Immorality on tv?

I couldn’t find any aapologist anser for this.

is it actually considered to be sinful to see something else sinful on tv? for example, shows where most of the plot is ok but the characters are involved in some immoral things (without negative consequences)

yes, I know those things would be wrong, no it does not cause me ot doubt my faith or cause an occasion of sin and it’s not the reason for watching, the rest of the story is pretty sound.

I guess I just don’t know exactly how to approach it. does the church have some guidelines? or is it only about occasions for sin?

Depends on what one means.

You mean for example watching a fictional movie about a a team that robs a bank and enjoying the drama of it or how it is pulled off? But not approving bank robbery per se or being tempted etc?

Yes that can be fine.

Or the fact is that one of the characters is say a drunk etc?

Just because a character does something sinful or is a “bad character” does not mean in itself one cannot watch the show. It is a judgment call. There are things I can watch myself that are not sinful to watch and do not lead me to sin etc -but which I would not show say my kids.

(Now sexual matters though can be a different matter of course…depending)

Any question you can talk with your confessor or Pastor.

If you’re talking about lust being caused by images, then yes.
If you mean just a character doing something evil, for example, say, forging, I can’t see how just looking at it could be a sin for you.

Keep your values in mind, but much past porn and that, for lack of better description, would inspire people to harm or denigrate a real humans I’d think you are OK. Most plots require an “good” vs “bad” element. Obviously the “bad” part can get to a point where it becomes excessive or very violent, but that goes back to the keeping your values in mind. Some of the best and most important films flirt with what people consider bad in an effort to make us think.

I try to watch shows that don’thave bad stuff in them. but it still seems to crop up regardless in shows where you wouldn’t expect it.

for example, like you said, main character is a drunk on the side, or engages in fornication, EtC… things that are not central to the plot per see but still find their way in somehow

Maybe if it makes you sin… :confused:

Did you know, it actually states in the Catechism, that to watch anything on TV/ music/ movies/ books, of a scene that is only appropriate within marriage, the catechism states that to view such contents is pornographic.
And to do such deliberately, with full knowledge and full freedom, is a mortal sin.

Before you decide to watch a movie on TV or in the movies, simple Google "Parental Review of…
" or “Parents Guide of…” (and name the movie).
It will show all content that may be offensive to viewers. And you will be able to make a decision, is this movie portraying content that would be a mortal sin to watch deliberately, freely, with full knowledge.

If there is no parent movie review available, just Google a review or synopsis of the movie or TV show, it will also give you an indication of whether this is appropriate to watch.

The Catechism does say, to view any scene in the media, (books, movies, music) that is only appropriate within the Sacrament of Marriage, is pornographic, grave matter, - a mortal sin if committed deliberately, freely, with full knowledge.

sorry, no, it doesn’t quite say it like that

what is different about sexual matters, in what way? is any depiction considered wrong?

There is ClearPlay:

clearplay.com/t-about2.aspx
You set content preferences based on your family values. ClearPlay then cuts out the images and dialogue you don’t want in the movies and TV shows you own or rent.

You control what your family does – and doesn’t – see so everyone can enjoy worry-free family time.

Once you establish your ClearPlay settings, they’ll automatically be applied to anything put in the player from our list of over 4,500 movies and TV shows.

clearplay.com/t-about2.aspx

  • Disclaimer: I have never used this personally, so I can’t vouch for how well it works. Just wanted to share as it sounds like an interesting idea.

St John Bosco saw one of his students burning in hell for reading one impure book.

The Catholic Bishops.of the US in a gathered meeting on use of media by catholics, ruled that any any movie, or TV programme that glorifies sexual sin, is a mortal sin for catholics to watch deliberately, freely in full knowledge.

You are misrepresenting that document.

This is what the US Bishops said.
WASHINGTON (CNS) – The U.S. bishops approved a statement on pornography on the second day of their Nov. 16-19 fall general meeting in Baltimore.

“Producing or using pornography is gravely wrong. It is a mortal sin if it is committed with full knowledge and deliberate consent. Unintentional ignorance and factors that compromise the voluntary and free character of the act can diminish a person’s moral culpability,” says the approved version of “Create in Me a Clean Heart: A Pastoral Response to Pornography.”

The bishops passed the document Nov. 17 in a 230 to 4 vote, with one abstention. It needed 181 votes to pass.

