The following comes from a December 8 Catholic Answers article by Devin Rose:
I have multiple friends whose marriages have been ruined because of sexual addiction.
While heartbreaking for them, their spouses, and their children, it is no surprise that lust is wreaking such havoc on marriages and families. The number of men who admit to regularly lusting after women via pornography is staggeringly high, and it is likely that the actual numbers are even higher.
Recently, at a Catholic men’s group I am in, a Catholic priest on the video program we are going through talked about lust and pornography. An uncomfortable stillness descended over the room of Catholic guys. After the talk was done, each table had discussion questions to go over about lust and pornography, yet at my table (and most others), the main topic was avoided and tangential subjects were instead focused on.
The shame runs deep. I get it. I’ve been there, addicted to lust and looking at pornography every single day. We don’t want to talk about it, yet it is an elephant in the room, a “widely known secret” that we studiously don’t want to discuss.
The United States bishops recently released a pastoral letter responding to the plague of pornography and lust in our culture. Called Create in Me a Clean Heart, the letter is a good introduction to the problem, the Church’s liberating teachings about sexuality, and what men and women can do to grow in chastity and break free from the slavery of this sin.
They highlight Pope St. John Paul II’s landmark work on the theology of the body, a masterful piece of writing that has been made more accessible over the past fifteen years by an excellent translation as well as through practical books by popular Catholic authors on the subject (Matt Fradd’s Delivered is a great example).
By availing myself of the arsenal of weapons that the Church gives us, I have been able to conquer this vice and grow in the virtue of purity. I make no brag about that; it was God’s grace alone that did it.
But that is the good news: you can overcome this evil in your life with the help of God’s grace. The fullness of the means of salvation are found in the Catholic Church, which means you have access to the strongest antidotes to the venom of lust.
What I learned from my own struggle, and the battles of many Catholic men, is that no one tactic or way works for every man. Instead, different tools and strategies are most effective for each person, so trying out several ones and finding out which help you most is essential.
Of course, some “weapons,” like confession and Holy Mass, are indispensable for every Catholic man in his battle against lust. But in addition to those sacraments, a myriad of other resources are available to aid men in purity.
Rose has created a video course to help Catholic men gain the victory over pornography addiction. Available here.
Awesome. Thank CCD for this article! I pray that talking about it and holding those accountable in their involvement that we can save souls and marraiges.
Pornography becomes addictive. Men lose sight of reality and treat women pretty badly. In a sacremental setting either in a holy orders or matrimony, for these men the struggle grows and changes their wellbeing. Its also spiritual consequences too. In marraiges, it often leads to affairs, sexual diseases and degrading of spouse. It can become abusive. This addiction changes the brain like it does to a heroin addict. Worst addiction ever. Its all science proven too, for those who refuse to see it from a moral stand. The old mentality when a man had an affair and the woman was blamed, throw that conclusion out, in most cases, the affair was largely due to childhood traumas of some sort or porn issues. For instance if you grew up with an…
Women use porn too.
Yes anonymous they do too.
Women call their porn “romance novels” and read instead of watch it.
You have said it, JonJ. Often that’s the little extra snuck into the grocery cart and masked within the family budget. Since a man wouldn’t be caught dead flipping through one, he often doesn’t know what the wife is reading.
…sleeping around prior to marriage can also contribute to later affairs.
One must learn discipline of the senses. Too often women believe that a man will suddenly change after marriage, being faithful where he was once a player. This is sadly not always the case. The ‘habit’ of going for what’s new and pleasing and “available” is already in place.
Again, I’d highly recommend an Ignatian Retreat. Either way, a man has to be willing to comply with grace and want to be helped. Nobody can help a man who is determined that “he’s fine the way he is.” That’s often why focusing too much on bad behavior can upset a woman to no end.
If you cannot change your husband’s behavior, change yours. Ignore his indiscretion,…
… but make no excuses for him either.
If you act too much like his mother in the matter, often, out of habit, a man will continue to behave like the teenage rebel (…precisely how many behaved with their Moms.) out of habit. And the cycle continues.
Who are you addressing Ann? If your trying to help someone, good for you. God bless you.
Abeca, I was addressing you and attempting to add another perspective that may aid in your helping those women you indicate are suffering.
It is obvious from my post that I am adding helpful information, Abeca. Please try to assume the good. And please try to glean something from it. This may not be your situation, but if it is, what I’m telling you can help. Ask a psychologist…. and a solid priest.
