This Sunday the Church celebrates the feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph. As you know, there are so many issues affecting the family today. One such issue, perhaps not as widely addressed, is the use of pornography. According to a recent newspaper article, there have been more than 1.8 billion online searches for pornography since the beginning of 2015. One in five mobile searches is for pornography. This industry brings in $13 billion in revenue each year! The use of pornography is a serious sin. Because it is a selfish act, it destroys our capacity for genuine love, and it can destroy a marriage and a family. That being said, pornography is also highly addictive, and many people feel trapped in it clutches. Therefore, the Church wishes to extend a hand of help, mercy, and compassion to those who struggle with pornography, or are affected by it in some way.
Back in November, the bishops of our country collectively issued a document pastorally addressing this topic. The document was entitled, “Create In Me A Clean Heart: A Pastoral Response to Pornography.” According to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ November 17, 2015 press release, “the formal statement provides a basic catechesis on human sexuality and chastity, an explanation of why the production and use of pornography is a sin, 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.”
I would highly recommend that parents of children have a look at this statement, as well as anyone else affected by pornography in some way. The full text of “Create In Me A Clean Heart” is be available online at www.usccb.org/cleanheart, along with other great Catholic resources. One other excellent list of resources may be found at http://www.foryourmarriage.org/help-for-men-and-women-struggling-with-pornography-use-or-addiction/.
I pray that the Lord continue to bless and keep you and your families this Christmas season.