Another common objection against Catholicism from Protestants is that famous objection: The Catholic Church had the Bible translated into Latin to stop people reading it. Coupled with this is the claim that John Wycliffe was the first man to translate the Bible into English, and was burnt at the stake for doing so.
Naturally, both are false.
The Catholic Encyclopaedia of 1917 has an entire article devoted to the subject of the diverse versions of the Bible. The section of the article that deals with English versions is quite extensive. As far back as the 8th Century, English translations of the Scriptures were already in existence.
So what about the Latin Bible?
In the 4th Century, Pope St. Damasus I had commissioned for St. Jerome to translate the entire Scriptures into a fresh new Latin text for use in the Roman Church. Up to this point, the Sacrifice of the Mass was celebrated in Greek, the philosophical language of the day. However, most Romans couldn't speak it, and so the Roman Church made the transition from Greek to Latin. To accompany this, the Scriptures were translated into Latin so that when they were read out at Mass, the people could understand them.
Because of the primacy of the Roman Church, Latin became the official language of the Western Church, replacing Greek. Due to this, the Latin Vulgate (as it is known) became the standard and official translation of the Scriptures for the West. In the Middle Ages, the Church set up schools, colleges and universities where Latin was taught to the students, with the Latin Bible as the main Latin literature they read.
So, if the claim is true, that the Church had the Bible in Latin to stop people reading it, then She clearly failed: not only did She teach people to read the very Bible they weren't supposed to read, but She even approved of vernacular translations for those who couldn't understand Latin at all!
But, what about Wycliffe being burnt at the stake?
He was burnt not because he translated the Bible into English, but because his translation was riddled with errors - on purpose - and he refused to correct them. So, he suffered the fate for abusing the Word of God to suit his own ends.
You see, the Church takes the Bible very seriously, and anyone who tries to tamper with it will suffer the consequences. That's how important Scripture is to the Church!
[A connected Objection to this one is the claim that Jesus commands for everyone to read the Bible. I answer that HERE.]