One must attempt though all to maintain peace of soul. This includes women whose husbands are addicted to porn.
Yes Ann Malley sleeping around is a sin. Praise God I had parents who taught me to be chaste. The holy nuns and priests from my youth group also encouraged chastity. So i saved myself for marraige. I feel for this culture who werent raised that way. I have compassion for those women who are abused and raped due to human trafficking. Porn produces alot of those things. Abortion, porn etc etc. All evil and many victims affected.
I dont need your opinion on this issue. If it helps you personally, then use it but learn better on the issue from the experts. This affects us all. We care about those addicted and if we bring awareness then praise God. Hope it helps you Ann Malley. God bless. Take care. Its for the good Catholic families affected by this, they need our support. Go out and be part of that solution. I dont need your preaching. Go in peace.
Abeca, you need information and a reality check.
The intimation that sleeping around affects the male psyche is pretty standard stuff. But many women, afflicted by a beauty and the beast syndrome, believe ‘they’ can change a man.
That is what I am speaking to, Abeca. If you would cease taking everything so personally and actually engage from a professional standpoint, you may help yourself to become a better help to those to whom you are reaching out.
As for what the holy nuns taught you, great. It isn’t always a matter of what one is taught, Abeca, but what one does. For despite your holy upbringing, you sin, dear. We all do. So it is not ‘only’ a matter of what we are taught.
The good Catholic families affected…
…. by this need a solid dose of good common sense, Abeca. Not inflammatory speech that turns a young man’s difficulties with impurity automatically into human trafficking.
This is not to dismiss the evil of sin, but rather to highlight with hope the power of grace and the success to be had in the diligent application of having consistent recourse to it.
Try to go in peace.
I don’t know if they dont want to talk about, perhaps its true but what I do know is that parishes refuse to address openly and honestly.
Abeca, of course these men do not want to talk about it, nor go to confession, privately! They all have their self-centered lives, just the way they want things to be! And the male ego, of course, is “king,” here! Besides, I bet pornographic materials feed into their masculinity, and make them feel like “real men!” Are they “less manly,” if they give it all up?? The priests are certainly not making them talk, and give up their sins– nor telling the men this is a dangerous sin, that God detests– and they might even end up in hell, someday!!
Women of faith want men to lead but we are not to take a place of dictating them but often times women og faith are having to do so because our men lack the ability or know how or conviction etc. That is why it will take our priests, faithful men etc etc to hold each other accountable with Transparancy and truth. Whatever it takes and it begins by listening to our wounded women.
Did you purposely include nudes?
Was it a pithy comment on how porn is in our churches?
Anonymous, pornography is a very serious Mortal Sin! As people have said– it tragically destroys marriages! It is like committing adultery! HORRIBLE!! Why cant you be a sensitive and kind poster? You sound like a selfish monster!!
The picture has nude people in it. With bare breasts and genitalia.
Was it meant to be ironic, facetious, unwitting, sarcastic?
How does asking that question on whether it was intentional and if it had some kind of significance make me a selfish monster?
What is wrong with people here?
The painting depicts Adam and Eve before the Fall, and afterwards. After the Fall, “the control of the soul’s spiritual faculties over the body is shattered; the union of man and woman becomes subject to tensions, their relations henceforth marked by lust and domination”.
To Anonymous– You do have a valid point, that nude paintings are inappropriate, in a church. That is true! Maybe some Catholics, including myself, are too in awe of the artwork of the genius Michaelangelo, in the Sistine chapel! Michaelangelo, however, was certainly not a pornographer! Anyway– the nude paintings were deemed inappropriate at the Council of Trent, in 1564. A painter, Daniele da Volterra, was called in, to fix the Sistine Chapel problem. Italians then referred to him, as “Il Braghettone!!”
To Anonymous– The painter, “Il Braghettone,” (“the breeches maker”) who “put the pants” on the nude figures of the “Last Judgment” scene (painted by Michaelangelo, 25 years after he painted the Sistine Chapel ceiling) got his work undone, as the Vatican restored the artwork in the Sistine Chapel, between 1980-1994. Much of “Il Braghettone’s” work was undone, so it all looks different, today, than it did, prior to the restoration!
