Is it sinful to watch the news or think on anything negative?

Salvete, omnes!

Is it sinful to watch the news or to think on anything negative?

In Philippians (as I recall), Paul tells his hearers/readers to think on whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things or holy, etc., etc.

So, is Paul here saying that we should always think positively and/or think only of positive things in the world?

Thing is, this is not how the world is. It is not all positive.

Also< I see no harm in thinking on the negative unless it truly destroys your spirit/ewmotional state in doing so.

After all, do not we even ponder the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Gospel, especially during Good Friday and doesn’t that both inspire sympathy and awe in us for what Christ did/had to endure for us?

Cannot even dwelling on the ngative things that happen in this world inspire us to pity and even to action to help make this world better. Perhaps it can even inspire us to prayer for the situations we see.

I admit to being a bit of a “news junkie” as I take interest in the things that happen around the world, particular as regards geopolitics, and there are a lot of negative things that happen in this world, but I don’t let it get me so down that I cannot enjoy the rest of my life also.

I tend to be of a more sober and even mournful spirit than most about the ills of the world, but I do both of these within reason, I think and, as I say, I don’t let it prevent me from enjoying the good things that do exist in this world.

Sometimes I even purposefully mourn on sad events to inspire me to greater pity/compassion for those going through them and to remind me of the seriousness of sin in this world. I also do so to inspire me to works that might help, in whatever way, great or small, to make this world better. Mourning about/reflecting on the sins in this world and the difficult events in individiuals’ lives as well as geopolitically in this way is actually, I think, beneficial to me.

I indeed consider myself a highly empath(et)ic person, so I think this is what makes me have the tendencies i mentioned above. My soul longs to reach out, to comfort, and even to strengthen these desires within me to do so. So, is there really anything wrong with any of this?

Unless I am mistaken, I think I may even recall having heard about various contemplatives who do engage in intentional sadness so as, like me, to motivate them to greater compassion/etc.

So, what do folks think? Am I wrong in doing any of this? In watching the news? In thinking on the negativ in this world? In even doing so deliberately? As long as it is within reason?

if I am right in doing what I do, how should we interpret the passage about thinking about whatever is true, noble, etc.? What does Paul mean in this passage?

My initial thought has been that he wants us to think on these things in order to inspire us to good woks. As I recall, the very next thing he says is somethike, “Whatever you see in me, practice these things”, setting himself as an example to be emulated. So, this may lend further strength to the argument that Paul means for us to think on the things he mentions to inspire us to them, but that he does not necessarily rule out in this our thinking on negative things. Is this understanding valid? Why or why not?

Gratias vobis.

St. Paul is asking his fellow Christians to give up thinking about smut. Give up lustful, impure, hateful, blasphemous, vengeful, murderous, greedy, covetous, etc thoughts. And he’s telling them what to replace them with.

No it’s good to watch the news, to stay informed about what’s happening in the world. This allows you to best care for yourself, your family, and your neighbors the best way possible. It can alert you to caution and avoid danger. It can give you people to pray for, or help if you are able. No watching the news can be a very good thing (for appropriate ages of course!)


Please stop with these diatribes.

When I work at my desk, the police scanner is running in the background. Most of the stuff is just routine traffic stops and other unremarkable things, but occasionally you get snippets of human drama come through. This elderly person was found in a parked car, and doesn’t know who she is, or where she came from, or where she lives. Or perhaps it’s pushing midnight, and someone’s kid still hasn’t come home yet. Or maybe a house fire.

Having glimpses of those little flickers of conflict and drama in people’s lives that I otherwise wouldn’t have been privy to, I’ve started offering prayers for them. Now, I find myself doing the same thing when I hear the evening news. Bad stuff happens to someone = intercessory prayer on their behalf.

I don’t think she means any harm by it. Scrupulous by chance possibly.

:thumbsup: :yup: Good response Convert in 99.

It’s okay to watch the news, but if it makes you “down”, sad, or depressed, you might want to stop for a while. God doesn’t need us to be sad. He wants our happiness. Many a saint has echoed this …St. Teresa the Little Flower, Mother Teresa and more.

I’m begging you. Get a good catholic bible study series, a good commentary, a catechism and read. No more bizarre speculation. If you truly want to learn…STUDY.
A little common sense would be advised as well.

You’re right, there is nothing wrong in keeping up with the news and Paul did give us that to inspire us. His epistles are letters to the churches, to admonish, to teach, to encourage to keep our faith.

May I make a suggestion: to avoid the unpleasant sort that hang out here in this sub-forum, post your thoughts on the Spirituality forum. I find them refreshing that someone is out there picking apart the scriptures to understand them and put their wisdom into practice. I was lead here by the title. Join us over there, MysticMissMisty.

Hi, the news is not to be a God to you. It is important
to be aware of worldly events so we can pray for them. One must balance the natural world with the Holy world. Otherwise you can become a victim of Satan who is master of the earth. We overcome evil w holiness. Piana Claire is correct in getting into something Holy. I just add news is okay with balance in Christ’s love


If watching the news was a sin, it would have been realised by now.


You hit the nail on the head. I suppose wild speculation is more fun than serious study.

With regard to your question in the thread title the answer is NO!

All Catholics especially parish priests and those in the Magisterium are supposed to be knowledgeable regarding current news worthy events. They cannot bury their heads in the sand and avoid the realities of the world around them and neither should we.

You cannot take scripture passages out of context and apply them in a way that goes against the author’s intention. St. Paul writing to the Philippians would never intend for them to ignore the harsh realities of the world around them. St. Paul does not want the Early Church Christians to lose hope because everything they see is discouraging. Therefore he wants to encourage them to focus on what is good, right and true.

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