Can I be a Catholic Jedi?


#1

I know this may seem like an extermely strange question however i feel i need an answer. I was confirmed this past easter 2012, and i love being a catholic, i go to mass on sundays, i pray regulary and go to reconciliation etc. I am a huge Star Wars fan and i have always felt drawn to live or practice some of the ways of these fictional people (the Jedi Order) from a galaxy far far away. i feel that perhaps following this way of life may help me, but i am concerned it goes against some church teachings or that i may draw me away from God. I am not planning on becoming a member of some new religion or anything like that, but i want to live my life according the ideals of these people. I am overall asking, is this a sin? is this against any church teaching? if so which ones. Thank you for your understanding and time! :)


#2

Being an avid Star Wars fan myself I couldn’t help but take your question. On the face of it, there isn’t anything wrong with emulating virtues that are practiced by fictional people. I’m sure many Christians want be as brave as Aslan from the Chronicles of Narnia or as wise as Gandalf from the Lord of the Rings series. Prudence would only dictate that you keep your commitment to the teachings of the Church a priority and remember that Luke Skywalker is fiction, Jesus Christ is not. This means as a Catholic you could not embrace the teachings of the Jedi that contradict what the Church teaches (lest you fall to the Dark Side).

This includes the belief that God is just an impersonal “force” or that we must suppress our emotions instead of letting the Holy Spirit renew them. This also means you could not join the small religion of “jedi-ism” that currently exists in some parts of the world (though I’m glad you’ve made it clear you would not do that). But feel free to adopt those aspects of being a Jedi that do not conflict with Catholic teaching. These include growing in knowledge, learning self-discipline, and being a guardian of peace and justice in the galaxy, um, I mean world.

The process of adapting existing cultural elements to fit the Gospel message is actually nothing new and has been practiced by missionaries since the time of the Apostles. St. Paul said, “To those outside the law I became like one outside the law—though I am not outside God’s law but within the law of Christ—to win over those outside the law. To the weak I became weak, to win over the weak. I have become all things to all, to save at least some.” (1 Corinthians 9:21-22)

This process is called inculturation and in his encyclical Redemptoris Missio, the late Pope John Paul II said, “Through inculturation the Church makes the Gospel incarnate in different cultures and at the same time introduces peoples, together with their cultures, into her own community. She transmits to them her own values, at the same time taking the good elements that already exist in them and renewing them from within.” (Redemptoris Missio, 52)

By the way, if you like the Jedi because they model of discipline, contemplation, wisdom, and wear cool robes with hoods, then may I suggest examining the religious life or possibly discerning a call to being a monk? May the Faith be with you, always.


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