- February 7, 2010 at 10:11 pm #1977
I’ve been curious…
There’s been a young Catholic (who we’ll name Joe for argument’s sake) walks into a bookstore. He decides to go to the Religion section. He looks and looks around. Finally, He ends up buying a copy of the Torah, The Qur’an, the Tao Te Ching, and the Vedas but not a copy of the Bible.
Why, from a Catholic point of view, do you think he did this? Would this be considered a “sin” to own other Faith’s texts while me may not own a copy of his own? What action would you take had you seen this event?
(The situation I presented does not pertain to an actual man neither does it pertain to me. This is truly a hypothetical situation.)February 8, 2010 at 3:29 am #9603
No, I wouldn’t think it would be a sin. There could be a million reasons why he bought those books – curiosity, working on ecumenical project, looking to switch, wanting to be more secure in his own faith, etc.
As outside observers there is no way we can know what his intentions are, but God does and that’s why it’s only God who can make judgments.
Personally, I would take no action – it’s none of my business. On the other hand, perhaps I would strike up a conversation with him to learn his perspective.February 8, 2010 at 4:38 am #9604
I agree with Jon. To own the other texts is not currently sinful. Even to read them in the interest of finding out about another religions teachings is not sinful.
The scenerio does not let us knos if Joe already owns a Bible.
The Magesterium has a duty to both instruct and to protect the Faith of Catholics. There was a time when few people had the access to information in the manner we do today. Many people believed things just because they were in print. So the Church can restrict reading material if it is determined to be a threat to the Faith or Morals of Catholics. As an example the Church prohibits reading or viewing of pornographic matter. While the DaVinci Code was not officially banned, the Church does warn Catholics that it is a novel, and misrepresents both the Catholic Church, history and Opus Dei.February 10, 2010 at 3:08 am #9608
Weren’t these books–along with other books–on The Index at one point or another? And isn’t The Index abandoned?February 10, 2010 at 3:13 am #9609
Shouldn’t people know that the DaVinchi code is just a book? I mean, why would people believe that Tom Hanks would find some sort of secret the catholic church that they kept hidden away?February 10, 2010 at 4:42 am #9610
They were indeed on the Index of Prohibited Books. While the Index does not exist, we still have the responsibility to avoid books that are not edifying or are harmful to our Faith. The scenerio you gave did not have enough information to make the determination, and as laymen we could suggest or encourage the man to seek the advise and guidance of his priest if he made statements that would lead one to believe that he held these texts to be of equal value, or inspiration as the Bible. One can and should also defend the Faith to the extent one is able.
The Index was established at a time when those who could read were being assaulted by new and strange ideas that were gaining popularity along with a new invention (movable type) Since Vatican II the emphasis from many of the clergy in the Catholic Church has been to encourage learning among the laity, and to treat people as Adult Christians. Prior to Vatican II, (in the world in general, not just the Catholic world) most people did not have a High School education and were more likely to not have the capacity to understand some of the concepts that those who attacked the Church wrote, or to know how to reply to those attacks. While many of the false allegations against the Catholic Church and dangerous ideas are still in circulation, we do today have access to resources like the internet where we can find responses, (not unlike in the past) if we know where to look.
Even in the days of the Index there were legitimate reasons why a Catholic would have copies of the books you mentioned, and read them. Usually if someone be they a priest or layman was a student of religions, or Social Sciences, History or had a resonable excuse to read these books, they could seek permission to be exempted to read the books, as long as it was within the scope of their studies, or research for writing a book.
So while the Index no longer exists in a published form we do have the obligation to avoid those publications that would pose a threat to our Faith or Morals. Since the Index was never a dogma, but a use of the right of the Church to govern the morals of Her subjects, and instruct as well as protect the Faithful.February 10, 2010 at 4:50 am #9611"Papa.Cod":2bet7xga wrote:To LARobert:
Shouldn’t people know that the DaVinchi code is just a book? I mean, why would people believe that Tom Hanks would find some sort of secret the catholic church that they kept hidden away?[/quote:2bet7xga]
One would hope so, however there have been any number of History Channel specials that treat the Da Vinci code and some of the fables told in it as real history. There have been any number of books written by Catholics and Protestants that deal with the fictional aspects of the book that many people take as reality.
I myself have run into several people whose questions about the Catholic Church at first baffled me, not because I did not know the Faith, but because I wondered where they got such strange ideas. It turned out they got them from Dan Brown’s book.
It is easy to say what you would do after the fact, but I think the book could have been a good way to instruct people in the Catholic Church, and it’s history. I may have started an Ad campaign that said something like…..
You’ve read rumors and fabricated histories in the DaVinci Code, now get the real story……Learn what the Catholic Church really teaches at an Introduction to the Catholic Faith in your local Parish.February 11, 2010 at 5:00 am #9613"LARobert":3oqon9cg wrote:You’ve read rumors and fabricated histories in the DaVinci Code, now get the real story……Learn what the Catholic Church really teaches at an Introduction to the Catholic Faith in your local Parish.[/quote:3oqon9cg]
Or visit this website: http://www.aboutcatholics.comFebruary 11, 2010 at 5:04 am #9614
i mean…is the book based on some sort of truth? is Brown a catholic? did his book land him some trouble with the catholic church?February 11, 2010 at 5:22 am #9617
Andres OrtizKeymaster"Papa.Cod":1qk7qb5q wrote:i mean…is the book based on some sort of truth? is Brown a catholic? did his book land him some trouble with the catholic church?[/quote:1qk7qb5q]
The DaVinci Code is a work of fiction loosely based on elements of Catholicism. I don’t believe Brown is a Catholic.February 11, 2010 at 5:25 am #9618
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