“This sin needs the Lord’s forgiveness and should be confessed within the sacrament of penance and reconciliation,” it says.

“Those who produce and distribute pornography harm the common good by encouraging and even causing others to sin,” it says.

The statement, prepared by the bishops’ Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth, adds: “There are many victims of pornography. Every person portrayed in it is beloved by God our father and is someone’s daughter or son. All child pornography is automatically trafficking and a crime, because it involves the sexual exploitation of a minor for commercial gain and it is against the child’s will due to the inability to give consent.”

It noted, “Many people struggle with pornography use, including faithful Catholics, people of faith, people of no faith, married and single people, fathers and mothers, the young and the old, clergy and those in consecrated life.”

In presenting the document to the bishops Nov. 16, the first day of their annual fall general meeting in Baltimore, Bishop Richard J. Malone of Buffalo, New York, chairman of the committee that prepared it, described pornography as a “dark shadow in our world today.”

He said that it is a “particularly sinister instance of consumption” whereby men, women and children “are consumed for the pleasure of others.”

Bishop Malone noted that the statement, which has been in the works for three years, is “purposely comprehensive” but can by no means address the entire issue. Instead, he said, it should be seen as more of a “launch pad” promoting further discussion and resources to help those harmed by pornography.

He said Pope Francis has urged the U.S. bishops to seek out and heal wounds and the pornography document provides a means to do that. /…/

“In the confessional and in our daily ministry, we have seen the corrosive damaged caused by pornography: children whose innocence is stolen; men and women who feel great guilt and shame for viewing pornography occasionally or habitually; spouses who feel betrayed and traumatized; and men, women and children exploited by the pornography industry.”

It notes pornography has “always been a problem” but over the years its impact has grown “exponentially.”

The statement borrows from the Catechism of the Catholic Church to define it: “Pornography consists in removing real or simulated sexual acts from the intimacy of the partners, in order to display them deliberately to third parties. It offends against chastity … It does grave injury to the dignity of its participants.”’

“It encompasses what is sometimes distinguished as ‘soft’- and ‘hard-core’ pornography,” the statement adds. “This is an artificial divide; all pornography is harmful and wrong, while the effects on a person may vary on the intensity of the content. Pornography is not art.”

It says, “Pornography can never be justified and it is always wrong.” /…/

The statement calls pornography “an industry of sin.” “Pornography is a big business. Estimates of revenue stretch easily into the billions of dollars every year. The pornography industry is aggressive, savvy and regulated only sporadically,” it said. “Other business, such as hotel chains, cable companies and drugstores, profit greatly from the widespread use of pornography and contribute to its accessibility.” /…/

It tells men and women who use pornography to “ask for forgiveness. Many good people struggle with this sin. You are not alone; there is always hope! … Freedom from pornography is a daily choice and calls for ongoing formation.”

The statement advises those harmed by their spouse’s pornography use to “seek solace in prayer, in receiving the sacraments, and in eucharistic adoration.” While “anger at your spouse is natural and often justified,” it makes a suggestion to “set clear boundaries if possible, such as installing an online monitoring program, clearing the home of any pornography, taking care of your own health, and refusing to be used as an excuse for your spouse’s pornography use.”

The full text of the approved statement can be found at tinyurl.com/nn2vrhu. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ website has various resources at this link tinyurl.com/q8pxhwd, including a list of support groups for those battling an addiction to pornography, educational resources about its harmful effects and guidance for families and whose who work with children to protect youngsters from pornography.

1 Like

From the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops with my bolding.

Please note that "Films with nudity, overt sexual activity, bloody violence, or the use of foul language can and do receive ratings beyond A-II but below O.
*
CNS CLASSIFICATIONS

A-I – General Patronage
Strictly speaking, this does not simply connote films that are “for” children, or films in which they would necessarily be interested. Rather, any movie free from significant objectionable content might receive this classification. In the days of the Hollywood Production Code, when it was assumed that almost all mainstream films were acceptable for all audiences, many films with “adult” subject matter – like 1956’s “Giant” – received this classification. Nowadays, such examples are rare.

A-II – Adults and Adolescents
The original intent of this classification was an endorsement for older teens. However, some ambiguity remains in this category, and CNS critics generally indicate whether the film is most appropriate for “older teens” or anyone over the age of 13. Films with nudity, overt sexual activity, bloody violence, or the use of foul language are almost never allowed in the A-I or A-II categories.

