I was browsing threads here awhile ago and came across one about the Index of Forbidden Books’ relevance for today. I’m not incredibly interested in that topic as there are few books on the Index I want to read and I am very well-formed academically in the faith (yes, I am both this and scrupulous, it is indeed possible) and would thus be able to refute any anticlericalism, but one article that was linked on the matter made me start wondering about the morality of reading non-Catholic books in general:
[quote=http://www.ewtn.com/expert/answers/poem_of_the_man.htm]Is it grossly imprudent to read things which the Church has discouraged in the strongest terms? Yes. Is it a bad use of time when there are writings of the Magisterium, of the saints and the Catechism that are not being read? Absolutely.
Although this talks about books condemned by the Church, it is not clear to me why this argument cannot apply to all non-Catholic reading, or at least stuff that is not for school or work. Since any recreational reading that is spent on a work that is not overtly Catholic could be spent on an overtly Catholic work, is it imprudent to spend time on the former? The issue for me is that oftentimes I find connections to the faith in works which are not overtly Catholic, which can help both develop my own thought and provide a witness to those who may find the Church unpalatable at first. Furthermore, reading works that ultimately disagree with Catholicism can serve an apologetic function or help strengthen my faith as I see objections to it fail. However, it is not clear to me that this justifies spending time reading non-overtly Catholic books recreationally. I guess I just feel conflicted because I worry one of my deepest personality traits and interests that I feel so convinced is not sin may end up being sin. I don’t want it to be that way but I feel aghast at the possibility. Can anybody offer me any advice?
Also, it’s not like I don’t read overtly Catholic books, it’s just that not all my recreational reading is spent on them… still very conflicted