Catholicism Against Itself: Cardinals' Advice on Bible Reading

The following is an excerpt from an address by the cardinals of the Roman Catholic Church in 1503 to Pope Pius III.

"Of all the advice that we can offer, Your Holiness, we must open your eyes well and use all possible force in the matter, namely, to permit the reading of the gospel as little as possible in all the countries under your jurisdiction. Let the very little part of the gospel suffice which is usually read in mass, and let no one be permitted to read more. So long as people will be content with the small amount, your interest will prosper; but as soon as the people want to read more, your interest will fail. The Bible is the book, which more than any other, has raised against us the tumults and tempests by which we have almost perished. In fact, if one compares the teaching of the Bible with what takes place in our churches, he will soon find discord, and will realize that our teachings are often different from the Bible, and oftener still, contrary to it."

From the National Library of Paris, folio number 1068, Volume 2, pages 650-651.

[One Catholic writer claims this quote to be a fraud because he was unable to locate the source document. Being also unable to do so, I will caution any wanting to use this quote to verify it. When compared to other Roman Catholic statements concerning the Bible, it does appear to be consistent. See "Roman Catholic Quotes Regarding the Bible." For example, in 1606 an enraged Pope Paul V told the Venetian ambassador, "Do you not know that so much reading of Scripture ruins the Catholic religion?" ]

"Oh, how I love Your law! It is my meditation all the day. You, through Your commandments, make me wiser than my enemies; for they are ever with me. I have more understanding than all my teachers, for Your testimonies are my meditation. I understand more than the ancients, because I keep Your precepts. I have restrained my feet from every evil way, that I may keep Your word. I have not departed from Your judgments, for You Yourself have taught me. How sweet are Your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth! Through Your precepts I get understanding; therefore I hate every false way" (Psalm 119:97-104)