Over at the Aomin blog, Dr. White has given us an interesting quote from the Council of Trent. Trent, as all informed Protestants should know, defines Roman Catholicism over and against Protestantism/Evangelicalism.
Session XXV: Rule IV of the Ten Rules Concerning Prohibited Books Drawn Up by The Fathers Chosen by the Council of Trent and Approved by Pope Pius: Since it is clear from experience that if the Sacred Books are permitted everywhere and without discrimination in the vernacular, there will by reason of the boldness of men arise therefrom more harm than good, the matter is in this respect left to the judgment of the bishop or inquisitor, who may with the advice of the pastor or confessor permit the reading of the Sacred Books translated into the vernacular by Catholic authors to those who they know will derive from such reading no harm but rather an increase of faith and piety, which permission they must have in writing. Those, however, who presume to read or possess them without such permission may not receive absolution from their sins till they have handed over to the ordinary. Bookdealers who sell or in any way supply Bibles written in the vernacular to anyone who has not this permission, shall lose the price of the books, which is to be applied by the bishop to pious purposes, and in keeping with the nature of the crime they shall be subject to other penalties which are left to the judgment of the same bishop. Regulars who have not the permission of their superiors may not read or purchase them. H. J. Schroeder, Canons and Decrees of the Council of Trent: Original Text with English Translation (St. Louis: B. Herder Book Co., 1955), p. 274-75.
Rome claims to be always the same (semper eadem) so I wonder why this particular canonical rule is disregarded by Roman Catholics today. Unless of course Rome subscribes to a theory of Abrogation, where later "developments" overrule and abrogate earlier ones. Of course, if they hold to such a theory, then they have no right to claim apostolic authority for any of their doctrines since the doctrines can always"develop" into its antithesis.
So at Trent we were considered heretics going to hell, at Vatican II we are now "separate brethren" which presumably since we are called brethren means we are going to heaven. Truly the Pope has the power to change the eternal fates of men, merely with the stroke of his pen.