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The Council of Trent (1545-1564) placed the Bible on its list
of prohibited books, and forbade any person to read the Bible without a license from a Roman Catholic bishop or inquisitor.
The Council added these words: "That if any one shall dare to read or keep in his possession that book, without such a license,
he shall not receive absolution till he has given it up to his ordinary."Enter content here
Rome's attempt to keep the Bible from men has continued to recent times. Pope
Pius VII (1800-1823) denounced the Bible Society and expressed shock at the circulation of the Scriptures. Pius VII said,
"It is evidence from experience, that the holy Scriptures, when circulated in the vulgar tongue, have, through the temerity
of men, produced more harm than benefit." Pope Leo XII called the Protestant Bible the "Gospel of the Devil" in an encyclical
letter of 1824. Pope Gregory XVI (1831-1846) railed "against the publication, distribution, reading, and possession of books
of the holy Scriptures translated into the vulgar tongue." Pope Leo XII, in January 1850, condemned the Bible Societies and
admitted the fact that the distribution of Scripture has "long been condemned by the holy chair."