[quote="Joe_5859, post:7, topic:227942"]
Not that I know of.
I think the Church gives us more leeway in the area of discernment than some of us are comfortable in having. It would be convenient to have an infallible list from the Vatican as to what is acceptable and what needs to be avoided. ;)
I think the Church was very wise to move away from all that. For one, in our modern day, it would be a logistical nightmare. A few centuries ago, there weren't that many books being churned out. Now, the Church could never keep up with all the media being produced: books, movies, music, blogs, youtube videos, etc., etc.
If you're interested in what the Church has to say, I recommend looking at some of the documents on social communications, particularly the annual messages for World Communications Day. I have assembled links to as many of them as I could find on my website: catechesisofthepopes.wordpress.com/other-themes/media/.
I think we are better off forming our minds and hearts with guidance from the general principles the Church has laid out for us and then using that to discern what is appropriate and what is not rather than simply being told to avoid this and embrace that. It's the whole "giving a man a fish" vs. "teaching a man to fish" thing. :)
Cordial greetings and a belated happy New Year to you and your dear wife.
The Index of Forbidden Books was surely the Church recognizing that what the faithful read would greatly influence their faith, for good or for bad. The Index continued, in one fashion or another, until in the last century when the prohibition against printing, selling or reading certain books was mitigated and then finally repealed altogether. Whilst it is true that the Church still retains the same concerns for the integrity of our faith, as in times past, the shift is toward a different understanding of the way Church law should reflect that concern. As you say, it is now more a matter of a man using his individual discernment, hopefully informed by the general sweep of Church teaching, and his prudential judgement, if it is not radically defective.
Whilst I appreciate the immense difficulties that would be involved in the implementation of an Index today, I am of the opinion that it was an unfortunate step to remove it, at least totally at any rate. Given that our Church exists to sanctify men, she must needs give them all that is necessary for their eternal salvation and this must needs entail safeguarding them from anything that could possibly hinder it. How can the Church remain indifferent if the members whom she is supposed to be saving are polluting their hearts and minds with culturally unwholesome literature or debased sensory material? Given that multitudes of Catholics have become, and I say this with a truly heavy heart, contaminated by and asimilated to the immoral and godless spirit of the age, can they really be trusted to make the correct prudential judgement? Are their hearts and minds sufficiently informed by their faith to be capable of assertaining what is acceptable and what unacceptable to those professing godliness? Joe, old chap, I have very grave doubts about that when I think of the increasing secularisation of the Church and its attendant Laodicean worldliness.
One only has to think of the controversy and, indeed, uncertainty that surrounds the thorny issues of rock music and the Harry Potter series to realize that some form of censorship by the Church is urgently called for. Men do require some sort of official guidance on these highly controversial areas where there exists so much diversity of opinion and also so much doubt. To ask for such guidance and leadership does seem perfectly reasonable, for if the Church has a divine mandate to teach faith and morals, then clearly it has a correlative duty to ensure that the faithful are not reading unwholesome books or listening to debased forms of music that will effectively undermine that very faith. As St. Paul says, "Evil communications corrupt good manners", therefore a man's thoughts will be moulded by his choice of reading, viewing or listening material and sometimes the wrong choices could have eternal consequences. It seems, therefore, very imprudent to leave everything to man's prudential judgement and discernment, for men are very likely, when it comes to the arts and literature, to be swayed their own personal worldly preferences. Moreover, they can also reassure themselves that something is quite permissible becuase the Church has not issued any official pronouncement on such and such an issue. This would have been considered most unsatisfactory to the Church in former generations, which is why the Index existed in the first place, namely to protect the faithful from making an erroneous judgement that could be harmful to their spiritual well-being.
Therefore whilst I freely admit that there cannot be a list of every prohibited book or film etc., I do believe that a list of some highly contentious books such as the Potter series, for example, need now some official pronouncement, given their world-wide popularity among impressionable youth and the blunt warnings uttered by exorcists like Father Gabreile Amorth respecting them.
Warmest good wishes,