Tuesday, May 19, 2020
A Bit of History Regarding Roman Catholicism
Access to the Bible, whether in the original or in any tongue, had never been an issue in the East. In the West, the clergy had begun to assert an exclusive interpretive, indeed custodial, right to the Bible as early as the ninth century; and from about 1080 there had been frequent instances of the Pope, councils and bishops forbidding not only the vernacular translations but any reading at all, by laymen, of the Bible taken as a whole. In some ways this was the most scandalous aspect of the medieval Latin Church. From the Waldensians onwards, attempts to scrutinize the Bible became proof presumptive of heresy — a man or woman might burn for it alone — and, conversely, the heterodox were increasingly convinced that the Bible was incompatible with papal and clerical claims.
Paul Johnson, A History of Christianity, pg. 273