“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.


“Is It Trash Or Is It Treasure?” by Steve and Kathy Beirne

Our marriage is made up of a saver and a person who tends to want to throw everything away. Now I’m not saying who’s who or whether one habit is better than the other (until you need something and find it’s been thrown away so you have to go out and buy it again.), but it seems to me from talking to other couples that we are not unique in having this difference.  But I never realized until recently how that difference related to owning things.

Take the books in our house. I believe that books are sacred objects, filled with the collective wisdom of those who formed our civilization.  They will provide us with something to do on a rainy day, they will inspire our children and fill their heads with something besides the fluff of television, they will prop up an uneven table leg—there is hardly a need that a book cannot fulfill.
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