Help with Scrupulosity and books.
So I love reading.  Always have, when I was younger I was a huge bookworm, I'd read anything I could get my hands on, which admittedly .  So far so good, but I'm also extremely scrupulous.  One day I stumbled across the old Index Liborum and the Church's criteria for books.  Now, I don't really know what happened with the Index in the 60's, but as far as I can tell there's no longer the ecclesiastical penalties associated with it, but that we still have to beware of writings that can endanger faith and morals. 

Furthermore (granted this Cardinal Ratzinger quote is from Wikipedia, so take it as you will) "After the dissolution of the Index, when some people thought the printing and distribution of the work was permitted, people were reminded again in L'Osservatore Romano (15 June 1966) that, as was published in the Acta Apostolicae Sedis (1966), the Index retains its moral force despite its dissolution. A decision against distributing and recommending a work, which has not been condemned lightly, may be reversed, but only after profound changes that neutralize the harm which such a publication could bring forth among the ordinary faithful."[47]

So as far as I can tell we're still supposed to avoid books on the Index.  Now, this wouldn't be a huge problem, there's not much on there I'd want to read anyway, but

Quote:The first paragraph decrees that the books mentioned in former indices and forbidden previous to 1600, remain forbidden even though not individually enumerated in the new index of Leo XIII--unless they be allowed by the new general paragraphs. To this class, however, belong almost exclusively heretical books and a few others forbidden also by the following general decrees. Here it is to be remarked that heretical works of ancient times, or even of the Middle Ages, are no longer held to be forbidden, so that the words of the first paragraph seem to refer exclusively to the sixteenth century. In accordance with the main end of the law, paragraph 2 forbids books of apostates, heretics, schismatics, and in general all writers defending heresy or schism or undermining the very foundation of religion; paragraph 11 prohibits books falsifying the notion of "Inspiration of Holy Scripture"; paragraph 14 condemns all writings defending dueling, suicide, divorce, or representing as useful and innocuous for Church and State Freemasonry and other secret societies or maintaining errors specified by the Apostolic See [those mentioned, e.g., in the Syllabus of Pius IX (1864) or Pius X (1907)]; paragraph 12 interdicts superstitious writings in the following words: It is forbidden to publish, read or keep books teaching or recommending sorcery, soothsaying, magic, spiritism, or similar superstition things; paragraph 9 reads as follows: Books systematically (ex professo) discussing, relating or teaching obscene and immoral things are strictly prohibited; paragraph 21 says: Dailies, newspapers and journals which aim at (data opera) destroying religion and morality are interdicted not only by natural law but also by ecclesiastical prohibition. All works forbidden in the above-mentioned paragraphs may be put together in one group, viz.: irreligious, heretical, superstitious, and immoral writings. It will readily be understood that these classes of books constitute a serious danger to faith and morals and consequently must needs be forbidden by the Church. Works, however, composed by heterodox authors are, agreeable to paragraphs 3 and 4, not forbidden even if treating of religion, provided that they contain nothing serious against the Catholic Faith. Paragraph 10 grants leave for the use of the classics, ancient as well as modern, though not free from immorality, in consideration of the elegance and purity of their style. This exception is made for the benefit of those whose official or educational duties demand it; for teaching purposes, however, only carefully expurgated editions are to be given to students. Concerning newspapers and journals forbidden in paragraph 21, the bishops are especially reminded to deter the faithful from such reading; and in paragraph 22 it is warmly recommended to all Catholics and particularly the clergy, to publish nothing in dailies, journals, and writings of that sort, except for just and sensible reasons.

A second group of prohibited books comprises all insulting writings directed against God and the Church. Regarding them paragraph 11 says: All books are forbidden that insult God or the Blessed Virgin Mary or the saints or the Catholic Church and her rites, the sacraments or the Apostolic See. In like manner all books are forbidden that aim at the defamation of the ecclesiastical hierarchy, the clergy or the religious. It is hardly necessary to say that a fair historical work, for example, on an individual member of the hierarchy, of a religious order, or even on any particular order who have but disgraced their calling or the Church, is not included in paragraph 11. With this second group may also be reckoned, among the works forbidden by paragraphs 15 and 16, all novel religious pictures that deviate from the spirit and the decrees of the Church, also all works on indulgences containing spurious or falsified statements.

So does this mean it's a sin to read non-Catholic books that paint the Church in a bad light?  Or if it's not serious, i.e some character makes a snide remark about Catholics here and there?  (I mean I suppose even that's serious)  I'm currently enjoying a certain classic book, someone told me there was some minor anti-Catholicism in it (I don't even know if that's true), does that mean it's a sin to read?  What about books written by people like Free masons, even if there's nothing serious in them that would harm faith?  Or a book where God's name is used in vain?  I should really get a spiritual director...

Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)