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The Roman Catholic Position on Private Interpretation of Scripture

You mentioned that Catholics are told not to interpret scripture – where did you get that nonsense?

When you use religion like the way you do, you haven’t even gotten to first base on what religion is all about.

let me guess?? George Bush is a wonderful leader because he’s killing all those muslims??

you are a child of God, but its time you grew up.

Our response –

The Catholic Church does indeed forbid the laity from interpreting scripture. Below is the information you requested. This is where we “got that”?

Catholic Catechism, Part I, Section I, Chapter 2, Article 2, paragraph 85
The task of giving an authentic interpretation of the Word of God, whether in its written form or in the form of Tradition, has been entrusted to the living teaching office of the Church alone. Its authority in this matter is exercised in the name of Jesus Christ.” This means that the task of interpretation has been entrusted to the bishops in communion with the successor of Peter, the Bishop of Rome.
The following are excerpts from the “Protestantism” entry in the Catholic Encyclopedia. It criticizes the Protestant practice of private interpretation of Scripture.
Again, it is illogical to base faith upon the private interpretation of a book. For faith consists in submitting; private interpretation consists in judging. In faith by hearing the last word rests with the teacher; in private judgment it rests with the reader, who submits the dead text of Scripture to a kind of post-mortem examination and delivers a verdict without appeal…. Private judgment is fatal to the theological virtue of faith….

The open Bible and the open mind on its interpretation are rather a lure to entice the masses…

The first limitation imposed on the application of private judgment is the incapacity of most men to judge for themselves on matters above their physical needs.

The 16th century Council of Trent (1546 AD) forbade publication and interpretation of the Scriptures except by those to whom Rome had issued a proper license.
Decree from the Council of Trent:
“Furthermore, in order to restrain petulant spirits, it (Trent) decrees, that no one, relying on his own skill, shall – in all matters of faith, and of morals pertaining to the edification of Christian doctrine – wresting the sacred Scripture to his own senses, presume to interpret the said sacred Scripture contrary to that sense which Holy mother Church – whose it is to judge of the true sense and interpretation of the holy Scriptures – hath held and doth hold; or even contrary to the unanimous consent of the Fathers; even though such interpretations were never (intended) to be at any time published. Contraveners shall be made known by their Ordinaries, and be punished with the penalties by law established.”
In a recent general letter to Roman Catholic bishops from current pope, John Paul II, included the following admonition:
“”Moreover, one should not underestimate the danger inherent in seeking to derive the truth of Sacred Scripture from the use of one method alone, ignoring the need for a more comprehensive exegesis which enables the exegete, together with the whole Church, to arrive at the full sense of the tests.””
By the 19th century, no fewer than six different popes ruled against all efforts aimed at making the Scriptures available to the general public. Pius VII said that the “indiscriminate distribution of Bibles in native languages produced more harm than benefits…and was eminently dangerous to souls. Gregory XVI was vehemently opposed to making the Scriptures freely available to all people. Leo XIII in 1897 forbade the publication or reading of Scriptures in native languages.

It has always been the goal of the Catholic Church to keep the Bible out of the hands of the laity. Wycliffe was excommunicated from the Church for translating the Bible into English in 1382, as was Tyndale, for his English translation. Translations of the Bible into native languages were at one time burned by the Catholic Church to keep them out of the hands of the laity. The Church knows that, if people read the Word of God, it will expose their twisting of scripture and their heretical teachings. They therefore forbid their followers from doing so.

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