Anonymous and Seth– Emily is correct. Everyone needs to be educated a little, in the artistic heritage of our Church, as well as our Biblical heritage. Renaissance painters like Michaelangelo, depicted Biblical scenes in their artwork. There is a HUGE difference between artwork that is pure, and depicts Biblical scenes— and pornography, designed for evil and the sin of lust. Michaelangelo’s paintings and sculptures are pure and holy, not pornography! The Sistine Chapel of the Pope, in the Vatican, is a very pure and holy chapel! you need a good education!.
Nevertheless, Linda Maria, Pope Julius and Michelangelo did get into a tiff over the nudity in the paintings in the chapel, with the pope censoring and covering up certain areas, and Michelangelo demanding that they be painted as “God made them” (the way he put it). Many of the Orthodox and Eastern rite Catholics, and some Latin rite, do consider some of the Latin art a bit too risqué for their taste. Some seem not to be bothered by it and others do.
Anonymous I just posted a new reply, above, to you. Perhaps you are correct! Except, Michaelangelo was certainly not a pornographer, that’s all! I would certainly never want to walk into some modern church in America, and kneel to pray, before Mass– and suddenly see nude Biblical figures! I am sure it would be banned!
My apologies, Linda Maria, the Anonymous post on December 15 at 11:58 pm was mine. I agree that all nude pictures are not pornography, although I prefer my David statues with a fig leaf. My point, and I think the other Anonymous” point is that some people would be bother by such paintings as the one above, and some would not. My advice is that any picture that would cause one to lust in the wrong way should not be bought nor viewed by the person who is tempted. As far as pornography, one man said you know it when you see it. I would include in porn any pictures or videos that are made atrictly for the very purpose of putting lustful ideas in a person head. I avoid buying or viewing all such things.
Oops! a correction to my last post December 16 at 8:44 pm. I should have written at the end of the second line and beginning of the third line this: “I agree that NOT ALL nude pictures are pornography”. Sorry for the mistake.
I really think it is best that the lower private parts are covered, or not shown.. That is enough said for me.
My goodness, I did it again since the place for my name is now at the bottom of the place for my message. The two posts from Anonymous on Dec. 17 at 6:04 and 6:08 pm are mine Sorry for the confusion, but I wished they would put the place for Name, E-mail and website back at the top of the message area.
This reply is to Anne T. Thanks, Anne, for your reply! No one in my life, ever brought up this subject, either in the Church, or secular areas of life, regarding the nudes of Italian artists like Michaelangelo– even in the famed Sistine Chapel!! I just ignored it, and was taught to appreciate these great artists! Well, you are right! And I and my family and friends, have lived a life separate from the secular world, since the late 1960’s– none of the movies, books, music, or other entertainments; they are all mostly foul, and morally objectionable!! VERY BAD and DESTRUCTIVE, for the Catholic home and family!!
Sorry, Anne T.– my computer did not print my name, so I, too, ended up as “Anonymous!” “No name!” Sorry! I agree– I DO NOT LIKE anything that is nude, in artwork!! And I was not comfortable, in Christian art history classes, with nude artwork! Even worse, in a Catholic college, right?? Yet– everyone in the Church has always ignored Christin nude art work, especially in the Vatican!! Embarrassing!! But the Vatican does not see Christian nude artwork as pornography! We are taught to respect it, as great treasures of our Church!
Anonymous you are right to point that out. I completely agree with Ann T.
Look at the picture again.
If someone is addicted to porn, the pic does not help.
Seth– the human body is not evil! Adam and Eve were innocent, before the Fall! For Michaelangelo to depict a Biblical scene, has nothing to do with pornography! Just like the doctor, when he/she examines you, or performs a medical procedure, or an operation — it has nothing to do with pornography! It is safe, and totally innocent! Please educate yourself!
Linda your rude to presume he is not educated! Your telling everyone to educate themselves why dont you follow your own advice. You forget he commented about how a porn addict would have an issue with that. Why do you respond as personal. You bite peoples head off because you lack understanding. Seth was correct. You over reacted! From my research, a porn addict would see that clip picture poppong up and it would create something unhealthy in his or her head. Why bother, you dont get it.
Abeca, look to your own kneek-jerks. We all need to educate ourselves and be sensitive to the helps we can lend each other.
“…You bite peoples head off because you lack understanding.”
Understand that Linda Maria is, I believe, attempting to convey that the human body and such depictions are not evil. That said, someone whose sensibilities have been abraded by porn addiction will often find any show of excess skin a temptation. One reason why some can go hang out at the beach while others may find it an occasion of sin because of all the skimpy ‘clothing’.
