity." (St. Astere)

"To this end, finally - to omit other dangers which are too well known to you - tends the widespread disgusting infection from books and pamphlets which teach the lessons of sinning. These works, well-written and filled with deceit and cunning, are scattered at immense cost through every region for the destruction of the Christian people. They spread pestilential doctrines everywhere and deprave the minds especially of the imprudent, occasioning great losses for religion." (Pope Pius IX, "Qui Pluribus", 1846)

"Hostile men in these lamentable times never stop planting thorns in the Lord's field, first with destructive and ephemeral books and then with monstrous and depraved suppositions plainly opposed to Catholic faith and dogma. Consequently, you rightly understand how you must labor and ever be on your guard to keep the faithful from those poisonous pastures, to urge them on to eternal salvation, and to imbue them in greater measure with the teachings of the Catholic Church." (Pope Pius IX, "Amantissimus", 1862)

"Should we not also be angry with those who use the most wicked indecency of word and example to corrupt pure and strict morals by mortal sin, who recommend to the minds of the unwary an accursed license of living, and who cause an extreme loss of faith? Then consider how they sprinkle their writings with a certain refined splendor, a seductive pleasantness of speech and allurement so as to penetrate more easily into the readers' minds and infect them more deeply with the poison of their error. Thus they will give the snake's poison in the cup of Babylon to the unwary who are seduced and blinded by their smooth speech and so do not recognize the poison that kills them. Finally, who can avoid deep sadness when he sees the bitter enemy exceed the bounds of modesty and due respect and attack with the publication of outrageous books now in open battle, now in dissimulated combat the very See of Peter which the strong redeemer of Jacob has placed as an iron column and as a bronze wall against the leaders of darkness. Perhaps they are led on by the desperate thought that if they shatter the head of the Church, they will be able more freely to tear to pieces its members." (Pope Clement XIII, "Christianae Reipublicae", 1766)

"The heretics have disseminated pestilential books everywhere, by which the teachings of the impious spread, much as a cancer. To counteract this most deadly pest, spare no labor. Be admonished by the words of Pius VII: 'May they consider only that kind of food to be healthy to which the voice and authority of Peter has sent them. May they choose such food and nourish themselves with it. May they judge that food from which Peter's voice calls them away to be entirely harmful and pestiferous. May they quickly shrink away from it, and never permit themselves to be caught by its appearance and perverted by its allurements.'" (Pope Pius VIII, "Traditi Humilitati", 1829)

"Books which openly oppose the teaching of Christ are to be burned. Even more importantly, the eyes and minds of all must be kept from books, which do so more stealthily and deceitfully. To recognize such books, as St. Cyprian says in On the Unity of the Church, 'there is not need of a long treatise and arguments: The sum of truth is a proof easy for faith: the Lord says to Peter, 'feed my sheep.' So the sheep of Christ should consider safe and eat cheerfully the food to which Peter's voice and authority directs them; but despite any beauty and charm, they should shun as harmful and plague-ridden, what this voice forbids them. Those who do not comply are certainly not to be counted among the sheep of Christ. In this case We cannot overlook, keep silent or act sluggishly. For unless this great license of thinking, speaking, writing, and reading is repressed, it will appear that the strategy and armies of wise kings and generals have relieved us for but a short time from this evil which has crushed us for so long. But so long as its stock and seed is not removed and destroyed (I shudder to say it but it must be said), it will spread abroad and be strengthened to reach over the whole world. To destroy it later or to rout it, legions, guards, watches, the armories of cities, and the defenses of empires will not be enough." (Pope Pius VII, Diu Satis)

"The wickedness of our enemies is progressing to such a degree that, besides the flood of pernicious books hostile in themselves to religion they are endeavoring to turn to the harm of religion even the Sacred Literature given to us by divine Providence for the progress of religion itself." (Pope Leo XII, 1824 A.D.)

