This article was written by my husband...
Actually reading the Bible was not encouraged, because neither I, nor anybody in my immediate family was 'expert enough' to really understand what it said anyway. The idea was that the experts in the church who studied the Bible 'professionally', would be the ones to tell us what it meant. Also, there are so many versions of the Bible, the fact that it could be translated in different ways was proof that the average person was wasting their time if they studied the Bible, but if they were going to try it, it better be done under the expert guidance of a 'professional'. If anybody quoted a part of the Bible to me in order to try and correct my lost spiritual condition, I could easily dismiss the Bible quote by thinking it was just 'their interpretation'. Also, since I was lost, I did not have the Holy Spirit to help me understand the Bible, the few times I did try to read part of it, I did not understand it, So the 'needing a professional' idea seemed to be true.
As those of you who are saved can guess, my notions about God and the Bible were a recipe for a non-Spirit filled flesh based life, and that is exactly the life I had. I was headed to hell playing church in order to satisfy the curiosity of God that God gives to each person, and my notions about the Bible made it powerless in my life.
This actually sounds like my Catholic High School experience. There were (and are) a lot of cultural Catholics. On some blogs I have seen them referred to as CINO or Catholics in Name Only. They go to mass, put their kids on the sacramental conveyor belt, but they are not living their Catholic faith outside of that.
In my experience, it was not so much that Catholics were discouraged from reading the bible in those days as the teaching of the had swung from solid grounding in Scripture and Tradition to an experiential, "feel-good" type of gobbledy gook - I am told the thought was that if kids felt good and all tingly about their Catholic Faith, they would eventually seek to learn more about it. The reality is that generations of us grew to adulthood seeking more of the "feel good" crap we had been fed as kids and adolescents and didn't seek the faith, any faith, until we hit a crisis point in our life.
When there's a void like this, folks will look for something to fill it. Hobbies, sex, drugs, destructive behaviors are one way to go. Other's look to Eastern religions of Paganism for enlightenment. Erik didn't feel fulfilled in the empty faith life of his parents, so of course he looked elsewhere for enlightenment. It's a sad typical story.
Encouragingly, I think most of the moms who read this blog and other Catholic blogs want more than that for their children. And if anything, Candy's constant persecutation of our Catholic faith has incouraged many to dig into study and learn about the faith Christ has given to us, and His church has protected and passed down.