Almost like an allergy wherein just a pinch of xyz can send one into shock.
Seth good observation! You are correct.
Abeca– Michaelangelo’s works for our Church ARE NOT PORNOGRAPHY, and that’s that! I will no longer respond to your posts.
Anonymous– Jesus says, in the Gospel of St. Matthew 5:28, that whoever looks upon a woman with lust in his heart, has already committed the sin of adultery. As followers of Christ, we have the responsibility to see only Christ within others, when we look at our fellow human beings. We must pray for the grace of Purity of Heart.
Amen! I like your quote Linda, from the word of God! Awesome!
Since Vatican II, and the actions of the filthy hippie misfits of the 1960’s, our entire culture has descended into a stinking pig-stye! Many kids now are growing up with the misguided idea, that anything and everything is somehow “acceptable,” and sin does not exist! Children need to grow up with a solid education in Catholicism, and learn to practice their Faith correctly from an early age. Good religious and moral practice, reinforced in the Catholic home, church, and school, will combat the spread of the deadly disease of sexual immorality and sin. All sexual sin is MORTAL SIN– deadly to the soul! Men, especially, must AVOID IT LIKE THE PLAGUE!!
I disagree with your ‘since V2’ its sad because you would be better at adressing issues and uniting us if you would let go of that lie. My research shows how badly this issue was also handled long ago. It isnt pretty. Your denial of this only shuts down real progess. One can work against good with false notions. I dont deny we have issues but to say it began because of how you conclude, that too would be a lie and progress would not present itself. What it does, it discourages good priests and lay faithful from within, we are human. It produces no good fruit. One can beat it with an old shoe, its not working. So my comment to you is, im sorry you feel that way but its not so. Go in peace.
Abeca, much of the solid preaching and teaching that you crave was precisely what was firmly in place before the ‘renewal’ of Vatican II which was intended to open the windows of the Church to the world. It did. The LIE is pretending that Church preaching and emphasis on teaching/not teaching stayed the same. It didn’t. You did not live through that change.
Your denial of this shuts down the very help you say you want. Your idea that Linda Maria’s comments produce no good fruit – just because you don’t like to hear it – is a lie. That said, many good priests are seeing the truth regarding the ‘aggiornamento’ in the ’60’s. The world was awash in the rejection of moral values, all notion of piety, obedience, and FREE LOVE…
… was practically preached in the streets and absolutely on every college campus. Just because you don’t understand this or didn’t live through the utter havoc of it doesn’t mean it isn’t real.
How would you respond to someone saying you must stop inferring that Arabic Catholics are mysoginistic and somehow less faithful than Hispanics. By all rights your comments could be said to be unhelpful when it comes to uniting people and giving them hope.
The Truth is that MEN have struggled greatly with impurity since Adam first at the blasted apple. Thanks Eve. Yes, she gave it to him. Tempted him. He, dummy, ate it, looking to Eve like some mommy instead of his wife who he should have defended.
The Church was formerly…
…very strict in preaching against vice, Abeca. Regular Church missions, retreats, Rosary missions, holy day celebrations, confessions ALL THE TIME, novenas, the cord of St. Joseph. This helped men. This is not to say that they didn’t have the same temptations, but rather that they had more support. Again, the kind you say you want.
Try listening, Abeca. Older women have often been around the block with these issues and you could really help yourself and others by asking questions instead of asserting what is holy, right, not the right solution, etc. Really. I mean that in all honesty. And I’m not talking about ginning up women’s rights talk and rejecting God’s plan for the family. That’s what started the whole mess in…
…. the first place.
Talk to your priest about encouraging men’s retreats, the cord of St. Joseph, scheduling a Redemptorist Mission. Look to the ‘old’ ways that worked at helping men to FIGHT the good fight. They need our help, Abeca, not just our scorn. Remember, it is their soul weighing in the balance, that and the souls of your children.
So THINK before dismissing what Linda Maria says. Be like the wise virgin who filled the lamps with oil. Perhaps the foolish virgins were too busy telling their elders that they didn’t need to get oil right now. Just a thought ;^)
Abeca, please do read up a little more, on the Church’s collapse of teaching of the Faith and morals– since Vatican II!! That is what I am referring to! The Church may have had good intentions, with the Vatican II Council, yes! however– what I am talking about, is the complete collapse of Church teaching of the Catechism, and MORAL DISCIPLINE!! Before the Council, all Catholics were required to know their Catechism, and to be educated in sin and virtue, and develop an understanding of Christian morality, and a moral conscience! That was all abandoned, worldwide, since Vatican II!
