When the popes were treated as more powerful than kings why was the common man not allowed to read the bible?
For starters, up until the relative modern era the “common man” would not have been literate enough to read the Bible even in the vernacular. There would have been no reason to prohibit the reading of something that most people couldn’t read.
Secondly, the reading of the Bible was never prohibited. Certain translations that were considered heretical or that contained anti-Catholic commentaries were prohibited but those who were able to read an authorized translation were never forbidden to read the Bible.