(10) The Index was conveniently arranged alphabetically and hierarchically, so that one could easily recognize which condemned authors belonged to the first-class group or to the less ominous "others." By the end of the sixteenth century, the Sacred Congregation of the Index
had developed a variation on this book known as the Index librorum expurgatorum, the sole purpose of which was to assist librarians in the partial censorship of works written by otherwise orthodox authors, indicating the exact page numbers and sentences to be expunged from offending texts, usually using a black ink pen.
Consequently, during the nineteenth century the Roman Congregation of the Index felt authorized to claim that it had full intellectual authority over all Catholics in all countries.
During one of his conflicts with the French administration, Pope Pius IX, wanting to minimize the damage this stubborn prelate could cause to the relations between the Papacy and France, ordered him to come to Rome in 1856, where he was appointed consultant of the Congregation of the Index. His reports were short and noxious.
Gustavo Costa has benefited from the access allowed scholars, in general, since 1998 to the archives of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (the erstwhile Inquisition), and thus its documents of the Congregation of the Index. This short, but very dense, book should be linked with two key earlier articles on the condemnation of English writers: his "La Congregazione dell'Indice e Jonathan Swift;...
For these studies, Costa analyzes the reports by the works' censors (given in appendices) which were presented to a group of the Congregation of the Index members.
When the archive of the Roman Inquisition, now called the Archive of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, opened in the late 1990s, scholars found that the records of the Congregation of the Index were also there and that they were very rich.
Cato dedicated his translation to Cardinal Agostino Valier, Venetian noble and member of the Congregation of the Index. Perhaps translator and publisher hoped that this would stave off objections.
These were (1) the decrees of the Congregation of the Index of 5 March 1616 and 15 May 1620, in which the works of Copernicus, Diego da Zuniga, and Paolo Foscarini, together with "all books teaching that the Earth moves and the Sun stands still," were placed on the Index, and (2) a few details of the deliberations of the Congregation of the Index on 16 April 1757 and two decrees of the Holy Office, those of 16 August 1820 and 11 September 1822, which were published by Antonio Favaro, editor of the National Edition of the works of Galileo (20 vols., Florence: 1890-1909, reprt.
In the meeting of the Congregation of the Index on 16 April 1757, it was decided to suppress the clause "all books teaching ..." (Libri omnes docentes) from the Decrees of 1616-1620, and the clause does not appear in the Index of Prohibited Books of 1758.
In January, 1998, Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger quietly announced the opening of the archives of the Roman Inquisition (founded in 1542), including the archives of the Congregation of the Index of Prohibited Books (1571-1917), for purposes of scholarly research.
Godman disclaims any intent to revise in favorem the Holy Office, the Congregation of the Index, or Bellarmine's role as censor from the hasty and partisan conclusions of sixteenth-century confessional and various later liberal polemics, but he does mean to explain them on their own terms, which is the historian's proper business (p.
As empirical evidence and theoretical coherence multiplied on the Copernicans, some high ecclesiastics not only winked, but unsuccessfully tried to reassure the faithful: upon receiving a Copernican armillary sphere from the cardinal-president of the Congregation of the Index
in the early eighteenth century, the Bolognese Academy of Sciences nervously commissioned Ptolemaic and Tychonic counterparts for it.