Why do some catholics seem gnostic and think of mostly everything to be some sort of venial sin at the very least

What i mean by gnostic is that like they see everything or mostly everything in the material world as unclean or in other words at the very least they see most things as somewhat of an venial sin…an example would be they don’t watch any tv that isn’t religious…like lets say…a superhero movie like the avengers because there are various sins in there whereby even watching it would make them a participant in it etc etc you get the idea…

Personally i think we shouldn’t be so rigid we come to the point that we see everything in the material world as at the very least a venial sin but we shouldn’t get so soft that we accept literally everything in the material world and become like some animal or beast.

There needs to be a revision of theology whereby we don’t see all or most things as unclean but by reasonable thinking we accept moderation and know when we go too far down the rabbit hole

if you need me to be specific in what i mean it means you are either like this or that you haven’t experienced this type of evil yet to know exactly what i am talking about.

Personally i refer to certain verses in the NT that imply Jesus made all foods clean. And also what st paul wrote when nothing in of itself is unclean but becomes unclean when someone believes it is.

I also think its sort of unreasonable for god to create a world and then basically say most things in it are evil.

Whether the fall created this quasi gnostic world or something else i think is a bad conclusion.

I think there is evil in this world but its not like everything in this world is evil…the devil is similar to a god of this world but he isn’t that powerful imo.

i think we are called to apart from the world but not this much…thats not what the Church means by apart from the world

ADD: I guess i cannot reply since i am new user, whatever…this site is basically eating itself at this point anyway

There will always be a difference of opinion no matter what you do…there will always be one person rigid or not that inputs his own beliefs into the flow of things thus changing the tide.

I am not saying relativism is the only way to doing things but that absolutism is nigh impossible because literally everyone projects themselves on the world

Just gotta do our best and not always seek to find peace in knowing the answer to everything. Just because someone sets up a little castle in their heads saying “this is the way” doesn’t mean they are right. Accept uncertainty

Sorry if I say scary words like relativism and uncertainty but its something we gotta talk about without freaking out…freaking out taints our perception

ADD: I have even met catholics that would go so far to say alcohol is bad or that nature is in a fallen state thus it is UNCLEAN. Like the list goes on and on…being catholic means praying all day but you shouldn’t think that is the only way to see god…i see god EVERYWHERE even in superhero movies that are supposedly condemned by harsh catholics… I see him in other faiths (actually read the upanishads and other texts) and non catholics constantly…even satanists and hedonists…don’t be afraid but rise and learn to love. Love doesn’t mean being a huge softy but it means being moderate. Some people like to sit in rigidity as if that is the only way but there is more to life than that…get it :)?

Also i know this is somewhat of a repost but i wanted to have more dialogue…on the other post for some reason it was closed down really quick and i didn’t get why. So i come here to hopefully clear some things up that I wasn’t able to clear up on the other post…I don’t wanna talk about the baltimore catechism or whatever but yea

I have never encountered a Catholic online or off that had a gnostic attitude towards alcohol. We know how to have a good time.


There is a wide range of Catholics out there. They are certainly not all strict or Puritanical or Gnostic or whatever.

I am a firm believer in the beauty, order, and goodness of the world. Even so, I recognize that there is a lot of disorder in the world. If I say we can do better, or if I work to make things better, that doesn’t mean I’m obsessed with sin.


I was a little worried about something you wrote in your other thread, “jeez dude sometimes it really makes me think why im even catholic.”

I think the way you should look at it is that the Catholic Church has room for the holiest saints as well as regular folks. Just do your best.

Wherever you’re at today, I think you’ll be happier if you push yourself to improve, to grow in faith, love, and holiness. That’s part of doing your best. Keep moving on your spiritual journey.


The Catholic teaching is that evil is of three kinds: physical, moral, and metaphysical.

“Christian philosophy has attributed moral and physical evil to the action of created free will.”

Metaphysical evil is the limitation by one another of various component parts of the natural world”

“Manes held that matter was essentially evil, and therefore could not be in direct contact with God. He probably derived the notion from the Gnostic sects, which, though they differed on many points from one another, were generally agreed in following the opinion of Philo, and the neo-Platonist Plotinus, as the evil of matter. They held the world to have been formed by an emanation, the Demiurge, as a kind of intermediary between God and impure matter. Bardesanes, however, and his followers regarded evil as resulting from the misuse of created free will.”

  • Bardesanes or ibn Daisan (A.D. 154–222) was a gnostic and founder of the Bardaisanites.
  • Manes or Mani (A.D. 216-274) was prophet and the founder of gnostic religion Manichaeism.
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I don’t know why the other post of yours got closed down, but what I will say is that both it and this one are pretty low quality in terms of setting up a discussion. They are long, rambling, and come across to me as basically stream-of-conscience.

