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    Sunday, December 17, 2006

    Scorn for porn


    Calling pornography an evil plague that is ravaging society, Bishop Loverde uses strong and unambiguous language in his 20-page teaching titled “Bought with a Price: Pornography and the Attack on the Living Temple of God” to rebuke oft-repeated defenses of pornography.

    Bishop Loverde then goes on to speak to the youth, married and engaged couples, and even priests of the diocese to provide advice and counsel to guard against addiction or to break free of its grip.

    link

    Australian Cardinal George Pell of Sydney issued a pastoral letter on pornography and sex addiction titled “Sexual Sickness” this past July. Bishop Loverde’s pastoral letter may be the first one dedicated exclusively to this issue in the United States.

    “The threat of pornography is always a necessary and timely issue. It is pervasive and constant in our society,” Bishop Loverde said.

    Ken Henderson knows what it’s like to be trapped in the vice of pornography.
    Addicted for more than 25 years, Henderson would go on to defeat his dependence, embrace Catholicism and found the apostolate True Knights, which is dedicated to helping men fight such addictions.

    According to Henderson, the majority of men who turn to the True Knights for assistance understand their faith and agree with church teachings, yet still become addicted.

    The Diocese of Austin, Texas, has formed an Anti-Pornography Task Force and just launched a Web site titled “Pornography Isn’t Pretty” that posts news reports and studies to make the case that “pornography is not a harmless product but a tumor that needs to be removed in its entirety from the face of the human community.”

    Helen Osman, director of communications for the diocese and a task force member, said the idea was born from priests who were being inundated with requests for help from parishioners addicted to pornography.

    Other anti-pornography projects in the works include panel discussions, a speakers’ bureau, and formation of support groups for addicts and their families, Osman said. The diocese, which covers 25 counties in central Texas, is also working to translate the site into Spanish.

    Bishop Loverde articulates how pornography, far from being a victimless crime, exploits its subjects, dehumanizes its viewers and inflicts significant damages on families, especially spouses and children.

    “This plague stalks the souls of men, women and children, ravages the bonds of marriage and victimizes the most innocent among us. It obscures and destroys people’s ability to see one another as unique and beautiful expressions of God’s creation, instead darkening their vision, causing them to view others as objects to be used and manipulated,” he wrote.

    In his letter, Bishop Loverde provides specific points of counsel that can be used by all of the faithful struggling to attain a state of purity in a world where pornography is gaining acceptance.

    Really, what's all this addiction talk? It's not. Addiction implies victimhood..
    Help, I've fallen and I can't get up.

    Porn is no good for a person
    striving for purity no doubt. But in the general culture, sex is a right up
    there with food. It is just another road down to the bottom. Different people
    pick different poisons.

    Unlike alcohol, it is not a physical addiction.
    Let's not confuse the issue. All sin gives a person an identity less than the
    dignity intended. Just like all the other vices, if impurity is a hard habit to
    break, then perhaps a support group will help, but not because the person is
    somehow addicted, but because the person could use a little support in their
    struggle.

    The main social problem with labeling porn an addiction is
    that it invites nanny do-gooders to meddle. Something like early century
    prohibition laws. Please.

    Something difficult to change is not an
    addiction, and does not produce an addiction. Let's concentrate on men being men
    finding the strength to endure and win with a little help from above.

    Men have been emasculated enough, let's not see them as victims of
    something like sex. They should have the gahoonies to stand up and fight.

    It's not easy, and failure beckons around every corner. So what else is
    new?

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