Skip to comments.Clear and Helpful Teaching on the Evil of Pornography from Arlington Va. Bishop Paul Loverde
Posted on 03/05/2014 2:35:26 AM PST by markomalley
At the opening of Lent, Bishop Paul Loverde has written an important and encouraging pastoral letter on the disturbing and increasingly pervasive issue of pornography. The full letter was released today and you can read it here Bought With a Price
It is good to see bishops address moral issues with clarity. And Bishop Loverde surely does that here. There are many things I like about the letter but let me highlight a few things here.
1. We live in a culture that makes light of sexual sin, in general, and pornography in particular. Many people speak of it as a victimless crime etc. it is not, producing and peddling of pornography, is a grave offense against human dignity and a complete distortion of one of Gods greatest gifts. Bishop Leverde is extremely clear on this point drawing from both Scripture and the Catechism. He emphasizes very strongly that the peddling and use of pornography is a grave, mortal sin, a sin which severs our relationship with God. It must be repented of. For those who struggle with compulsive or addictive behaviors, help must be sought. The bishop is clear, whatever ones struggles, we must not go on calling good, or no big deal what God calls gravely sinful.
Jesus says we ought to be more willing to endure serious bodily harm than to intentionally look with lust at another.
You have heard that it was said, You shall not commit adultery.e But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell. (Matt 5:27-30)
The good Bishop also uses other arguments and scriptures to strongly refute arguments that make light of the serious sin of pornography. It is good to read these strong teachings unambiguously articulated. Bravo.
2. While not failing to address all the faithful, He addresses the letter with a special emphasis on men. He does this not only because men are more prone to access pornography, but also because he summons men to a leadership in seeking to protect their family from the great damage of pornography.
This approach comports well with my own pastoral experience. For though men can and do experience temptations to pornography, men also respond well as a general rule to being summoned to battle for what is right. Men do have a protective instinct that can be appealed to. Sadly, many in recent decades in the wake of feminism, have shamed men for this instinct or sought to discredit it.
As a pastor and confessor it is evident that the struggle with internet pornography has reached epidemic proportions and many confessors struggle to know how to counsel those who struggle with compulsive and addictive tendencies. Among the approaches I use is to call these men to battle and to remind them that when they view pornography they are playing on the wrong team and lining Satans pockets with money. Even if they dont actually buy it, each time they click on a site or picture they increase the page ranking for the site. And this increases its revenue.
To arms! Fight the good fight of faith. Do not provide recognition or resources for Satans evil design. Pornography is clearly a satanic attack on our families, on Matrimony, on women, and on children. It is a great darkness on our land. It must be resisted. Our families must be protected. Yes this is a great battle and the Lord is looking for some good soldiers strong enough to resist the tide. An old gospel song comes to mind. Im a soldier in the army of the lord
3. Bishop Loverde makes good use of Scripture as well as sociological and natural law arguments. In the past I have read too many statements from the Bishops conference that make little or no reference to scripture. About ten years ago the conference issued a statement on the problem of cohabitation and did not use one scripture quote. When have asked certain bishops about this they indicate that since they are addressing the world it is important to use sources all agree on. But of course the world includes Christians. I realize using only Scripture Less effective. But any document from the Bishops ought to quote The boss from time to time! bishop Loverde gets the balance right here.
Please take time to read the whole letter. There are many other good aspects in the letter such as a pastoral exhortation to priests, and to parents as well as a helpful study guide.
Whether you look at porn or not, chances are you know somebody who does...whether you realize it or not...and there's no doubt that you have at least indirectly been impacted by porn (if, for no other reason, how how our society has been coarsened and hyper-sexualized)
Msgr Pope ping
My favorite quote on pornography: “Pornography?...I don’t even have a Pornograph!”
I wonder what he thinks about pedophile priests.
Back in 1941, C.S. Lewis wrote in “The Screwtape Letters” that the “worship of sex” was a primary movement in his day that, if brought to full term, would be a cause for celebration among the devil and his angels.
The Associated Press reported recently that three insurance companies receive upward of 260 reports each year of young people under 18 being sexually abused by Protestant clergy, challenging the assumption that clergy sexual abuse is an exclusively Catholic problem that does not take place in other churches.
Protestant numbers are harder to come by, the AP reported, because the denominations are less centralized than the Catholic Church. Many churches are independent, making reporting even harder.
No Catholic will ever defend the indefensible. Most of the sex abuse that took place dates back to the 50's and earlier, long before JPII. I would ask you, however, what is being done in non-Catholic communities to stop predatory sex abuse of children? This is not limited to the Catholic Church.
The Catholic Church here, through its bishops in the USCCB, have implemented a program to prevent future occurrences. This includes all members of the community who come in contact with children, from janitors in the schools to volunteers who teach children at the parish level. We all are subjected to fingerprinting and a police background check. We are also required to attend classes on how to identify sexual predators and what actions to take. This is possible because of the centralized nature of the Catholic Church. It is also the reason why the media have been able to focus a laser beam on us. This is not possible in the non-Catholic denominations where there is no one to take responsibility.
Worse still, is the sex abuse of children in the education system.
And then there are the camp counselors, Big Brothers of America and the list goes on and on. There is plenty of guilt to go around.
Did a search for “Evil of Homosexual priests Bishop Paul Loverde” and I found this
“Silenced priest warns of gay crisis”
After hearing from the priest about numerous instances of homosexual activity among diocesan clergy, Arlington Bishop Paul Loverde ordered the priest silenced Oct. 23, 2001. This precept of silence usually only employed during church trial proceedings is rarely used to silence a whistleblower
Just another enabler of the homosexual agenda.
To cut a long story short, there is a chance that, by reading this book, new light will be shed on aspects of your life that you maybe rather wasn't shed.
You might, as I did, cement a realization of just how close you have come to the dark one, or something operating in his name, and in doing so, bring to the immediate fore elements that you'd rather not get too acquainted with.
This book, just paper and print though it is, could act as a trigger to strange happenings that will revolve around very personal (and usually undesirable) aspects of your life and your self.
It will not "create" anything new in your life, only make you aware that certain influences already present might actually be something more than you feared and act as a catalyst to escalate certain processes.
Yes, you might be getting "tested" by dark forces and not be entirely aware of it until you read this book and relate the experiences and processes described. Not a nice revelation to have, though perhaps, necessary? The subtlety, complexity, disturbing "realness" and almost boundless reach of Lucifer into your very life and person will make itself known to you in stark and obvious shades of bright light to an extent that is hard to digest. So don't read this book if you doubt you are ready for such things.
Thank you for the link and description. The evil one is quite clever and often uses a subtle approach.
I think the church is missing a bet here. Pornography is the end result as much as the cause of problems. And the church could help alleviate this to a great extent.
Much of the western world has a serious problem of segregating its boys and girls, so they have minimal chaperoned contact with each other until they turn 18, at which point they are supposed to spontaneously date, fall in love, get married and have children.
As anyone who raises dogs will tell you, if you keep a dog separated from other dogs, it will still want to mate, but it will see other dogs as “the enemy”. And children are not that different.
This, as much as anything else, is why pornography is so huge in the world. Adolescents are strongly compelled to want to mate, but have no experience or understanding of the other gender. It is regarded as a major psychological breakthrough for an adolescent to even conclude that the other gender are “human”, not just objects.
Parents assume that children have this necessary gender socialization in schools or in church, but that does not happen, because the children are assigned so much to do that they do not have the time to interrelate.
So what could the church do?
Perhaps the easiest thing would be chaperoned, semi-formal dance classes. It would require a small degree of polite physical contact, and even if only one day a week, it would mean perhaps two hours of unbroken interaction with a particular individual of the opposite gender. And each week a different partner, in rotation.
But that is just a start. Eventually there could be several activities of a similar nature. And when it became time for them to date, marry, and have children, they would know what to look for in a spouse.
The advent of the Internet has made porn available instantly and everywhere. It’s also obvious that this availability is coincident with our collective national/cultural plunge into depravity.
And I think it’s very likely that one of the reasons for now widespread ED is because men are looking for love in all the wrong places, and then can’t “perform” with their wives.
What? Where do you live, that segregates boys and girls? Saudi Arabia? I live in America, where boys and girls are together all day at school and then afterward at sports activities, shopping, eating out, movies, etc. And we do not expect them to fall in love and get married and have kids the minute they turn eighteen since usually they can't make enough money at 18 to support themselves, much less a family. Whatever are you talking about?
You assume that they are interacting, but most of the time they aren’t. Left to their own devices, they self segregate by gender. And when adults are in charge, they keep them so busy they don’t have time to get to know each other. After elementary school there are so many different classrooms and teachers that it becomes rare that a boy and a girl will share more than a single class.
Actually, kids do far better academically when they’re in sex-segregated classrooms or even schools. But if you go into any public high school you’ll find that they sure aren’t sticking to their own gender at all. There’s a whoooooole lot of interaction there—far too much.