Linda i disagree. But youve made up your mind. You can argue all you want but i dont conclude as you do.
Not a matter of ‘making up one’s mind’, Abeca. It is factual and can be read and researched for what it is – not what one would like it to be.
The rejection of that observable reality is called denial.
Abeca, you and a few others will be very fortunate, if you grew up in a parish that taught and supported orthodox Catholic faith and morals! Many, many people and their families, have struggled and struggled, for many years, in their parishes– and many have turned away from Catholic schools, and decided on homeschooling, due to this problem! I agree with you– the Church Fathers meant well, at Vatican II, and most of them did not want this collapse of Church teaching and morals, I am quite sure! A very complex issue, and a sad one!
Linda Maria you assume i didnt grow up in devout parishes. I did and have close friendships with holy traditional priests faithful to the Magesterium. Its just insulting how you presume i dont. But it is what it. I dont hold it against you. Have a blessed week.
Abeca, if you read carefully, you will see that I said that it is wonderful, if you were so fortunate, to grow up in a good Catholic parish! Please stop these illogical attacks and knee-jerk reactions to people, who simply express their concerns, like me, over what is actually occurring, in factual Church news! No Catholic should attack any other Catholic, for expressing concerns over Church over this! Don’t the post-Vatican II Church scandals, and total lack of morals and discipline, concern YOU, as a Catholic??
Ok thank you Linda. Yes i was blessed and you are right not everyone is so blessed. For the record no one said Michealangelo art was porn but the article its magnified here, it can trigger an addict. Thats was Seth was conveying. Ok thanks Linda. God bless. Lots of comments, i dont have much time to go over them. My apologies. Im unable to reply to all. Im a busy mom with ministries. God bless.
Abeca, thanks for your post! I agree!
Abeca– last Sunday, I asked one of our good priests, after Mass, if they had seen the sickening essay in the “San Francisco Chronicle,” defending abortion, written by a prominent USF professor at the USF Law School. USF, a so-called “Catholic” school, now officially defends abortion, birth control, euthanasia same sex “marriage,” and many other evils! And Catholic parents send their kids to school there, and pay a lot for it! Horrible! Our post-Vatican II Church desperately needs– DISCIPLINE!! Regardless of whatever else they want to do that is truly good, the Church really needs— universal DISCIPLINE, worldwide!!
Ok ladies i know you have alot to say. But ive said just enough and I stand by it. Linda just because I disagree doesnt mean im not educated. Just save your breath. I agree to disagree. I do not deny the issues that concerns us all, just like I dont deny they existed since mankind sinned. Sorry but we will not have joy here on earth, we just have to remain holy and seek heaven. As long as mankind walks this earth, no perfection. Im happy you hold convictions similar to mine on many issues. Ill meet up with you there but on the other truths that you deny, your in His hands. Pax Christi.
“…the other truths that you deny, your in His hands.”
Abeca, this sentiment applies to yourself for there is no joy in having to report the reality of deep issues with VII, its texts, its implementation, the intention of those seeking power through means of its novelties etc. The bad fruits are everywhere to see.
But if you want to ignore them – that’s your choice. And yes, sin is something we must all deal with and this is no paradise. Another reason why hammering your priest for a ‘solution’ to the problem of porn while disregarding reality and his assertions that ‘he’ knows best will just disturb your peace of soul.
Abeca, it does not help, that many of our Catholic schools are teaching the kids that sin is just fine! Abortion, birth control, sex outside marriage, gay sex and gay “marriage,” euthanasia– plus all the pedophile priest scandals, and pornography! The Church is now an incubator of the Devil, of sin, in many liberal parishes and schools, tragically! We need Church discipline, in the post-Vatican II Church, desperately!
During the incomprehensibly ignorant, selfish, filthy 1960’s, it just amazed me, that rebellious hippies had no comprehension of the seriousness of the sins they so wanted! They were incredibly STUPID!! Destroying the home, marriage, the churches, the schools, and all institutions there to serve and help them, in our society!! They also could not care less– that their sinfulness and mindless rebellion would lead to a lawless society, with a great many kids growing up to be juvenile delinquents and hardened criminals! As a result– a HUGE percentage of our society is now near-criminal– and won’t admit to it! Instead, it is ignorantly said that “everything is acceptable!”