If you want a good quality discussion that doesn’t get shut down right away, consider pausing to collect your thoughts, and then typing out a nice and organized post that can be easily followed and has a clear message.


Well, if we consider “What could I have done today to love more that I didnt do” you might end up with either a lot potential venial sin, or maybe a lot of lesser goods that aren’t sin but at the same time aren’t ideal. Like, for example, the fact that I’m posting right now on my smartphone. That is just me.

But these things can be highly personal and circumstantial, which is why the Church focuses more on what is intrinsically evil.

And either way I dont think it means a John Edwards sort of reality. The world is beautiful because it was made by God and people are beautiful because they were made by God.

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Probably nothing to do with your questions and remarks. While I didn’t read the whole thread, a quick skimming suggested to me that some other participants took over (hijacked) the conversation and went off your original topic. Sometimes the moderators shut it down when that happens.

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So what teaching of Jesus are you dissenting from? Lol

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I have gone through phases where I was unsure how to act to be a “good Catholic,” and so I went off in weird directions that were not really in accord with the way the Church suggests.

And there are people who have been influenced by non-Catholic thinking, like hints of Puritanicalism, and others who are influenced by their experiences, like if someone had an alcoholic parent.

Don’t worry about what these people think. They are on their spiritual journey, you are on yours. You may have some erroneous ideas yourself, right :wink:

May I recommend the First Principle and Foundation from the Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius?


Two things. First, I am having difficulty following your posts. It would be better if you would write concisely and just direct your post to one issue rather than three posts of rambles all over the place.

Second, from what I can gather you have this issue where according to you “some Catholics” see “everything” as sinful.
You need to accept that there are over a billion Catholics on this planet, and they come from a wide variety of backgrounds and cultures and have various interests and personal issues. They are not all going to see sin in the exact same way.

The Catholic Church leaves a lot of things, such as alcohol use and choice of movies, largely up to our individual conscience. It’s pretty obvious to everybody that watching porn and getting falling-down-drunk are sinful activities. But most Catholics would not have a problem with watching a superhero movie or having a couple beers with friends. Those Catholics who object to any use of alcohol may have a good reason they feel that way. Maybe they grew up with an alcoholic parent and don’t want to take a risk of becoming alcoholics themselves. Maybe they converted from another faith that considers all drinking sinful, and drinking just isn’t part of their culture or upbringing and feels weird to them. But the Church doesn’t teach that all drinking is sinful, and in fact you can find a lot of priests who enjoy an occasional drink.

It would be good if you’d focus on developing your OWN conscience and not concern yourself so much with what a subset of other Catholics are doing or thinking.


The particular behavior you have singled out here – only ever watching religious programs on television – is something I have encountered once or twice, but only among a certain kind of Protestants, never Catholics. Not once, never a single Catholic. How common is that behavior, in your experience?


Yeah, I’ve never met a Catholic who watched ONLY religious programs. There’s probably some elderly lady out there with EWTN on most of the time, but most of the elderly ladies I know will at least flip the channel to the news, Dancing with the Stars, the Animal Planet channel with cute dogs, etc some of the time.


I knew a family that had EWTN on all the time. They were…um…unique in a lot of ways though. Very superstitious. Not your average Catholic or even average devout Catholic.


Based on statistics for things like mass attendance, I’d say at least in the US, “Catholics” don’t even see grave matters as sinful, much less venial matters. So I’d say the problem is not enough “rigidity”.

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I’d tend to agree with you there based on my own experiences.

I’m wondering if the OP is having difficulties specifically with one group of Catholics, perhaps his own family who may be very strict. There are such “Catholic” families out there who act more like fundamentalist Christians than average Catholics. I have known a few…but only a few.

I agree, and don’t even like using the word rigidity in this context. We are called to be obedient in small matters and large ones, not rigid and not lax.

My wife and I avoid programming that involves strong profanity, sexual scenes, and a number of other things we simply don’t want to partake of. I used to consume such things without thinking much about it when I was a single man, and I know I am not a better Catholic for it. We are not avoiding it because it is sinful per se (though that could be debated I suppose), but because it simply clutters our mind and certainly does not help us on the path of holiness. So for us at least, while we do try to avoid venial sins, we simply try to make decisions for us that promote the good and the holy. This may be perceived as overkill for some, but we are not yet living the lives of the Saints either, so for us, we still have a ways to go towards perfecting ourselves.

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There’s, what, a billion Catholics? A few of them are going to believe some weird stuff.


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