Franciscans and movies

Can Franciscans go the the movie theater and watch Netflix? I can’t find anything on the web that helps me with my question

I’m no expert on Franciscan lifestyle, but from the little I know, I would say they are “allowed” but not encouraged. From what I understand, Franciscans are devoted to extreme poverty, penance and prayer as a means of not only living a lifestyle liberating from sin and other activities that draw them away from God (ex. Escapism which can encompass media such as movies and Netflix), but also as a means of atoning for the sins of others. But part of enbracing poverty is allowing for more opportunities for others to be moved to charity. In that sense, if a man had a friend who was a Franciscan and invited him out to the movies, the Franciscan would likely accept as a means of providing some kind of moral gratification for that man giving his up his time and money for the sake of another (obviously exempting if the movie/Netflix…thing contains obscene content). Being that Franciscans typically embrace a level of poverty where they don’t even own the clothes on their backs, I’d imagine they dont watch movies/Netflix often, but if a person offered it to them as an act of brotherly charity, I’d imagine they’d accept. Again, I’m no expert, but thats my input based on a minimal understanding of Franciscan lifestyle.

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There’s too many kinds of Franciscans to generalize about this question.

Reminds me of this old joke:

  • No one knows what a Jesuit is about to say,
  • No one knows what a Dominican just said, and …
  • No one knows how many kinds of Franciscans there are!

Blessed be all the incorporeal, bodiless powers,
Deacon Christopher


I’ve been to the movies with Franciscan sisters. I know of at least some Franciscan priests who really enjoy movies. Netflix is popular in a lot of communities–an inexpensive and communal form of entertainment.

There isn’t going to be a clear-cut yes or no answer. It would depend on the community and on the individual religious and how they feel this relates to their vows, especially of poverty and chastity.

You’re over thinking it just a bit. Although I am flattered by the piety you think we have :wink:. I’ve watched Netflix on my own in the friary, I’ve been to the movies with other friars, and I’ve been with non-friar friends. But it wasn’t for moral gratification (for myself or others)…it was because I wanted to see the movie, lol.

We’re given a very small monthly allowance, which we can use or save up for non-essential personal things like that…an occasional movie, a coffee from Starbucks, a book, etc. But it not enough to make those frequent things. If someone invites us and offers to pay, we’re certainly not obligated to go either.

But as others have said, it will vary community to community.


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