I was wondering what people thought of some specific points of moral theology in the book This is The Faith by Canon Francis Ripley. In the thread below,
everyone says it is a great book, but I think the author is too strict on certain things especially in the section on sins against faith under the first commandment. He says
Willfully to expose oneself to the danger of losing the Faith would be a grievous sin.
That makes sense to me. but then he says
We expose ourselves to the danger of losing our Faith by:
a) Committing sin, especially mortal sin…]
b) Failing to pray…]
c) Failing to study our faith…]
d) Neglecting our spiritual duties…]
e) Reading bad books…]
f) Going to non-Catholic schools…]
g) Taking part in the services or prayers of a false religion
If I am not mistaken, he is saying all of these are sins which constitute grave matter, not may be sins, but are always objectively grave. At first I took what he said seriously and some of it worried me, especially the “reading bad books” and “going to non-Catholic schools” because I go to a non-Catholic school, a small Christian school with both good (meaning not liberal) Catholics and Protestants in it. In various classes we read the works of the ancient Greek philosophers, and Protestant works, which are of false (or partially false) religions, and thus in the category of “bad books”,if I’m not mistaken, but we also read some books by Catholic authors like St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Augustine. I thought for sure Catholics were allowed to study other religions so long as they are not willing to accept them as true and I found some good arguments on this site confirming that. Don’t we need to know about other religions to convert people and to know what we’re up against when defending our own Faith?
I also know that the non-Catholic school I am going to now has strengthened my Catholic faith more that many Catholic schools would. My brother went to a Catholic school for a year. There, he had an awful experience with bullies (which the faculty did little to alleviate despite my parent’s requests), and a nun who taught there basically told the class that many Bible stories were myths, if I remember correctly.
I’m also not sure about the “Committing sin, especially mortal sin” one if he is talking about venial sins. In that section he seems to imply that habitually committing venial sins is endangering one’s faith and thus, in and of itself, a mortal sin, but I was told that the only type of venial sin which can add up to a mortal sin like that is the sin of stealing.
My family concluded that the This is The Faith book was over-the-top. I am wondering what everyone thinks of these sins and the book. The book has an imprimatur for the 1951 edition. Does that mean everything it says is completely true and in accordance with Church teaching? Is it really a mortal sin to read bad books, go to non-Catholic schools, and habitually commit venial sin?
Thank you in advance for your responses.