Catholic, Protestant, and Jewish leaders of old, in America– all knew that combatting sin and vice was a big, lifelong responsibility! One must be highly mature, wise, and well-balanced (never an immature or violent fanatic!) and lead a very exemplary, good life, close to God, to be a good religious leader! One must work tirelessly in the surrounding community and country (as well as in one’s church or synagogue)– to combat sin and vice, and help your people! It is a constant missionary effort!! Sin and vice are very serious, and highly destructive! Like it says in the Bible– vice and sin bring evil, corruption, disorder, illness, and eventually, death– to an individual, and to society!
There are timeless spiritual resources in our Church, to help us build a good spiritual life, and to help protect us against sin. Daily prayer, daily Rosary recitation, Adoration, regular Mass and reception of the Sacraments (especially, Holy Communion and Confession), good spiritual reading, avoiding things of the world that lead us to sin — and daily acts of mortification, petitioning Our Lord and His Blessed Mother, to help us with something we are in need of. A good priest can also help you with this. God always answers prayers, and mortifications do help penitents a great deal!
Maybe a good mortification that someone could practice, who has been committing the sin of pornography– would be to burn all evil literature, and give away his computer to the poor (get rid of the filthy material on it, first!). But I am sure that a good priest would have even better suggestions, and may prescribe just the right penance!
I think if priests are really holy and chaste, they will speak about such matters in an appropriate parish setting, and establish accountability among male parishioners to strive for purity. The contrapositive of this assertion is, in my opinion, also true, sad to say.
Thank you☺ Its refreshing to read your comments. Men commenting on fixing this issue is good. In my opinion I think that it will take men, who can solve this issue. Countless of times, we women speak up but it feels like running into a wall. No real solid faithful solutions are being put into action. Men need to unite on this subject. A woman can only do so much. I was discussing this issue openly with a few friends of mine, they take their faith very serious as well, I can say its discouraging what face. Even in Traditional parishes, no real solutions. The issue is getting worst, everywhere we go or turn to, pornography is there. On billboards, TV, from magazines being sold in groceries, many presented as normal like females showing…
“The issue is getting worst,” = That’s like Hillary Clinton complaining that abused women should be believed when she’s hiding the truth or beating up any other woman who asks Hillary to see the truth.
It is also because over the many years, people such as yourself, attacked those who spoke up and some even mocked the very good priests for trying to remain completely faithful. Your Diocese is in need of a housecleaning. This has zero to do with men vs. women. Here is the real issue. This has to do with Church authority that has hamstrung all of the hard teachings regarding purity so stop your distracting tactics that lead away from this reality.
“…This has to do with Church authority that has hamstrung all of the hard teachings regarding purity so stop your distracting tactics that lead away from this reality.”
…and by way of a perceived obedience (false obedience) the hierarchy has hamstrung Catholics and those outside the Church from viewing reality. Fear of being not nice or out of communion or nasty, etc against VII etc.
For all the talk about getting tough on porn, the Church fathers are now saying we shouldn’t preach Christ crucified to our Jewish brothers because it may insult them. I wish Abeca and others would understand that that is the tactic for pulling back on teaching the hard truths about porn and free sex. To do so ‘may’ insult men. Well, hello…
…That is how we’ve gotten into this mess. But the Pavlov experiment has trained the dogs to cry foul whenever VII is mentioned so they’ll never look at the truth of what is written – like not looking at the Koran to see for oneself that it does not relay a religion of peace.
***Looking at root causes is what is necessary to solve any problem, not a proof positive of disobedience!*****
Many have the mentality that all people need is to go to confession! Wrong! Confession is done in secret and porn addicts always concern themselves with appearance of integrity. They appear to be genuine but they commit a sacrilege. Our priests follow with their penance. They may say a few rosary’s yet the struggle is still there. Penance needs to be one that leads to accountability. Pornography changes the chemistry in their brain and so what makes any priest think that ordering them to say a few hail Mary’s is gonna change that complex issue. Yes confession is excellent but im discovering, after speaking to a few men, praise God they were honest, but some know that it will include a good confession with lifelong support and…
Abeca, you ask Linda Maria to be sensitive to the sufferings of others, but show no such compassion yourself. Of course, confession is done in secret. Women may want to demand that their husbands give them a direct apology – in public – but that’s not the primary issue at hand. It is healing a man’s sick soul.
