Jerome translated the Bible from Hebrew and Aramaic into Latin, now known as the Vulgate version of the Bible, but he rejected the Deuterocanonical books*(see below) because there was not Hebrew versions of the texts to be found. Jerome counseled that the "deuterocanonical" Old Testament, that is, those books not available in Hebrew or not considered canonical by the Jews, were OK as models of faith and conduct, but should not be used to establish doctrine. The Vulgate was used for over one and a half millennia, but then Pope John Paul II replaced it with the New Vulgate in 1979...The 20th-century "New Vulgate" was simply an updated Latin translation of the Bible, just like the NIV and NASB are newer English translations.
However, of these books, Tobias, Judith, the Wisdom of Solomon, Baruch, and Maccabees, remain in the Catholic Bible. First Esdras, Second Esdras, Epistle of Jeremiah, Susanna, Bel and the Dragon, Prayer of Manasseh, Prayer of Azariah, and Laodiceans are not part of the Catholic apocrypha today. I do not yet know why this is.
From the very beginning, the near-universal belief of Christians--which was finally recognized as the explicit and official position of the Church by the Council of Trent because Protestants had challenged it after 15 centuries--was that the deuterocanonical books were as authoritative as the rest. If you read the Church fathers, bishops, theologians and other writers, you'll see that they freely and frequently quote the Deuterocanonical books as authoritative and to support doctrine, without any caveats about the authority of these books.
* The books not all of Christendom consider as canonical, but some do, are called "Deuterocanonical." (The books used by Catholics.) The term "Apocrypha" should be reserved for Old and New Testament writings that have been influential but are not accepted as part of the Bible by any current Christian body. However, Protestants typically lump the Deuterocanonical Old Testament with truly noncanonical books, as "Old Testament Apocrypha." All of the books in the "Apocrypha" sections of Protestant bibles are accepted as canonical by at least one Christian body dating from before the Reformation.
** Please know that I am not completely done with all this research. This is simply what I have found so far.
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