Since Pope Pius XII wrote his Encyclical on television over fifty years ago not much has been said about television by the Catholic Church. Let us consider some of the facts. In our use of time television comes third after sleep and work for the average person. It is certain that television has a profound influence on everyone. Such an influence must be judged in the timeless light of the eternal truths of the Catholic Faith. What do the Fathers of the Church say about television? What about the other saints? The first reaction is that they say nothing, because TV wasn't invented yet. Actually they have quite a lot to say about the component parts of television, for what they say about the theater applies equally to the home theater. This book starts with an exercise on watching yourself watch television. We simply do not realize just how much time and how influential television is in our lives. And we need to find out if television is a good or bad influence on us. Then we consider the effect of television on children. Many secular authorities have considered the evil effects of television, but what about the spiritual effects of television on children? Secular writes have called for the elimination of television. One group promotes a TV free week each year. And yet Catholics have not weighed in on this important subject. There are several problems of television that are also explored. First of all, television addiction. Television addiction is the only socially acceptable addiction today. You do not find TVs Anonymous in the phone book or online. The second problem is brain washing, which is the manipulation of the thinking of people. Pope Pius XI warned: “There is another explanation for the rapid diffusion of the Communistic ideas now seeping into every nation, great and small, advanced and backward, so that no corner of the earth is free from them. This explanation is to be found in a propaganda so truly diabolical that the world has perhaps never witnessed its like before. … It makes use of pamphlets and reviews, of cinema, theatre, radio (and television), of schools and even universities.” And then in 1969 advertisers discovered that television hypnotizes people. In the late 1950's a 'Catholic Handbook' was published with sensible rules for judging television. This is reproduced. The positive side of television is also considered. Saint Bernard says: “Some there are who desire knowledge merely for the sake of knowing, and this is shameful curiosity ...” Today we are very curious, and yet Saint Thomas calls curiosity a sin. This is explained, as well as the virtue opposite curiosity, studiousness. The prophecy of the Blessed Virgin Mary at Quito Ecuador has been fulfilled: “The third meaning of the lamp's going out is that those times the air will be filled with the spirit of impurity which like a deluge of filth will flood the streets, squares and public places. The licentiousness will be such there will be no more virgin souls in the world.” (Our Lady of Good Success) And there is a link between some television programming and satanism and a larger link than many realize. The question whether or not we should abstain from television completely is seriously considered. A large section is devoted to church pronouncements on television, radio, movies and the theater. This is followed by information from the Fathers of the Church, the saints and other pious people. A section is devoted to a consideration of good and bad reading, for these principles apply also to television. The power or a good TV program is greater than a good book, and the power of an evil TV program is worse than a bad book. It is time that Catholics take a serious look at The Satan Box.
Pope Michael, Brother Hermenegild TOSF, Paperback, ISBN 10: 149107549X, ISBN 13: 9781491075494