List of forbidden books in Castile in 1583
As we studied last Friday, one of the decisions made by the Catholic Church to stop the extension of Protestantism was the creation of the Index Librorum Prohibitorum, a list of the books forbidden for the Catholic believers. This list was created in 1559 and it existed until 1966, when Pope Paul VI decided to abolish it. The Index included all the books whose ideas were considered against the official dogma of the Catolic Church. Many works of thinkers and scientists were included on it, but also novels. Every book published in the Catholic countries had to pass the control of the Church and receive its aproval: Nihil obstat (nothing forbids) and Imprimatur (let it be printed). If the book belonged to a religious institution and was on questions of religion or moral, it should also get the Imprimi potest (it can be printed).
Nihil Obstat and Imprimatur of a book published in New York
The institution in charge of the List of Forbidden Books was the Sacred Congregation of the Inquisition, later called the Holy Office. Owning forbidden books was considered to be heressy and the heretics were persecuted and punished. For example, Giordano Bruno, an Italian philosopher and scientist, was burnt at stake for his writings. Galileo Galilei had to recant many of his ideas about the universe, because this was the only way to save his life.
At present the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith is the insitution in charge of watching books and overseeing the Catholic doctrine. Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith since 1981 until he was elected Pope in 2005. This institution still bans the books they consider theologically wrong. For example, they punished the books of some members of the Church who follow the Liberation Theology current, such as Leonardo Boff, Jon Sobrino or Hans Küng
On the following link you have a complete list of the books and authors forbidden for the Catholics until the list was suppressed
The Opus Dei, a very conservative group of the Catholic Church, has a list of forbidden books for its members. They have created a list of more than 60,000 books and rated them according to religious and moral criteria. Here you have the list of forbidden writers:
On the same link you can upload the whole booklist and watch the "mark" Opus Dei gives to every book.