The Darkness of Porn and the Hope of the Gospel

When I suggested several weeks ago that our Monthly Family Ministries newsletter would be tackling the issue of pornography in April, I had no idea that Time Magazine was apparently listening at the time . . .

The ever awesome Denny Burk, professor of Biblical Studies at Boyce College has addressed the issue so perfectly on his blog, far better than I ever could. His words should be thoroughly “chewed, swallowed and digested” as Shakespeare would say, by anyone concerned with this issue . . . and that should be not only everyone who follows Christ but everyone who loves families and healthy, authentic human relationships . . .

TIME magazine has published one of the saddest, most horrifying cover stories I have ever read. It is not horrifying like the carnage of war. It’s horrifying like the carnage of a culture that is committing slow-motion suicide. The essay documents a civilization-wide calamity on a scale that we have not seen before. . .

This article is the latest evidence of our diminishing ability to speak about sex in moral terms. We are at a place in our culture in which sexual morality has been reduced to consent. Our society has embraced total sexual license. If anyone suggests any other moral norm beyond consent, they are dismissed as a puritanical, repressive throwback. And that is why Luscombe’s article—even after narrating the devastating consequences of porn use—cannot bring itself to condemn pornography as a moral evil. And that is what is so sad about this article. It documents a real problem in our culture, but it has very little to offer by way of remedy . . .

Read his entire article HERE . . .

It reminds us so well of the power that this has over so many . .  and of how we are all being systematically conditioned to think that this is okay . . . may God protect us always, for it seems we need him now more than ever.

Deacon Stephen Bowling

 

“Create in Me a Clean Heart” – The US Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Pastoral Response to Pornography Use

CreateInMeACleanHeart702Pornography addiction has been described as one of the greatest epidemics of modern times and with studies showing upwards of 50% of all males in the United States (some say as high as 70%) using porn on a regular basis, the dangers to healthy marriages, not to mention to simple human relationships in general, are critically clear.

The problem is staggering . . . and the US Bishops have recently issued a pastoral letter addressing it.

“Create in Me a Clean Heart: A Pastoral Response to Pornography” was approved and promulgated at the Bishops annual Fall General Assembly in Baltimore on November 17th with near unanimous approval.

The formal statement provides a basic catechesis on human sexuality and chastity, an explanation of why the production and use of pornography is a gravely immoral act, an overview of its effects in our society, a closer look at its effects on men, women, children, young people, marriages and families, and a word of hope and encouragement to those who have been harmed by pornography use or in its production. The statement’s main audiences are Catholic leaders and parents, but it is also intended to be helpful for those who struggle with pornography use and all people of goodwill who want to work together for a culture of purity and respect for all women and men.

The full text of “Create in Me a Clean Heart” is available online at www.usccb.org/cleanheart along with a host of other articles and USCCB resources on pornography and how we can respond pastorally and effectively towards those involved with it.