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Rules for avoiding bad books, films, magazines, internet, etc April 9, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, catachesis, Christendom, error, General Catholic, priests, reading, scandals, secularism, Society, the enemy, true leadership, Virtue.

A priest at a catechism class last night gave us a handout that summarizes the general laws which guided the former (and much missed) Index of Forbidden Books.  The Index served as a guide or warning system to prevent Catholics from falling into error by reading a bad, dangerous book.  St. Alphonsus Liguori observed in his immensely fruitful life that one bad book could destroy an entire monastery.  For centuries, the Church, in her beneficent wisdom, kept a list of books that were dangerous to one’s Faith.  Of course, we pretend we are much too mature to need such a thing anymore, and so millions of Catholics have fallen into error or even apostasy.

The guidelines below were written with books or other written publications in mind but apply to films, TV shows, and especially the internet. Anything which possesses characteristics listed below is to be avoided:

  • Books which designedly defend, propagate, or persuade people to accept heresy or schism. [This could be any book on religion written by protestants, new agers, etc]
  • Books which undertake to destroy the truths which are fundamental to religion, e.g., the existence of God, the spirituality of the soul, the freedom of the will, the possibility of Divine Revelation or of miracles, etc. [Darwin, Dawkins, de Chardin, many other modernist writers]
  • Books which assiduously attack either natural religion, or the Catholic Faith, or good morals.  This does not include books which may make some slurring remark or which may include some brief objectionable passage; rather it refers to books which set forth many arguments or which devote th equivalent of a chapter to such purposes.
  • Books written by non-Catholics which professedly treat of religion, unless it is clear that they contain nothing of consequence contrary to the Catholic Faith. [Again, protestants, eastern religions, sexular pagans, etc]
  • Books which attack any article of the Catholic Faith, which assiduously defend any error condemned by the Holy See; which deride Divine Worship, or which attack, repudiate, or demean the concept of the hierarchy of the clerical state or of the religious life. [the Distorter, pretty much any liberal katholyc publication, many ostensible catechetical sources like St. Anthony’s Messenger Press. websites like US Catholic……this one would have a very extensive list today]
  • Books which teach or propagate superstition and similar perversions of true religion [that movie Noah could fall under this one]
  • Books which defend as moral the practices of dueling, suicide, or divorce  [Obviously a bit dated, you could extend this today, given how far we’ve fallen, to contraception, abortion, support for pretend marriage, etc]
  • Books which present masonry and similar secret sects, not as pernicious, but as useful to the Church and civil society
  • Books relating new miracles, prophesies, visions, etc., or promoting devotional novelties, when they are published in spite of canonical regulations. [cough…….Medg……..cough cough]
  • Books which publicize spurious indulgences, or those proscribed or revoked by the Holy See
  • Any images of our Lord, the Blessed Virgin, or the Angels and Saints which are not in keeping with the spirit and decrees of the Church.
  • Editions and translations of the Sacred Scriptures which are published by non-Catholics
  • Books which professedly discuss, describe, or teach impure topics [Geez….this could be a massive list today.  50 Shades of Grey, the whole romance novel genre, almost all movies, TV shows……]

With some prayer and extrapolation, I think the above list can serve as a helpful guide for navigating the very difficult task or determining what is acceptable to read, watch, listen to, etc.  Some basic rules of thumb: on religious matters, it had better be written by a Catholic. Stay totally away from atheists, anti-Christian types, leftists generally, perversion, Mark Shea, satanists, astrologers, new agers……I could go on, but hopefully you get the point.

Anyway, I hope you find this useful and beneficial.  I think for the most part my reading/viewing habits correspond but there is one show I got sucked into of late that I probably should have avoided (True Detective).  Pretty scary stuff.


1. Noah Moerbeek - April 9, 2014

Considering the people who would be making the index today, I cannot say that I am sad that it has gone the way of the arch deacon.

tantamergo - April 9, 2014

Not a bad point! In fact, a very good one!

Thank you!

tantamergo - April 9, 2014

BTW, I checked out your site. It’s great! Thanks so much for putting all those great sources together!

I will try to do a plug on your site later today or tomorrow. Poor Knight of Christ, eh? Very interesting. Is that approved only in Siena? Or globally?

Noah Moerbeek - April 9, 2014

Thank you.

We are erected in Siena, but are recognized Globally (though we strive to have good relations with every Ordinary where a Knight(s) is), one of my brothers is in the Dallas Ft Worth Area, dom. Pete Bynum.

tantamergo - April 9, 2014

Would you mind terribly e-mailing me at larryr103@gmail.com, or pointing me to a website where I might learn more about this lay order? It sounds quite interesting.

Noah Moerbeek - April 9, 2014

Email sent, too anyone else interested http://www.militiatempli.net/

2. skeinster - April 9, 2014

Before I got stricter with myself, I tried justifying “Rome” on the argument that it was an example of how bad everything was before Jesus.
Yeah, that worked well.

A good challenge:
Ask those who criticize you for your non-consumption of popular entertainment to name one non-reality show program that does not
either treat as normal and good, or glorify:
pre-marital relations
serial fornication
active same-sex relations
same-sex faux marriage & parenthood
dishonesty in everyday life
lying to achieve a trivial end

and that’s just the comedies, which are probably more dangerous, as they treat the above as humorous.

3. Jeremy - April 9, 2014

I brought this up with one of our parish preists recently regarding the tolkien novels. Some preists are against them due to the questionable creation events and tolkiens own dislikes of allegory. You could also consider the use of magic in it etc. Im on the fence on it, but can see how it could become an idol and distraction for some. I still think the stories are timeless, but without caution, could confuse some.

4. Maggie - April 9, 2014

I laughed that you included Mark Shea who I never read….but, yes, we do desperately need guidance and Mother Church through her modern prelates has been far too quiet. Even in teachings on such things as prayer or the spiritual life—I don’t recall a single homily in a novus ordo parish on such a basic thing muchless teachings on moral issues which seem to be avoided such that our young people are prey to the immoral wolves of the day.

5. maggycast - April 10, 2014

You basically just listed the reasons I only watch HGTV and a few other channels on TV today…and even HGTV gets the boot when they follow sodomites buying houses together. *sigh* I only watched three shows years ago when I watched more tv…the Person of Interest show with Jim Caviezel got the boot when they called a sodomite character ptaw (person they act out with) their “wife”…Once Upon a Time got the boot when Mulan was “in love” with Sleeping Beauty (holy sick Batman)…Elementary got the boot when they promoted fornication like it was a contact sport. *sigh* Lord help us all. God bless~

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