The Council of Constance (1415), condemned the writings Wycliff, the first translator of the whole Bible into the English tongue; and Arundel, archbishop of Canterbury and chancellor of England, denounced him as that `pestilent wretch of damnable heresy who, as a complement of his wickedness, invented a new translation of the Scriptures into his mother tongue.'< Pope Pius IV (1564), expressed the conviction that indiscriminate reading of Bible versions did more harm than good, and therefore would not allow laymen to read the sacred book except by special permission of a bishop or an inquistor. Benedict XIV extended the permission to read the Word of God in the vernacular to all the faithful, yet with the provisio that the translation be approved in Rome and guarded by explanatory notes from the writings of the fathers and Catholic scholars (1757). However this more liberal perspective excluded all Protestant versions, irrespective of their quality. These were regarded as corrupt and heretical and were often burnt in Catholic countries.
Bible societies have been denounced and condemned, even by more modern popes, as a `pestilence which perverts the gospel of Christ into a gospel of the devil' grouped as modern evils with socialism, communism and secrety societies. (Papal Syllabus of Pius IX, 1864).