Obrázky stránek

they are never appealed to as the inspired text. Translations into any vernacular idiom are strictly excluded from public use and circulation, but may, under exceptional circumstances, be allowed to students who have received license from a bishop or Inquisitor at the recommendation of their parish priest or confessor. Compilations made by heretics, in the form of dictionaries, concordances, etc., are to be prohibited until they have been purged and revised by censors of the press. The same regulation extends to polemical and controversial works touching on matters of doctrine in dispute between Catholics and Protestants. Next follow regulations concerning books containing lascivious or obscene matter, which are to be rigidly suppressed. Exception is made in favor of the classics, on account of their style; with the proviso that they are on no account to be given to boys to read. Treatisc: dealing professedly with occult arts, magic, sorcery, predictions of future events, incantation of spirits, and so forth, are to be proscribed ; duc reservation being made in favor of scientific observations touching navigation, agriculture, and the healing art, in which prognostics may be useful to mankind. Having thus broadly defined the literature which has to be suppressed or subjected to supervision, rules are laid down for the exercise of censure. Books, whereof the general tendency is good, but which contain passages savoring of heresy, superstition or divination, shall be reserved for the consideration



of Catholic theologians appointed by the Inquisition; and this shall hold good also of prefaces, summaries, or annotations. All writings printed in Rome must be submitted to the judgment of the Vicar of the Pope, the Master of the Sacred Palace, or a person nominated by the Pontiff. In other cities the bishop, or his delegate, and the Inquisitor of the district, shall be responsible for examining printed or manuscript works previous to publication; and without their license it shall be illegal to circulate them. Inquisitorial visits shall from time to time be made, under the authority of the bishop and the Holy Office, in bookshops or printing houses, for the removal and destruction of prohibited works. Colporteurs of books across the frontiers, heirs and executors who have become depositaries of books, collectors of private libraries, as well as editors and booksellers, shall be liable to the same jurisdiction, bound to declare their property by catalogue, and to show license for the use, transmission, sale, or possession of the same.

With regard to the correction of books, it is provided that this duty shall fall conjointly on bishops and Inquisitors, who must appoint three men distinguished for learning and piety to examine the text and make the necessary changes in it. Upon the report of these censors, the bishops and Inquisitors shall give license of publication, provided they are satisfied that the work of emendation has been duly performed. The censor must submit not only the body of a book, to scrupulous analysis; but he must also investigate the notes, summaries, marginal remarks, indexes, prefaces, and dedicatory epistles, lest haply pestilent opinions lurk there in ambush. He must keep a sharp lookout for heretical propositions, and arguments savoring of heresy; insinuations against the established order of the sacraments, ceremonies, usages and ritual of the Roman Church; new turns of phrase insidiously employed by heretics, with dubious and ambiguous expressions that may mislead the unwary; plausible citations of Scripture, or passages of holy writ extracted from heretical translations; quotations from the authorized text, which have been adduced in an unorthodox sense; epithets in honor of heretics, and anything that may redound to the praise of such persons; opinions savoring of sorcery and superstition; theories that involve the subjection of the human will to fate, fortune, and fallacious portents, or that imply paganism; aspersions upon ecclesiastics and princes; impugnments of the liberties, immunities, and jurisdiction of the Church ; political doctrines in favor of antique virtues, despotic government, and the so-called Reason of State, which are in opposition to the evangelical and Christian law; satires on ecclesiastical rites, re. ligious orders, and the state, dignity, and persons of the clergy; ribaldries or stories offensive and prejudicial to the fame and estimation of one's neighbors, together with lubricities, lascivious re.



marks, lewd pictures, and capital letters adorned with obscene images. All such peccant passages are to be expunged, obliterated, removed or radically altered, before the license for publication be accorded by the ordinary.

No book shall be printed without the author's name in full, together with his nationality, upon the title-page. If there be sufficient reason for giving an anonymous work to the world, the censor's name shall stand for that of the author. Compilations of words, sentences, excerpts, etc., shall pass under the name of the compiler. Publishers and booksellers are to take care that the printed work agrees with the MS. copy as licensed, and to see that all rules with regard to the author's name and his authority to publish have been observed. They are, moreover, to take an oath before the Master of the Sacred Palace in Rome, or before the bishop and Inquisitor in other places, that they will scrupulously follow the regulations of the Index. The bishops and Inquisitors are held responsible for selecting as censors men of approved piety and learning, whose good faith and integrity they shall guarantee, and who shall be such as will obey no promptings of private hatred or of favor, but will do all for the glory of God and the advantage of the faithful. The approbation of such censors, together with the license of the bishop and Inquisitor, shall be printed at the opening of every published book. Finally, if any work composed by a condemned author shall be

licensed after due purgation and castration, it shall bear his name upon the title-page, together with the note of condemnation, to the end that, though the book itself be accepted, the author be understood to be rejected. Thus, for example, the title shall run as follows: •The Library, by Conrad Gesner, a writer condemned for his opinions, which work was formerly published and proscribed, but is now expurgated and licensed by superior authority.'

The Holy Office was made virtually responsible for the censorship of books. But, as I have already stated, there existed a Congregation of prelates in Rome to whom the final verdict upon this matter was reserved.

If an author in some provincial town composed a volume, he was bound in the first instance to submit the MS. to the censor appointed by the bishop and Inquisitor of his district. This man took time to weigh the general matter of the work before him, to scrutinize its propositions, verify quotations, and deliberate upon its tendency. When the license of the ordinary had been obtained, it was referred to the Roman Congregation of the Index, who might withhold or grant their sanction. So complicated was the machinery, and so vast the pressure upon the officials who were held responsible for the expurgation of every book imprinted or reprinted in all the Catholic presses, that even writers of conspicuous orthodoxy had to suffer grievous delays. An archbishop writes to Cardinal Sirleto about a book which had been examined

« PředchozíPokračovat »