Abeca, a sacrilege involves the defaming of something consecrated to Christ. Porn addiction is not a sin of sacrilege. Now if the porn involved nuns or priests, then it would be a sacrilege too as nuns and priests are consecrated to God.
As to what you believe penances ‘must’ be, wrong. One must work with the men and encourage them to continue trying, and, when necessary, prudently increase that which is demanded. (Please keep in mind that many men are malformed by not having been told the truth from the pulpit their entire lives.)
Again, Traditional Catholic practice is in order. And any lay efforts need to be backed up by lawful authority. For if the wives and support groups say one thing, but Father says another, you’ll…
..only give way to a man saying, “Well, the priest thinks I’m fine so shut up.”
And that’s what’s happening in your other ministries, like reaching out to tell homosexuals what they should be doing while “father” is telling them in the confessional on the sly or even from the pulpit that they cannot help their behavior.
Ann Malley, you always write the greatest posts! I so appreciate them all! Thanks!
I appreciate your posts, too. You’ve gained much experience and it shows, Linda Maria. And so does your faithfulness.
God bless :)
Shame, low self esteem, secretive etc. People still revert back to old ways of treating this issue. SOME of Those old ways are wrong. For example “its a guy thing”( its still a sin and we shouldnt make excuses) or “placing the blame on women” , “we wouldnt want to scandalize anyone by bringing it up” etc. We should be genuine and gentle but firm and concerned for souls when addressing this issue. To men, they dont want to hear us address it. Its sad, I wish our priests would listen to us but instead they act like they have a better handle and they assume they know better so the issue is not being addressed even with science backing up our concerns! They are not well informing themselves. Im speaking up for the holy Catholic women I…
Some people hide and are ashamed but for many people it is just an adult activity. It is used by men and women. Many don’t consider nudity and the kind of sexual conduct in R rated movies porn although it too is destructive and sinful.
To Anne T. Thanks for your reply, Anne T.! I agree!
Saying it is a guy thing isn’t making an excuse, Abeca, rather it is stating the reality that men typically throughout the whole of history have struggled with sexual issues. Regular confession – and a yearly Ignatian Retreat! – is very helpful in addressing all manner of vice. Not just porn.
As for the priests having a better handle on the issue – they do. For while you lament the situation, would you rather hound a man into believing that regular confession isn’t good enough and perhaps drive him to despair of confessing at all? Or would you rather seek to help him by being patient, patient while hanging on your own cross of pain, to help him realize his error and perhaps, by your suffering, purchase him the grace to…
Perhaps you could talk with your priests about recommending solid, no-holds-barred Ignatian Retreats. The TLM kind. The Society has stellar Ignatian retreats that call men – and women – to renewed vigor in the practice of the Faith.
In this year of mercy, it would be a great mercy to get men on track with a solid Ignatian Retreat. Women, too.
Ann Malley im in the middle of supporting a few close friends going through tough times. Im gaining knowledge on this issue to better give them support. Father, my priest friend, said that this issue must be addressed by its lay faithful, volunteering support and resources etc. In the past I had several ministries ranging from reaching out to homosexuals (not an easy one). Pro life issues, evangelizing the faith, homeschooling support etc. Now because Im seeing close friends broken because of porn issues affecting their sacremental marraige, i see a strong need to provide support.
Then I would again encourage Ignatian Retreat. We just had an entire van load of men, to include their sons, travel up to the men’s retreat this last week. This is the kind of support that is helpful – men demonstrating to other men that their eternal soul is important enough to take time out and get back on track.
While lay support helps, strong fiery preaching that is on topic – perhaps a Redemptorist mission coming to your parish for a week or so – followed up by ongoing confession, the forming of resolutions and then lay support would help.
Fr. Issac Mary Relyea is fantastic! He gives missions on the 4 last things, too. Gets men to THINK and engage to do their job of leading the family. Give…
… him a listen, Abeca. He’s in full communion and doing a ton of excellent work. I hope you give him a listen. He’s a regular at the FSSP.
God bless you in your endeavors.
