Catechism of the Catholic Church (675)

Before Christ’s second coming the Church must pass through a final trial that will shake the faith of many believers. The persecution that accompanies her pilgrimage on earth will unveil the “mystery of iniquity” in the form of a religious deception offering men an apparent solution to their problems at the price of apostasy from the truth. The supreme religious deception is that of the Antichrist, a pseudo-messianism by which man glorifies himself in place of God and of his Messiah come in the flesh. ~ Catechism of the Catholic Church (675)

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Why Don't Bishops Discuss Porn?

The Bishops of England and Wales: Shepherds of the Faithful
I've written a blogpost on pornography for The Guild of Blessed Titus Brandsma which can be read here. It was really something I wanted to write following a debate on Tim Stanley's piece for The Telegraph, in which he tells his politically Conservative friends that Government regulation of online porn should be welcomed.

The prevalence and widespread use of pornography online and elsewhere is not a mark of a healthy society. Blessed Pope John Paul II's work on the Theology of the Body should have put paid the notion that the Catholic Church is 'anti-sex' or puritan, but pornography works corrosively against the interest of the creation of good fathers, husbands, fosters vice instead of virtue, raising fantasy instead of real relationships and, of course, exploits and demeans women.

While many would question the motives of a Prime Minister who has just altered the meaning of marriage, there has been little from our Bishops in terms of railing against pornography or even the human trafficking that it often involves, condemned by Pope Francis. There is a growing sense that sexual morality is off limits as subject matter for our Bishops, yet sexuality goes to the heart of our humanity - the heart of who we are. It cannot just be ignored. David Cameron can now appear as a moral crusader with a special concern for the protection of children, for whom he describes pornography as "corrosive". Now that he has opened up the issue of pornography in stating his desire to see the Government regulate online pornography, it would be a good time for the Bishops to address a culture of pornography that is damaging to men, women, children, the common good and to marriage, families, fatherhood and the gift of sexuality in marriage for union and procreation.

Pornography is a considerable threat to the Church's children (which consists of children and adults), is a danger to souls, to strong families and marriages. Why would Bishops want to remain silent on it in the light of reports that its use is rampant among the nation's schoolchildren? The United Kingdom is desperate for moral leadership. Pray that, in this matter, as in all matters of morality, the Bishops of England and Wales will offer moral leadership to the Church and to the country. To allow someone who has perverted and destroyed the inherent meaning of marriage to take moral leadership of the country, unchallenged, would be bizarre.

With a high percentage of children and young adults now addicted to porn and a culture of pornography infecting schools and playgrounds, we should prepare ourselves for a future in which adults are unable to form realistic, long-lasting, permanent relationships and marriages. Much is at stake in the United Kingdom - humanity itself is at stake - since how these children will view relationships and marriage in a culture of recreational sex, sexual commodification, sexual exploitation and pornography is, to say the least, another worrying aspect of a dangerous era of liberal experimentation. We are in danger of creating a society of women valued only for their sexual appeal and womanising men. Womanisers don't love women, they love the concept or the idea of women.

Venerable Fulton Sheen: Outstanding moral crusader for Christ
With some exceptions, Bishops nowadays seem preoccupied with 'soft' issues of public issues that seem not to appreciate the grave threats that exist to individuals, to souls, to families, marriages.

There is a real danger that they will be perceived, like politicians in the secular world, as living in a parallel world to that of ordinary people who need to hear the truth about sexual morality that sets us free. Of course, this will not guarantee popularity for the Catholic Church in the United Kingdom, but the Church needs Shepherds who will be moral crusaders fighting for the dignity and salvation of the human person. Pray that God will give them the courage to win souls for Christ and to speak the truth without fear of human respect, for the good of society and the salvation of souls. There are good priests who are unafraid to discuss this, of course, spread throughout the World. Unfortunately, you have to really look for them.

6 comments:

pelerin said...

Your link to Tim Stanley's article telling us that Mrs Thatcher welcomed regulation of pornography makes me wonder why something has not been done before now. I understand that it will still be many months before anything is actually done and in the mean time children and adults continue to be corrupted.

I used not to believe people when they said they had stumbled upon a porn site 'by accident' until it happened to me!

I am surprised Tim has written that we should not outlaw porn. Why not?

Off topic - why is your blog taking such a long time to load Laurence?

BJC said...

The Bishops don't want to discuss porn because they will have to end up defending and promoting Humanae Vitae. It will also lead them into conflict and they just don't have the personality for that. Hence, we end up with an anodyne, "nuanced" version of Catholicism. Its a pity because if they were braver, more committed, men they could have a field day in terms of the gospel. So many of today's modern ills are connected with Humanae Vitae you would have to be willfully blind not to see it. If there wasn't any evidence in 1968 it was right, there certainly is now: pornography, abortion, loss of respect for women, loss of respect for marriage, one-parent families, euthanasia, promiscuity, falling birth rates in Europe leading to large scale population movements to compensate for it, gay marriage etc etc etc.

Lynda said...

We are all being purposely exposed to pornography, but most evilly in intent and effect, many children are too. We are even being made to pay for this horrific stuff by way of a "TV licence".

polycarped said...

Good post. If they pluck up the courage to say anything at all, the Bishops should make sure any message focuses on the damage and destruction caused by porn on society full stop, unlike Cameron who - no surprises - doesn't want to tackle the root cause of the problem. Pandering to popularity - as best evidenced by the gay marriage law sham - the Tories have completely lost any moral backbone they may once have had by failing to make it clear that pornography is unhealthy and damaging for adults as well as children. Of course we must protect children from harm but the problem needs to be tackled in its entirety with courage and honesty if any impact is to be felt at all. Although it's unlikely the Bishops of England and Wales Inc (aka CBCEW) will manage to say anything very hard-hitting as a group, there's at least hope that one of the few courageous and fast-acting individual bishops (e.g. +Philip of Portsmouth) may speak up.

majorcalamity said...

It all depends what is actually meant by pornography. Images which really harm, because they are violent or encourage bad behaviour need to be taken down. Images that merely offend some people need to be controlled so that they don't reach people inappropriately, including children.

What we mustn't ever do is impose our own moral values upon those who don't share them.

The Bones said...

MC

Your relativist outlook is actually part of the problem.

I'm arguing that all porn is bad, there is nothing good, noble or virtuous or healthy about any porn.

I'd like to hear your argument against it.

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