"The well-being of the Christian community which has been entrusted to Us by the Prince of shepherds and the Guardian of souls requires Us to see to it that the unaccustomed and offensive licentiousness of books which has emerged from hiding to cause ruin and desolation does not become more destructive as it triumphantly spreads abroad. The distortion of this hateful error and the boldness of the enemy has so increased, especially at this time, in sowing weeds among the wheat either in word or in writing that unless We lay the scythe to the root and bind up the bad plants in bundles to burn, it will not be long before the growing thorns of evil attempt to choke the seedlings of the Lord Sabaoth. For accursed men who have given themselves over to myths and who do not uphold the stronghold of Sion from all sides vomit the poison of serpents from their hearts for the ruin of the Christian people by the contagious plague of books which almost overwhelms us. They pollute the pure waters of belief and destroy the foundations of religion. They are abominable in their activity. Secretly sitting in ambush, they draw arrows out of the quiver which they shoot at the righteous in the dark." (Pope Clement XIII, "Christianae Reipublicae", 1766)

"Books and journals, schools and universities, clubs and theaters, monuments and political discourse, photographs and the fine arts, everything conspires to pervert minds and corrupt hearts." (Pope Leo XIII, "Custodi Di Quella Fede", 1892) 

"They should be warned not to allow themselves to be ensnared by the splendid writing of certain authors in order to halt the diffusion of error by cunning and wicked men. In a word, they should detest books which contain elements shocking to the reader; which are contrary to faith, religion, and good morals; and which lack an atmosphere of Christian virtue." (Pope Clement XIII, "Christianae Reipublicae", 1766)

"More than ever nowadays an extended and careful vigilance is necessary, inasmuch as the dangers of moral and religious shipwreck are greater for inexperienced youth. Especially is this true of impious and immoral books, often diabolically circulated at low prices; of the cinema, which multiplies every kind of exhibition; and now also of the radio, which facilitates every kind of communications. These most powerful means of publicity, which can be of great utility for instruction and education when directed by sound principles, are only too often used as an incentive to evil passions and greed for gain. St. Augustine deplored the passion for the shows of the circus which possessed even some Christians of his time, and he dramatically narrates the infatuation for them, fortunately only temporary, of his disciple and friend Alipius. How often today must parents and educators bewail the corruption of youth brought about by the modern theater and the vile book!" (Pope Pius XI, "Divini Illius Magistri", 1929)

"The crafty enemies of the Church and human society attempt to seduce the people in many ways. One of their chief methods is the misuse of the new technique of book-production. They are wholly absorbed in the ceaseless daily publication and proliferation of impious pamphlets, newspapers and leaflets which are full of lies, calumnies and seduction. Furthermore, under the protection of the Bible Societies which have long since been condemned by this Holy See, they distribute to the faithful under the pretext of religion, the Holy Bible in vernacular translations. Since these infringe the Church's rules, they are consequently subverted and most daringly twisted to yield a vile meaning. So you realize very well what vigilant and careful efforts you must make to inspire in your faithful people an utter horror of reading these pestilential books. Remind them explicitly with regard to divine Scripture that no man, relying on his own wisdom, is able to claim the privilege of rashly twisting the Scriptures to his own meaning in opposition to the meaning which holy mother Church holds and has held. It was the Church alone that Christ commissioned to guard the deposit of the faith and to decide the true meaning and interpretation of the divine pronouncements." (Pope Pius IX, "Nostis et Nobiscum", 1849)

"For if it is necessary to avoid the company of evildoers because their words encourage impiety and their speech acts like a cancer, what desolation the plague of their [wicked] books can cause! Well and cunningly written these books are always with us and forever within our reach. They travel with us, stay at home with us, and enter bedrooms which would be shut to their evil and deception." (Pope Clement XIII, "Christianae Reipublicae", 1766)

Also See: Injurious / Odious Writings | Duty to Submit Pernicious Books for Judgment | Modernist Writings | Rejected Writings | We Should Not Look to Heterodox Works | Writings to be Rejected / Shunned

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"But, it is entirely unfitting that anyone should ignore and look down upon the works which our own have left in abundance, and prefer the books of the heterodox; and to the immediate danger to sound doctrine and not rarely to the damage of faith seek from these, explanations of passages to which Catholics have long and very successfully directed their geniuses and labors." (Pope Leo XIII, "Providentissimus Deus", 1893 A.D.)

