Morality in Entertainment

What factors should we consider when choosing to for example watch a TV show or a play?

For example would it be OK to watch a show or play where a character is divorced and remarried or where characters fornicate. These would not be the main point of the show or play, but part of the characters backgrounds that the show or play would not portray as wrong.

More generally is it OK to have entertainment where characters make immoral choices and don’t repent if it is not the main focus.

Also is is OK to want a fictional character to make an immoral choice?

The catechism.says, it’s a mortal sin to put oneself I’m a near occasion of mortal sin.
So if the content could tempt you to impure thoughts, yes it’s not suitable for Catholics.

Furthermore, Jesus clearly showed that the Commandments are not just about the major titles, but include subcategories, “You have heard it said, do not commit adultery, but I say to you, anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery in his heart.”

Therefore if something can cause you to deliberately sin in your thoughts then yes it is sinful to watch.

Nudity, Fornication, partial nudity, etc… Impure language, etc are all sinful things to watch on television, as Jesus has said adultery is also about thoughts and the eyes, and because it’s a near occasion of sin to watch those things.

“The eye is the light of the body.”

Your parameters would rule out most of Shakespeare’s best plays.

A near occasion of sin is just that, a near occasion. It is not a sin at all.

If the hot blonde at the office tells a married man to come to her place at 7:00pm, he does but regrets doing so and leaves before anything happens, then he hasn’t sinned at all. Desire and temptation are not a sin.

It seems to me that this could mean different things for different people. In other words it depends on where you are in your faith and self control.

If you have a regularly occuring problem with Impurity and your state of life precludes sex (you ain’t married) then Yes you might want to change your viewing habits.

That said entertainment in general has gotten a bit too risqué. Anyone who can’t see that at all is in more trouble than anyone who has doubts about it imho.

Also, depends on your gender. For example, most women wouldn’t be tempted as far as impurity is concerned by scantily dressed or nude women, but many of us would be disgusted. Would be more tempting to see an actual handsome masculine actor, of which there are few right now. And even then, most of the time impurity wouldn’t be involved.

Apart from MaryHelp the general consensus seems to be that as long as I don’t become convinced that the behaviour is OK then it is all right to watch in my given scenarios?

I wasn’t really thinking about impure scenes, though that is another factor to be considered.

Desire is not a.temptation?
Actually, deliberate, full knowledge, free, Desire for something that is a mortal sin, is a mortal sin in thoughts.
Jesus said adultery can be committed in the heart and in the eyes, without any action.
Thou shalt not covet thy neighbours wife, shows that desire can be a mortal sin.

Name one Saint that said it was okay to watch impure material on TV.

Saint Elizabeth of Hungary saw some noblewoman when knew, burning in hell because they dressed in fashion that God did not consider pure.

Stella Davis in the deliverance ministry in America had to pray for deliverance over a young girl who became possessed after reading a book that had lesbianism in it.

St John Bosco saw some of his boys in hell because they read impure books.

St Jude wrote in the Bible, “Refrain from unchastity.”
How is watching fornication on TV chaste?
How is Watching half of the modern shows on TV that promote impurity, good for someone’s Soul?

Pope Francis does not Watch TV.

Saint Padre Pio said television is Satan’s altar.
He said.this because of all the sinful stuff that some modern people are saying "hey man, Watch What you want, "

"The capital sin of covetousness is in reality rather a vice or inclination to sin, which is sinful only in that it proceeds from the unholy condition of original sin in which we are born, and because it leads us into sin.** And so far is the desire–natural in us all–to acquire and hold possessions from being reproved as offensive by God, that, if kept within the bounds of reason and justice and resisted triumphantly in its inordinate cravings, it is positively meritorious. **Even when indulged, covetousness is not a grievous sin, except in certain conditions which involve offence of God or the neighbour, e.g. when one is prepared to employ, or does actually employ, illicit or unjust means to satisfy the desire of riches…"

The Catholic Encyclopedia

"Etymologically, “concupiscence” can refer to any intense form of human desire…Concupiscence stems from the disobedience of the first sin. It unsettles man’s moral faculties and, without being in itself an offense, inclines man to commit

Catechism of the Catholic Church

Oh, good grief. :rolleyes:

The Pope is a member of the charismatic renewal,
And Pope John Paul Ii had 700 priests trained in exorcisms under him through Father Gabriel Amorthe, so you may roll your eyes if you want, but demonic possession can indeed come through committing mortal sins. Does not the Bible say that Mary Magdalene, who was caught in the act of adultery, that Jesus cast seven demons from her.

Jesus said “The eye is the light of the body.”

How can any catholic say it’s okay to watch intense scenes of fornication, Adultery, nudity, partial nudity, impure language, on TV in the age 13 + films that the secular world approves of,
If it’s a sin to commit those acts, how is it okay to watch those acts on TV?

Our Lady of Fatima said: “More Souls go to hell for sins of the flesh, (impurity) than for any other sin.”

Our Lady told St John Bosco 97% of Souls who are in hell, are there because of sins of impurity.

The sin of scandal is when sin is advertised to someone through bad example, gossip etc…
Jesus said, “Woe to the man whom scandal comes. It would be better if he had never been born.”

