Sunday, March 11, 2007

Good Shepherd: Bishop Robert Finn of Kansas City-St Joseph Preaches on Pornography


Daily there are challenges to this pure Christian love. For some months, representatives of our Catholic Diocese have been working with leaders of other faith traditions to address the serious dangers represented by the steady increase of pornography in our culture. Pornography is not new, but it has become a kind of plague in our society, reaching epidemic proportions. It is being propagated more widely than ever. Well beyond magazines, it is widespread on the internet, television, movies and videos, and now on cell phones and other handheld devices, many of which are marketed to children and youth. Pornography has become the secret entertainment of many people of all ages, walks of life, and economic backgrounds. Use of internet pornography is perhaps the fastest growing addiction in the world.

Pornography perverts the beauty of intimate love proper to marriage, presenting images of the body and sexual acts for base pleasure – regarding other persons as objects to be used, manipulated, and sold. It is a multi-billion dollar industry, eclipsing the amount of money generated by professional sports (cf. Chapter II, below). In this way pornography distorts the proper meaning and purpose of our sexuality and does grave injury to the dignity of its participants (actors, vendors, consumers).[1]

Use of pornography is a serious sin against chastity and the dignity of the human person. It robs us of sanctifying grace, separates us from the vision of God and from the goodness of others, and leaves us spiritually empty. Attraction to pornography and its gratifications is a false “love” that leads to increasing emotional isolation loneliness and subsequent sexual acting-out with self and others. It depends on the exploitation of other persons: frequently the desperate or poor, or the innocent young. Use of pornography has cost persons their jobs, their marriages and families. Traffickers in Child Pornography may end up in prison. It has often been associated with and has contributed to, acts of sexual violence and abuse.

In this pastoral letter, I wish to appeal to you all as members of the Body of Christ redeemed by His love, to reflect on the dangers of pornography in our society. We will see how pornography is a serious affront to our human dignity. I will share some strategies in response to this problem. I ask you to join with me in the Diocesan effort to combat this plague by recommitting ourselves and our families to purity and chastity. In this way we will live more completely as Christ’s disciples, growing each day in the freedom of the children of God. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. [....snip] Catholic

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