Also See: Injurious / Odious Writings | Duty to Submit Pernicious Books for Judgment | Modernist Writings | Rejected Writings | Warnings / Cautions Concerning Written Materials | Writings to be Rejected / Shunned

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Reminder:   Items listed herein are not comprehensive.

"Every Christian should shun books and journals which distill the poison of impiety and which stir up the fire of unrestrained desires or sensual passions. Groups and reading clubs where the Masonic spirit stalks its [intended victims] should be likewise shunned." (Pope Leo XIII, "Custodi Di Quella Fede", 1892) 

"It is impossible to approve in Catholic publications a style inspired by unsound novelty which seems to deride the piety of the faithful and dwells on the introduction of a new order of Christian life, on new directions of the Church, on new aspirations of the modern soul, on a new social vocation of the clergy, on a new Christian civilization, and many other things of the same kind." (Pope Leo XIII)

"We exhort them also to take diligent care to put an end to those books and other writings, now growing exceedingly numerous, which contain opinions or tendencies of the kind condemned in the encyclical letters and decree above mentioned; let them see to it that these publications are removed from Catholic publishing houses, and especially from the hands of students and the clergy. By doing this they will at the same time be promoting real and solid education, which should always be a subject of the greatest solicitude for those who exercise sacred authority." (Pope St. Pius X, "Praestantia Scripturae", 1907)

"Several works of Fr. Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, some of which were posthumously published, are being edited and are gaining a good deal of success. Prescinding from a judgement about those points that concern the positive sciences, it is sufficiently clear that the above-mentioned works abound in such ambiguities and indeed even serious errors, as to offend Catholic doctrine. For this reason, the most eminent and most revered Fathers of the Holy Office exhort all Ordinaries as well as the superiors of Religious institutes, rectors of seminaries and presidents of universities, effectively to protect the minds, particularly of the youth, against the dangers presented by the works of Fr. Teilhard de Chardin and of his followers." (Sacred Congregation of the Holy Office, June 30, 1962 A.D.)

"Can. 1399 By the law, [the following] are prohibited: 1° Original editions or ancient versions of Catholic Scripture, even of the Oriental Church, published by any non-Catholic; and likewise versions [of these], in any language, by these [same sort] prepared or published; 2° Books of any writers propagating heresy or schism, or attacking in any way the basis of religion; 3° Books by design striking against religion and good morals; 4° Books by any non-Catholics treating purposely of religion, unless it can be shown that nothing contained in them is contrary to the Catholic faith; 5° Books mentioned Canon 1385, § 1, n. 1, and Canon 1391; likewise all those mentioned in the cited Canon 1385, § 1, n. 2, [and] books and booklets that describe new apparition, revelations, visions, prophecies, and miracles, or that lead to new devotions, even under the pretext of being private, if they have not been published in accord with the prescriptions of the canons; 6° Books attacking or deriding any Catholic dogma, or protecting errors proscribed by the Holy See, or detracting from divine cult, or arguing for the avoidance of ecclesiastical discipline, or bringing about opprobrium on religion or the clerical state; 7° Books that teach or recommend superstition in general, sorcery, divination, magic, evoking of spirits, and other things of this sort; 8° Books that argue the liceity of dueling, suicide, or divorce, and those that in discussing Masonic sects and other societies of this sort argue that they are useful and not pernicious to the Church and civil society; 9° Books that purposely describe, teach, or treat lascivious or obscene materials; 10° Editions of liturgical books approved by the Apostolic See in which there have been any changes so that they are not consistent with the authentic editions approved by the Holy See; 11° Books that give out apocryphal indulgences or [ones] proscribed or revoked by the Holy See; 12° Any images or impressions of Our Lord Jesus Christ, of the Blessed Virgin Mary, of the Angels and Saints or other Servants of God, alien to the sense and decrees of the Church." (1917 Code of Canon Law)

"Books which openly oppose the teaching of Christ are to be burned. Even more importantly, the eyes and minds of all must be kept from books, which do so more stealthily and deceitfully. To recognize such books, as St. Cyprian says in On the Unity of the Church, 'there is not need of a long treatise and arguments: The sum of truth is a proof easy for faith: the Lord says to Peter, 'feed my sheep.' So the sheep of Christ should consider safe and eat cheerfully the food to which Peter's voice and authority directs them; but despite any beauty and charm, they should shun as harmful and plague-ridden, what this voice forbids them. Those who do not comply are certainly not to be counted among the sheep of Christ." (Pope Pius VII, "Diu Satis", 1800)

"These and [writings] similar to these, which... all the heresiarchs and their disciples, or the schismatics have taught or written... we confess have not only been rejected, but also banished from the whole Roman Catholic and apostolic Church and with their authors and the followers of their authors have been condemned forever under the indissoluble bond of anathema." (Pope St. Gelasius I, circa 495 A.D.)

