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Dear Catholic.com visitor: Summer is here, and you may be thinking about a well-deserved vacation, family get-togethers, BBQs with neighborhood friends. More than likely, making a donation to Catholic Answers is not on your radar right now. But this is exactly the time we most need your help. The “summer slowdown” in donations is upon us, but the work of spreading the gospel and explaining and defending the Faith never takes a break. Your gift today will change lives and save souls for Christ this summer! The reward is eternal. Thank you and God bless.

What was the Index of Forbidden Books, and is it OK to read those books now?

Question:

What was the Index of Forbidden Books? What books were put on it? Since the use of the Index has been dropped, is it all right now to read those books?

Answer:

The Index was a list of books considered dangerous to faith or morals. In establishing the Index the Church intended to protect Catholics from such material. The subject matter of books listed on the Index ranged from heretical treatises to pornography. After Vatican Council II a specific list of books was dropped and a set of guidelines established in its place. The reading of such books is not edifying spiritually or morally. They should not be read out of curiosity. Permission to read objectionable books is given to those whose task it is to refute them and defend the teaching of the Church.

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