14 Jun: The Vatican’s Naughty Library

Circulated in some form since the 16th century, the ‘Index of Forbidden Books’ was quietly discontinued by Pope Paul VI on 14th June, 1966.

In its 400-year+ history, the Index Librorum Prohibitorum had censored hundreds of authors including the German astrologer Keppler, the philosopher Kant, and Protestant theologians Martin Luther and John Calvin. But Darwin wasn’t included – because all books about atheism were automatically considered heretical.

In this episode, Rebecca, Arion and Olly explain the processes behind the scenes; revisit some choice exchanges between Catholic scholars; and reveal the books they’d ban forever – if only they could…

Further Reading:

• ‘Roman Catholics: The Issue of Imprimatur’ (TIME, 1966): http://content.time.com/time/subscriber/article/0,33009,836269,00.html

• Wikipedia’s list of Authors and Works in the Index: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_authors_and_works_on_the_Index_Librorum_Prohibitorum

• ‘Vatican: Forbidden Works’ from Journeyman Pictures: