1179 | Rome

Free Speech

The Catholic Church promotes literacy.

Since the church of God like a loving mother is bound to provide for the needy both the things which concern the maintenance of the body and which tend to the profit of souls, in order that the poor, who cannot be assisted by their parents’ means, may not be deprived of the opportunity of reading and proficiency, in every cathedral church a competent benefice shall be bestowed upon a master who shall teach the clerks of the same church and poor scholars freely, so that both the necessities of the teacher shall be relieved and the way to learning laid open for the learners. 

In other churches, too, or monasteries, if anything shall have been in times past assigned for this purpose, it shall be restored. 

For a license to teach no one shall exact money, even if on pretense of any custom he ask anything from those who teach; nor when a license is asked shall he prevent anyone who is fit from teaching. Whoever presumes to contravene this shall be put out from any ecclesiastical benefice.

For it seems to be right that none should have the fruits of his labor in the church of God who, in the greediness of his mind, by selling a license to teach endeavors to prevent the proficiency of churchmen.

About This Text

From the Third Lateran Council. The Third Lateran Council also prohibited charging fees for the burial of the dead and restricted clerics from visiting, without necessity, the convents of nuns.