"Can. 1. We have faithfully and obediently heard that Doctor of the Gentiles warning in faith and in truth: 'O Timothy, guard that which has been entrusted to you, avoiding the profane novelties of words, and oppositions under the false name of knowledge, which some promising concerning faith have destroyed' (cf. 2 Tim. 6:20); and again: 'Shun profane and useless talk; for they contribute much toward ungodliness, and their speech spreadest like an ulcer' (cf. 2 Tim. 2:16); and again: 'Avoid foolish and unlearned questions, knowing that they beget strifes; but the servant of the Lord must not quarrel' (cf. 2 Tim. 2:23) and again: 'Nothing through contention, nothing through vain glory' (Phil. 2:3): desiring to be zealous for peace and charity, in so far as God has given, attending the pious counsel of this same apostle: 'Solicitous to preserve the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace' (Eph. 4:3), let us with all zeal avoid novel doctrines and presumptuous talkativeness, whence rather the smoke of contention and of scandal between brothers can be stirred up, than any increase of the fear of God arise." (Council of Valence III, 855 A.D.)

[Question:] "Can the method be approved, which is called 'sexual education,' or even 'sexual initiation?' Response: In the negative, and that the method must be preserved entirely as set forth up to the present by the Church and saintly men, and recommended by the Most Holy Father in the Encyclical Letter, 'On the Christian Education of Youth,' given on the 31st day of December, 1929. Naturally, care must especially be taken that a full and solid religious instruction be given to the youth of both sexes without interruption; in this instruction there must be aroused a regard, desire, and love for the angelic virtue; and especially must it be inculcated upon them to insist on prayer, to be constant in the sacraments of penance and the most Holy Eucharist, to be devoted to the Blessed Virgin, Mother of holy purity, with filial devotion and to commit themselves wholly to her protection; to avoid carefully dangerous reading, obscene plays, association with the wicked, and all occasions of sin. By no means, then, can we approve what has been written and published in defense of the new method especially in these recent times, even on the part of some Catholic authors." (Pope Pius XI, Decree of the Holy Office, March 21, 1931 A.D.)

Also See: Injurious / Odious Writings | Duty to Submit Pernicious Books for Judgment | Modernist Writings | Rejected Writings | Warnings / Cautions Concerning Written Materials | We Should Not Look to Heterodox Works

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"You will not see anyone who is really striving after his advancement who is not given to spiritual reading. And as to him who neglects it, the fact will soon be observed in his progress." (St. Athanasius)

"It is our duty to live among books; especially to live by one book, and a very old one." (Cardinal Newman)

"Through the study of books one seeks God; by meditation one finds him." (St. Padre Pio of Pietrelcina)

"I want my friars to pray more than to read, according to the example of my Lord Jesus Christ." (St. Francis of Assisi)  

"When the writings of the saints awaken in us pious thoughts and generous resolutions, we must not be satisfied, as we might in the case of profane [that is, secular] books, with admiring the genius of the authors, but think with gratitude of the price they paid for the supernatural good produced in their souls." (Liturgical Year)

"Let no one think that it is enough for him to read if he lacks devotion, or to engage in speculation without spiritual joy, or to be active if he has no piety, or to have knowledge without charity, or intelligence without humility, or study without God's grace, or to expect to know himself if he is lacking the infused wisdom of God." (St. Bonaventure, Doctor of the Church)

"The needs of our times then require that the laity, too, and especially those who collaborate with the Hierarchy of the Church, procure for themselves a treasure of religious knowledge, not a poor and meager knowledge, but one that will have solidity and richness through the medium of libraries, discussions and study clubs; in this way they will derive great benefit for themselves and at the same time be able to instruct the ignorant, confute stubborn adversaries and be of assistance to good friends." (Pope Pius XII, "Sertum Laetitiae", 1939)

CONDEMNED ERROR: "If a book is published by a younger or modern person, its opinion should be considered as probable, since it is not established that it has been rejected by the Holy See as improbable." (Error Condemned by Pope Alexander VII, 1665 A.D.)

