Dear Ms. Arnold,
I have read your answers to the questions concerning art, films, and novels. You said that viewing/reading imperfect and certain morally problematic works are not necessarily sinful, unless it’s an occasion of sin for a particular person.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church defines pornography:
Pornography consists in removing real or simulated sexual acts from the intimacy of the partners, in order to display them deliberately to third parties (CCC 2354).
Fr. Francis Ripley in his book written for laypeople, This Is the Faith, states:
The Sixth Commandment also forbids immodest songs, books, pictures, movies, TV shows, and websites…
He also states that reading obscene books is a mortal sin, and reading unsavory newspaper articles is sinful.
Given the definition of pornography, most films, including The Mission, Schindler’s List, and Masterpiece Theatre, are gravely sinful to watch due to their sexual content alone. If immodest/suggestive artworks are forbidden, most artworks are forbidden, even “Catholic classics” such as Brideshead Revisited. What do you think? Is Fr. Ripley correct? Are most artworks therefore sinful to create and enjoy? Where does one draw the line between sin and art? What about sin as a subject in art?