A-III – Adults
Adult sensibilities can, of course, run the gamut from a viewer with a high tolerance for edgy subject matter to more sensitive moviegoers who find certain elements less palatable. CNS reviewers try to strike a balance between the two. Films receiving an A-III classification are usually not acceptable for teens but are appropriate for most adults. Occasionally, however, a worthy film is clearly mature in subject matter, yet older adolescents might derive benefit from it. In that case, a sentence may be added about the movie being “acceptable” or “possibly acceptable” for “older teens.”

L – Limited adult audience, films whose problematic content many adults would find troubling
This highly restrictive classification explicitly indicates that the film will probably be unacceptable to the casual adult moviegoer. It is generally used for those quality films that include more challenging material than an A-III in terms of violence, sexual content (including nudity), language or moral dilemmas, but are still worthy of consideration by mature viewers well-grounded in their faith and open to the portrayal of gritty subject matter. Less often, this classification is applied to movies that – whatever their aesthetic merit or lack thereof – are too strong for an A-III but not sufficiently wayward to receive an “O.”

O – Morally offensive
This classification is applied, most importantly, to films that deny the existence of God, ridicule religious faith or are otherwise sacrilegious. Movies that directly contradict scriptural values and church teaching on such matters as euthanasia, abortion, suicide, adultery, homosexual activity or vigilante killing and revenge also fall into this category. So, too, do films that feature excessive violence, gratuitous or exploitative sexuality or, for no artistically valid reason, non-stop vulgarity.

Note: Some movies previously were designated A-IV. Older films with this classification should be regarded as classified L.*

catholicnews.com/about-cns-movie-reviews.cfm

1 Like

Angel, please read post 15, which is the guidance given by the conference of bishops of the United States, using principles which may be applied beyond that country’s borders

hmmm, lets say you enjoy a movie about people robbing banks, but would never actually go rob one yourself (for whatever reason), even though you like the idea in theory, you resist the need to do it, although I would assume most people avoid this due to the consequences of mans laws, NOT Gods.

Another example, you are watching a movie that shows sex and lusting and enjoy it, but in your real life, you do not take part in this, imo, this would be successfully resisting temptation, even if you do enjoy the thought of doing it.

so would it be a sin to watch an o-rated movie then?

I’ve also noticed there are no ratings for tv shows, so I am not sure which category they would fall under.

I’ve also noticed not every movie gets rated the same. some that I would expect to be O have a different rating and vice versa

Angel, both the ratings themselves and the decision to see a movie are prudential judgements. I know you don’t like prudential judgments and want a black and white answer. But there isn’t one.

The movie ratings are subjective to an extent, with the reviewer deciding what rating to give against a general rubric. For example, John Wicke 2 received and L while Logan received an O, and frankly I didn’t see much difference at all between the two-- I saw both movies.

The decision to see a movie is a prudential one. It depends on your own maturity and ability to handle disturbing content. Most of the L and O ratings are for violence and language, mature themes, and some nudity. Logan, for example, had about a 2 second flash of womens’ breasts as seen from the rearview mirror of the limo he is driving. That is NOT pornography. Gratuitous nudity, yes. Porn, no.

If someone has a sensitive conscience, they should avoid such movies under their own discernment. The reviews are there to give guidance. They do not bind us to a specific action.

If the movie is rated R or NC-17 by the MPAA it is not going to be classified as pornography. Those are rated X. The Catholic movie raters don’t even rate those movies, for obvious reasons. An individual R or NC-17 movie may have more or less content that a particular person should avoid, so reading the review can help you decide whether to see a particular movie or not.

Prudential judgment, Angel.

ok, thank you.

this wasn’t really an issue until yesterday whe I got that quote about pornography thrown at me, and claiming it applied to any and all forms of sexuality in any movie. saying that one sex scene in a movie was somehow porn

and to be honest, disturbing content is far less disturbing when you can’t even see what’s going on.

for example, I really have no clue if there’s an actual sex scene or a covered up one in a movie. I can usually deduce the implication but even then sometimes not, if there is loud music blaring while it’s happening. many times, I find out after the fact, if someone tells me or if I read part of the plot online later

or the full extent of bloody violence and thelike usually just goes over my head

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.