Dangers for a Catholic of unbridled screen time!

May 24, 2022


I spoke to you about my daughter, son in law and granddaughter. I would really appreciate any advice you can give me regarding their nonchalance about the effect that all their screen time has on them. I am especially concerned about my 6yr old granddaughter watching things like this superhero demon show.  She has been prone to nightmares and night terrors for several years but any conversation I have had with my daughter regarding a connection has fallen on deaf ears. Thank you again for showing such passion for our faith. I look forward to reading your book when it arrives!


Let me give you the 15 warnings &  dangers for a Catholic of unbridled screen time whether it is a television, laptop, ipad or iphone. 

1] That such a gulf in orthodoxies exists between filmmakers and their audiences was shown in a 1998 University of Texas survey of a representative sample of Hollywood writers, actors, producers, and executives in that only 2 to 3 percent attended religious services weekly compared to about 41 percent of the public at that time - http://www.catholicleague.org/catalyst.php?year=2009&month=October&read=...

2] "Hollywood wants your Money…and Your Mind" by Ben Shapiro – Dec 18, 2017. Imagine a group so powerful they could beam ideas directly into your head. Well, you don’t have to imagine – its’ Hollywood. Ben Shapiro, Editor of the Daily Wire, explains the worlds largest mass propaganda machine - https://www.prageru.com/videos/hollywood-wants-your-moneyand-your-mind

3] Book “Primetime Propaganda – How the left took over your T.V.” by Ben  Shapiro. Here is a book that shows how secular humanist have taken over the media.

4] On Feb 23, 2015 Cardinal Francis Xavier Kriengsak Kovithavanij of Bangkok, Thailand boldly said that all the world is facing the challenge of secularism, he called secularism the devil’s face in the modern world. Secularism is the new way the devil presents himself in the modern world, he added that the devilish force takes an attractive appearance, rather than a grotesque one.

5] On March 22, 2014, Pope Francis received a group of Italian broadcasters at the Vatican. In an unscripted address, he defined the virtues, mission, and sins of the communication media. While encouraging the broadcasters to carry out their work along the paths of truth, goodness, and beauty, he also warned them about three sins embodied in the media, which he called “the road of lies.” Those three sins are: “disinformation, slander, and defamation.” According to the Pope, slander and defamation are serious, but not as dangerous as disinformation. The Media, the Pope and Disinformation by Ronald J. Rychlak. Catalyst, June 2014. Vol 41, #5 – p.8.                                                                                             

6] Plato’s cave is a powerful metaphor that (one can argue) foreshadows modern day television. Plato sets up this scenario in book 7 of ‘The Republic’, of men in a cave chained up, looking at shadows on a wall illuminated by fire and puppets behind them. This speaks directly to the American experience of today. People (myself included) behave oftentimes acted like mind numb robots and we look at shadows & illusions of reality through the television. We are far worse than the men in Plato’s cave, since they were chained and forced to look at shadows while we look at shadows (TV) through our own volition.  I think Plato was God’s (pre-biblical) instrument to warn us of the potential evil of TV. The fire in his cave is a symbol of Christ (the light of the world), and the shadows are a symbol of this transitory world. We (as believers) should keep our face to the SON and not concentrate on life’s shadows. I can only imagine the pathetic sights & consequences that unrestricted, unmonitored, uncensored TV is leveling upon our society. If you spend your time watching things that are dark, macabre, profane, evil, nasty, vile, vulgar, impure, worldy, than you have turned your television, movie theatres and your computer as an “airwaves from hell.” And you have allowed the devil to weaponized your televion and computer against your soul.                               

7] The great Saint Augustine (City of God, Book II, 27.) writing of the effect on viewers of the bloody Sports in the Amphitheaters and Circuses said, “Spectators naturally assume that if it is all right for them to see (violence or obscenity) represented on the stage, then it is also right for them to act that way in their private lives.”

8] Or as the prominent Baptist Christian motivational speaker Zig Ziglar (RIP) is fond of saying, “Garbage in garbage out.” We become what we experience through our senses.  

What did some of the saints think about the television or media?

9] *St Padre Pio was disturbed and disgusted by the television. He realized it would destroy family life and told everyone not to buy one. Regarding cinema or “sin” ema he always gave the same answer: “The devil is in it.” Could it be that a man which the world recognized as extremely holy, who heard countless souls in confession and would tell them sins omitted, could also have correct discernment about television? (“I See Far” p.61).

10] *American St Elizabeth Ann Seton (1774-1821) had a vision she could not understand in the middle 1800’s: “Every American would have a black box in their home and the devil would enter.” This one statement by a modern saints (canonized by Venerable Paul VI in 1975) should strike you heart like lightning. Go to any outlet store and look whether this American saint was wrong about the devil entering the home through it (Ibid).

Television was invented in 1928, almost 100 years before she made this prophetic statement which I am sure she did not fully understand.

11] *“We must watch over our mind, our hearts, and our senses, for these are the gates by which the devil enters in.” — St. John Vianney

12] Matthew 6:22-23 [RSV] says, "The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is sound, your whole body will be full of light; but if your eye is not sound, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness! !" The point of this passage is that much of our lifestyle is determined by how we use our eyes -- what we choose to look at.

13] This is why Proverbs 4:25 [RSV] is a passage that’s warns us about wandering eyes, or taking that lustful second glance. The verse says, “Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze be straight before you.”

14] 2 Peter 2:14 (RSV) warns about people in rebellion towards the Lord. Peter says: having "They have eyes full of adultery, insatiable for sin. They entice unsteady souls…”

15] Psalm 101:2-4 (RSV) “I will give heed to the way that is blameless…I will walk with integrity of heart within my house; I will not set before my eyes anything that is base. I hate the work of those who fall away; it shall not cleave to me. Perverseness of heart shall be far from me; I will know nothing of evil.”