Thought for the Day – 16 November – Evil Literature

Thought for the Day – 16 November – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

Evil Literature

“As far back as 1886, Pope Leo XIII in his Encyclical, Pergrata Nobis, deplored the extent to which evil literature was perverting morals and insidiously attacking the Faith.
Elsewhere, he wrote: “Everyday we see new falsehood emerging with unbelievable audacity, both in large volumes and in pamphlets, periodicals and in newspapers of every kind” (AL 1883 p 262).
The yellow press is like a poison which diffuses itself everywhere” (AL1893, p 340).
The enemies of the Church employ it as the most powerful weapon with which to combat Her.
Their evil and disturbing publications are, unfortunately, restrained, neither by law, nor by public opinion
” (AL 1882)
We perceive, with the utmost sorrow, books and newspapers, which seem to have been compiled in order to sneer at virtue and exalt the vilest indecencies” (AL 1888 p 396).

The solemn warning of Leo XIII, has been repeated over and over again by his successors.
His Holiness, Pope Pius XII, went so far as to declare that today, the propagation of evil has been turned into an industry.
The unhealthy curiosity of a great many people, especially of the young, is exploited in order to sell indecent publications, which are devoid of any literary value.

In every bookstall are displayed, gaudy magazies which attrract the eye of the passer-by.
If he is already the victim of vicious habits, he is provided with a further incentive towards evil, or, if he is young and innocent, the dangerous disturbance which he experiences, may be the beginning of an ultimate surrender to his lower instincts.

Since it is obvious, therefore, that the printing press has become one of the most powerful means of diffusing good and evil among individuals and families, let us examine our own attitude towards it.
What kind of books and newspapers do we read?
Do we support good or evil literature?
Our reading, like our friends, shows what we are.
If we read worldly, frivolous, or even evil publications, we are injected, perhaps unconsciously, with a subtle spiritual poison.
The results may be disastrous!”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci