The USCCB has many resources on pornography and its devastating effects on the person and the family. Most notably, a worthy read is the Bishops Pastoral Response to Pornography, titled "Create in Me a Clean Heart," which we have excerpted below. For the full document and other helpful resources in English and Spanish, check out www.usccb.org/cleanheart. A widespread and pernicious though often overlooked evil affecting modern life is pornography. The Catechism of the Catholic Church (2354) states that: Pornography consists in removing real or simulated sexual acts from the intimacy of the partners, in order to display them deliberately to third parties. It offends against chastity because it perverts the conjugal act, the intimate giving of spouses to each other. It does grave injury to the dignity of its participants (actors, vendors, the public), since each one becomes an object of base pleasure and illicit profit for others. It immerses all who are involved in the illusion of a fantasy world. It is a grave offense. Civil authorities should prevent the production and distribution of pornographic materials. (2523) In order to better understand the destructiveness of pornography and how to combat it, please listen to the talks provided below. They were given at the 2013 National Association of Catholic Family Life Ministers (NACFLM) Conference. Each presenter, an expert in his/her field, explains the harm of pornography to the individual person, to their families, and to society. Patrick Trueman, President and CEO of Morality in the Media "The Pornography Pandemic: A Message to Catholics" Part One, Part Two
Bruce and Jeanne Hanneman, Founders of Elizabeth Ministry International "Reclaim Sexual Health - Combining Science and Spirituality to Overcome Pornography" Part One, Part Two
Peter C. Klaponis, Ph.D., LPC, NCC "Fighting Porn in Our Culture...and Winning!" Part One, Part Two
The Beauty and Vocation of the Human Person
From the beginning of creation, God's beautiful plan for human love was inscribed on the human heart and in the human body. All men and women are created in the image of God and called to love. Jesus fully reveals our identity and vocation and shows us the way of love as a gift of self. The human body speaks a language of gift and communion and has great dignity. It should be treated with the greatest respect. As persons, we are meant to be loved and not used. The virtue of chastity allows us to gain self-mastery in the area of sexuality. It is opposed to lust (which uses a person) and instead fosters genuine love for the other as a whole person. All of us are called to chastity. In marriage, chastity takes the form of faithful and fruitful love and includes the sexual expression of that love. While sin damages our relationship with God, our own selves, and others, it does not have the last word. Jesus redeemed us and makes it possible for us to live a life of freedom in the Holy Spirit
Why Is Pornography Wrong?
Sexual love is a gift meant for marriage alone. "Pornography consists in removing real or simulated sexual acts from the intimacy of the partners, in order to display them deliberately to third parties" (Catechism of the Catholic Church [CCC], no. 2354). All pornography is immoral and harmful, and can never be justified, including within marriage. Using and/or producing pornography is a sin against chastity and against human dignity. It reduces the body to an erotic stimulant. It harms viewers and does "grave injury" to those involved in its production (CCC, no. 2354). The sin of pornography needs the Lord's forgiveness and should be confessed in the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation. Its use is also often linked with other sins, especially masturbation but also adultery and the crime of human trafficking. Pornography objectifies people and brings hurt and pain. It is an illusory substitute for real relationships and intimacy, which in the end bring true joy
Pornography in Our Culture Today
Pornography today is a structure of sin. While rooted in the personal sins of individuals, pornography is so pervasive in society that it is difficult to avoid and challenging to remove. Several factors are important to note when evaluating pornography's presence in our culture today. ″ Victims: The women and men portrayed in pornography have their dignity abused for others' pleasure and profit. There is also the heinous crime of child pornography and pornography's connections to sex trafficking worldwide. ″ Visibility: Pornographic and over-sexualized images are present in our culture as never before. It is commonplace to see such images while going about one's daily life. Maintaining purity in this environment is a challenge. ″ Acceptability: Pornography is often misrepresented as a harmless pastime or even promoted as good, for example to help marital intimacy. Many describe it as "normal" behavior, especially for men. ″ Technology: The Internet has made pornography accessible, anonymous, mostly free, and endlessly novel. This potent combination continues to have devastating effects on many people. ″ Industry: Pornography is a big, moneymaking business. The industry is aggressive and savvy, constantly trying to entice new viewers. It is under-regulated and uses the claim of "free speech" to counter legal charges. ″ Content: Pornographic content available today is increasingly coarse, violent, and degrading. It communicates the message that sex is devoid of love and relationship, and even that sexual violence is acceptable. Everyone is vulnerable to pornography. Many good people struggle with this habit, including faithful Catholics, married and single people, fathers and mothers, and so on.
This list of resources is piled through the efforts of the Archdiocese of Mobile
Integrity Restored The mission at Integrity Restored is to help restore the integrity of individuals, spouses, and families that have been affected by pornography and pornography addiction. Integrity Restored provides education, training, encouragement, and resources to break free from pornography, heal relationships, and to assist parents in preventing and responding to pornography exposure which is so devastating in the lives of our children. They are also a resource that trains and helps clergy in assisting families at the parish level, so that the domestic church truly becomes what it is, the human space in which we encounter Christ.
ThePornEffect.com Includes a 5 step approach to removing pornography from your life, articles, encouragement and more.
RECLAiM Sexual Health RECLAiM Sexual Health offers a science-based, Catholic Online Recovery Program and other resources for those who desire to reclaim God’s plan for their lives and the lives of loved ones impacted by pornography or other unhealthy sexual behaviors.
Covenant Eyes Internet Filtering and Accountability software. In addition to the accountability software, this site offers free resources on the dangers of pornography
TheologyoftheBody.net “There is no dignity when the human dimension is eliminated from the person. In short, the problem with pornography is not that it shows too much of the person, but that it shows far too little.” St. John Paul II
Fight the New Drug Fight the New Drug is a non-religious and non-legislative organization that exists to provide individuals the opportunity to make an informed decision regarding pornography by raising awareness on its harmful effects using only science, facts, and personal accounts.