pornography

U.S. Bishops have issued a Pastoral letter examining the worldwide pornography crisis.

U.S. bishops for the first time have issued a pastoral letter directed particularly towards the worldwide pornographic crisis. The letter examines how this industry influences their parishioners and examines the ways the Church may offer hope, healing and mercy to people recovering from pornography.

The bishops gave their approval to “Create in Me a Clean Heart: A Pastoral Response to Pornography.” The approval was nearly unanimous. Richard J. Malone, a Bishop hailing from Buffalo, and chairman of Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth, said that this approval of the statement displays collective concern for widespread pornography linked problems in the present culture.

Malone said that almost every person is influenced by pornography in some manner. Many individuals, including those affiliated with the Church require Christ's healing and abundant mercy. The bishop added that the statement can be a catalyst and foundation for greater pastoral attention to the challenge at the local and national level.

Coincidentally, the paper was published a few days before Jared Fogle, the former spokesman for Subway, was sentenced to a total of 15 years and eight months in prison. He pled guilty to the crime of child pornography distribution and crossing state lines with the intention of having sex with minor.

Fogle’s actions cause him to lose his freedom, career, marriage and reputation. Fogle's fall from grace makes a stark point of the destructive and merciless force of pornography. The event demonstrates the consequences of what the bishops have warned about in their paper.

However, it is seen that society usually accepts the fact that pornography is harmful and wrong when children are involved. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has even issued a video to parents instructing how to teach their children about pornography. The images are seen to be acceptable when adults are solely involved. Present day culture tends to see sex as matter of choice. There is an argument that sex harms nobody when each person involved has consented to the act.

For the Catholic bishops, this notion is false and they are combating this with persuasive and strong knowledge. The paper referred to Pope John Paul II and said that hate is not the opposite of love, but thinking about a person as an object. If one loves another, it will recognize them as a gift, and seek the best and truly good for them. One must not use and objectify them as anything less than a person. The bishops connected pornography to a number of other problems like abuse, sex trafficking, adultery and prostitution.

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