"Let us now after this be ashamed, and blush. A woman who had had five husbands, and who was of Samaria, was so eager concerning doctrines, that neither the time of day, nor her having come for another purpose, nor anything else, led her away from enquiring on such matters but we not only do not enquire concerning doctrines, but towards them all our dispositions are careless and indifferent. Therefore everything is neglected. For which of you when in his house takes some Christian book in hand and goes over its contents, and searches the Scriptures? None can say that he does so, but with most we shall find draughts and dice, but books nowhere, except among a few. And even these few have the same dispositions as the many; for they tie up their books, and keep them always put away in cases, and all their care is for the fineness of the parchments, and the beauty of the letters, not for reading them. For they have not bought them to obtain advantage and benefit from them, but take pains about such matters to show their wealth and pride. Such is the excess of vainglory. I do not hear any one glory that he knows the contents, but that he hath a book written in letters of gold. And what gain, tell me, is this? The Scriptures were not given us for this only, that we might have them in books, but that we might engrave them on our hearts." (St. John Chrysostom, Doctor of the Church)

"In the Conferences of the Fathers (Collatationes i,7) abbot Moses speaking of religious says: 'We must recognize that we have to undertake the hunger of fasting, watchings, bodily toil, privation, reading, and other acts of virtue, in order by these degrees to mount to the perfection of charity.'" (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"It is a lamentable fact that there are many who with great labor carry out and publish investigations on the monuments of antiquity, the manners and institutions of nations and other illustrative subjects, and whose chief purpose in all this is too often to find mistakes in the sacred writings and so to shake and weaken their authority. Some of these writers display not only extreme hostility, but the greatest unfairness; in their eyes a profane [that is, secular] book or ancient document is accepted without hesitation, whilst the Scripture, if they only find in it a suspicion of error, is set down with the slightest possible discussion as quite untrustworthy." (Pope Leo XIII, "Providentissimus Deus", 1893)

"Catholics are encouraged to read Catholic publications regularly. Naturally these must deserve the name of being Catholic. It is hard to see how people can keep in touch with what is happening in the Church without the Catholic press. Neither can people keep a Catholic attitude towards what happens in the world without the help of commentaries on the news written in the light of Christian principles." (Pope Paul VI)

CONDEMNED ERROR: "They are to be considered free of all blame who consider of no account the reprobations published by the Sacred Congregation of the Index, or by other Sacred Roman Congregations." (Error Condemned by Pope St. Pius X, "Lamentabili", 1907 A.D.)

"Can. 2318 § 1 Publishers of the books of apostates, heretics, and schismatics that propagate apostasy, heresy, and schism incur by that fact excommunication specially reserved to the Apostolic See upon the publication being released, and likewise those defending these books or other prohibited by name in apostolic letters, [as do those who] knowingly and without required permission read and retain them. § 2 Authors and publishers who, without the required permission, run off printings of other books of sacred Scripture and notations and comments thereon incur by that fact excommunication reserved to no one." (1917 Code of Canon Law)

"Can. 1403 § 1 Those who have been accorded the apostolic faculty of reading and retaining prohibited books cannot therefore read and retain any books proscribed by their own Ordinaries, unless this has been made express in the faculty that there is power to read and retain books no matter by whom condemned. § 2 Moreover they are bound by grave precept to exercise custody over the books so that they will not come into the hands of others." (1917 Code of Canon Law)

"Can. 1405 § 1 Permission obtained from anyone in no way exempts one from the prohibition in natural law against reading books that present a proximate spiritual danger to oneself. § 2 Local Ordinaries and others having care of souls shall opportunely advise the faithful about the danger and harm of reading depraved books, especially prohibited ones." (1917 Code of Canon Law)

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