Casey Anthony, Jaycee Dugard, and Fr. Corapi

I don't usually follow current events this closely, but recently I've found myself wrapped up in a handful of news stories: Casey Anthony, Jaycee Dugard, and Fr. Corapi.
I think the main reason why I'm so interested in these stories is I want to be able to understand the reason why these things happened. Why did a person choose to do what he/she did? At least that's how I justify my curiosity.
However, I started to wonder today if my fascination with these stories has gone too far. I picked up Jaycee Drugard's heart-wrenching book and as she described the horrifying situations she dealt with, I felt voyeuristic.

I've had intense feelings of anger toward the "bad guys" in each of these stories, and great compassion to the victims in these stories, even though I'm not personally connected to any of them. In some ways I feel like I've experience the events vicariously as I read about them or watch them in TV.

My question is, where should a Catholic draw a line in how he/she follows the news? When does an interest in a story become an unhealthy obsession? When does righteous anger turn into hatred? How should a Catholic respond to these sorts of stories?
Any insight you could give would be helpful. I'm struggling with how to deal with these stories and wondering if I should greatly limit how much time i spend in following these similar stories.

Mariah, I think your conscience is leading you well! We should restrain our curiousity about negative events and people. This does not only mean crimes, but even personal issues which cause us to become upset or indignant. If it is causing us to dwell on other's people failings, and leading us to feel smug in ourselves, or judgemental of others, then we should turn away from it.

I have a bit of a weakness in this area, so I am conscious of it. Of course, it is not necessarily bad to read about crimes, and negative events, and there are times when it is necessary or healthy. I am suggesting that if one does sense a weakness, then it is best to curtail the reading.

You know with the events that have taken place recently concerning these people and maybe some others too I have had similar thoughts. I think as Catholics we have a duty to be informed of curtrent events. We can evaluate them using the lens of our Catholic faith but when it gets to the point where we are spending an amount of time that is excessive listening to these news stories then theres a problem because we can hardly wait to find out whats gonna happen next. These can easily turn into occassions of sin for obvious reasons, speculation, gossip,the danger of actually judging someones motives, etc.
I said news stories but thats probably not the right term for the events we are referring to. More like drama, and you have to admit there are things in each of situations that are dramatic and also each of these situations seem to bring out strong emotions and opinions for most people who get involved following them. Shouldnt we just follow the story, learn the facts and leave it at that? Do we need to go back to the news multiple times so that we dont miss out on every gory detail? Were Jesus and Mary constantly following scandals? Its too easy for us to get caught up in it and once we get to the point where the interest is a little too unhealthy and our personal emotions are caught up in these things I think its time to do something else, like maybe spend the time with prayer, spiritual reading, Church instead of spending time following these things. I know for me its time to get less involved with this stuff.

[quote="kitkatty, post:3, topic:249007"]
...I said news stories but that`s probably not the right term for the events we are referring to. More like drama, and you have to admit there are things in each of situations that are dramatic and also each of these situations seem to bring out strong emotions and opinions for most people who get involved following them...

[/quote]

I note that this snippet is not representative of your post as a whole, however I would like to comment on it.

I think that this (ie. "drama") is the other side of the issue. News stories often do involve a drama, and there is a sense of excitement in unfolding revelations, and a legitimate (I think) attempt to understand the issues and facts. There have been a few major political and crime stories which I have followed without (I think) sinnning by curiousity or judgement, and which have been important in forming my understanding of politics, society and the law. It's a matter of moderation. :)

I think you`re right here,most news stories do have some drama attached to them. Moderation is definitly needed.

I think it is an easy trap to fall into. I know at my office a number of these stories get brought up and opinions are rampant.
I usually notice I have gone too far only after I eventually gossip or judge. Hind sight is 20/20.

I try to remember to pray for all involved on both sides. I find it hard to remember to pray for someone who I think has done horrible things, but then I remember those are the ones we need to the most.

I know what you mean. It's hard to not be angry. I always try to turn my anger to pity for these villains. Think about what they face in their future. So so sad....

Thanks be to God, i dont have television; so im spared the raw, full colour blood n guts. Seeing it only in print tends to keep you more objective.

There was a "psychology of the mob" of most CAF posters on recent Fr. Corapi threads. Almost every new post seemed to try to outdo its predecessors in digging up damning evidence, and throwing venom. i was shocked! :(

[quote="Fink, post:8, topic:249007"]
There was a "psychology of the mob" of most CAF posters on recent Fr. Corapi threads. Almost every new post seemed to try to outdo its predecessors in digging up damning evidence, and throwing venom.** i was shocked!** :(

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You must be new here. Greetings from Adelaide :)

[quote="Edmundus1581, post:9, topic:249007"]
You must be new here. Greetings from Adelaide :)

[/quote]

And greetings from the East (south of Sydney)! :)

Seriously, i was reminded of the 1792 Paris Mob. :(

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