Watching such content on TV has led much of the youth and modern world into living lives of sexual immorality.
How chaste is the modern world? Is TV helping Souls on the way to chastity? Is.the modern music from Mtv helping Souls.on the way to chastity?
Or is it providing scandal and bad example and urging them on the path to hell?

The challenge I pose to myself and others when discussing this topic is this:

If these actors were on stage in front of you, would you continue to watch? :eek:

Wouldn’t the nudity and explicitly depicted sex acts be sinful to watch in person?

Well they are being displayed in person to the camera crew, director…etc.

We somehow feel more removed and therefore immune to their sin and ours when it’s transported electronically to our living rooms.

(And believe me, I’m frustrated they have to put this stuff in otherwise intelligent and entertaining programs!)

The favourite film of Fr. Amorth, chief exorcist of Rome, is ‘The Exorcist’, which is by no means a perfect film.

Some things are absolutely to be avoided, namely, near occasions of sin (impurity, for example). Other imperfections may be permissible, but there is no absolute rule.

If something is an occasion of sin for us, or if it intentionally/directly mocks God and His Church, we should avoid it like the plague.

The Bishop in my diocese asked all priests to watch ‘Spotlight’ - a film depicting sexual abuse scandals in the Catholic Church - because he wanted priests to be well-equipped for the inevitable questions or attacks that would arise.

There are many excellent films that contain nothing objectionable e.g. Tokyo Story.

Actually it is most likely the married man did sin. If the man went to the house he probably, unless he is really naive, was planning to commit a sin. Desire and temptation are not sins, but entertaining sinful thoughts or planning to act on them is a sin. It is certainly good if someone stops from going further into a sin, but it is best not to start at all.

I admit I watch some entertainment that I shouldn’t. Most modern entertainment is awful in terms of what it promotes subtly and not subtly. Sin is preferring anything to God. Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. Really what more needs to be said?

Why are you watching the items in question?

Are you doing a research project for a paper on morality in entertainment?

Or are you watching these things because they stimulate you, and you like to be stimulated.

Do you find the story lines fascinating and the immorality is incidental?

It would usually be option 3. I enjoy the storylines for reasons unrelated to the morality.

The early Christians lived in a world…a culture where all sorts of evil things were going on…the gladiator games and other “spectacles” as they called them which would be quite sinful…idolatry etc. So in the baptismal rite there is the rejection of the the Devil and his “pompa”…his “pomps” …which include all these things…so the Christians would not go to these sorts of entertainments…such is still part of our life too in essence …

Now this does not mean one can not engage in any modern entertainments…but I think it does mean there* are* entertainments and other things that are sinful…etc which others go in for but we as Christians do not…even in the New Testament it says they are surprised that we do not go in for the things we used to…or that they do…

And yes there are some mixed things…things that include things that do not lead me or others to sin…even shows that include evil characters …that include characters who do rather evil things…etc I am* not* saying one can never engage in any such entertainments…(one would have to judge each accordingly and persons may judge differently) (nor would I want anybody to “scruple” here).

I think too that if one thinks about it …there are other things too…which simply are not fitting for Christians…

The early Christians still had to live in their society…but there is here I think a great way for us…who live more and more in a society that in some ways resembles theirs…

Here read this slowly to the end:

But I think this is a very wonderful way to look at things!

Also I suggest as a way to keep this in mind and heart…every day renewing your baptismal promises…even in a very simple way such as “Lord Jesus Christ I renew my Baptismal promises and will follow you as your disciple” (which would include of course the rejection of the Devil, and his pomps, and sin…)

Exorcist Fr. Chad Ripperger has stated that children have become possessed after reading Harry Potter (which J.K. Rowling admittedly wrote using automatic writing, a form of demonic channeling). Also a woman was possessed by 5 demons simply because she had the books in her home. He further states that viewing pornography has caused demonic possession as well. Sin has its consequences.

We should be extremely careful about what we allow into our souls. Satan wages war against the soul through the senses. Our Lord warns us to be on guard and to live holy:

Discipline yourselves, keep alert. Like a roaring lion your adversary the devil prowls around, looking for someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5:8)

“Instead, as he who called you is holy, be holy yourselves in all your conduct; for it is written, ‘You shall be holy, for I am holy.’” (1 Peter 15-16)

And “**e perfect, therefore, as your Heavenly Father is perfect.” (Matthew 5:48) **

And if we stop for a moment to consider who God is – **all holy **and without blemish or defect. He in whose presence there can be no sin and in which even angels hide their faces giving ceaseless praise day and night singing, “holy, holy, holy” – I think that most television programs (and some commercials) these days would be considered sinful in the eyes of Our Lord.

If we truly are aspiring to be saints and to be perfect, then this is one area in this day and age where we must have a spirit of mortification and practice detachment. This may take heroic virtue, and many rosaries, but please do not allow television to be an impediment to holiness.

Also, Fr. Ripperger has a short homily (about 9 min) in which he distinguishes real and simulated sins in movies and what is permissible and what is not. You can watch it here: Movies: Are they Good or Bad?

God bless

For Fr. Ripperger’s talk on Demons & Possession click here. Forward to the 40 minute mark for reference to Harry Potter.

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