Index Librorum Prohibitorum(redirected from Index (the Roman Catholic Church))
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Index Librorum Prohibitorum
(Index of Forbidden Books), an official list, published by the Vatican, of books which the Catholic Church forbade its members to read upon threat of excommunication.
The Index was first issued as directed by Pope Paul IV in 1559. It was reissued more than 40 times (the latest edition dates from 1948), and during this process it was systematically enlarged.
The Index listed many of the finest creations of human thought, such as the works of G. Bruno, T. Hobbes, and Voltaire. In.the hands of the Catholic Church the Index was one of the means used in the struggle against science, as well as against progressive and revolutionary views. In 1966 publication of the Index Librorum Prohibitorum in its previous form was ceased. At the same time the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and conferences of bishops were charged with the task of keeping track of new editions of books and with warning church members against reading books not approved by the church.