Father Issac. I know him. He is helping my friend dealing with these issues. She is the reason I want to bring awareness. I want to help her. I love her kids like an aunt would. I knew them since they were babes. Its sad to see good Catholic families break apart because good men go bad. I knew her husband for many years. Too bad he is lost now. It is what it is. She is like a sister to me.
That is why I say the best thing you can tell her is to keep her PEACE OF SOUL. Getting worked up over the porn is not going to help. Facing it for what it is, a gross temptation put in people’s way to trip them up is what it is. Be strong about rejecting it, but when dealing with men, be careful not to nag (We women tend to do that even without knowing it.) about little things. We must try to pick our battles carefully so as to encourage men and not make them ‘feel’, even unwittingly, that they will never measure up to our expectations. That is not to be weak, but rather to tap into true strength. The strength to suffer and endure until God chooses to remove a particular cross.
Too often we get spun up over those sins of…
…others that we cannot control that we forget to watch over ourselves. Calm, calm, calm. Imitate Our Lady. Strength and CONFIDENCE through untold suffering. All WILL be well.
That’s what I’m saying, Abeca.
And try to keep in mind, not that the husband is lost now. But that he is ‘lost’ for ‘now’. Engage confidence and grace to the point of letting God bring good out of evil. Think of the husband as one who MUST learn the hard way, the way that leaves suffering in his wake. The impossible can be accomplished by way of grace. And while we don’t like suffering, it can be helpful to thank God for the opportunity – especially during great suffering that looks wholly unfair – to show Him one’s confidence, and true love…
… in Him. A love and confidence that will CHOOSE to maintain peace despite surroundings that look like a war zone with death everywhere.
Gird your friend up, Abeca, by telling her that God has given HER this choice opportunity. To suffer like Him. It could be this suffering and calm and confidence that, in the end, is the salvation of the very man who nailed her to this cross. That is the mystery of God’s love.
Exemplary, solid and traditional Catholic responses Ann Malley! How sad that these beautifully instructive truths have been hidden or deliberately tucked away. God bless you! The unfathomably rich treasury of our Catholic Faith is always there but if it is not taught..”My people perish for lack of knowledge.”
Thanks Ann ill let her know more people are praying for her. Ill direct her to your comments. Thank you God bless you. Im sorry for short post. I cant keep up, im meeting tonight with another couple needing intervention. Ill share your resources too. Sorry for not being able to address your kind posts. You know how busy it can get. Xoxo. Gotta go.
Abeca, no worries about not responding. Just please help your friend to understand this suffering. God will bless her. He already is, despite the pain she feels. As for prayers, in truth, the whole Church prays for her unceasingly. Her husband, too, whether he wants it or realizes it or not.
And thank you, Catherine, for your comments. Sadly, many are starving for want of knowledge. The more nutty things become, however, the more difficult it is becoming to hide the truth.
Confession is not merely confessing one’s sins, and then doing the prescribed penance. It is a Sacrament, in which Christ is present! We receive His Sanctifying Grace, straight from Heaven! Only Christ can do the job, to redeem us of sin! We must make strong efforts, and do all that we can– but Christ, in the end, is the One who accomplishes the work of holiness, in the penitent! Men today need to be naturally STRONG and MASCULINE, and tackle life’s problems maturely and realistically– as in days of old!!
I have listened to recovering alcoholics, occasionally at church social events, who will proudly tell people they have perhaps inherited their disease, and became addicts– yet by the grace of God, and going to AA– they managed to overcome their addiction, and have been sober, for such-and-such number of years. They are so proud of their victories! They also never excuse themselves, or make light of their problem. They face it realistically, and tackle it. They also recognize that alcoholism is a sin, and destroys their life, and the lives of others. Men who are committing the sin of pornography, need to face their sin realistically, likewise— and ask God’s grace, to overcome this sin!
Alcoholism is a very serious illness, which can even kill a person, in the end. An alcoholic may need medical treatment, when having withdrawal symptoms, trying to battle this disease. Pornography “addiction” is not the same. It is less difficult, I would think, to seek a victory over pornography, than to battle alcoholism. Also, perhaps the word “addition” makes someone feel helpless and out-of-control, over the sin of pornography. Nevertheless, the Devil has a stranglehold on such people, I bet! A terrible problem! Anyway– Ann Malley has some excellent spiritual suggestions, that will probably help many people!
Linda Maria you would serve better to silence yourself on the porn issue. You are ignorant to speak as you are now. Science now has proven that porn addiction is worst or similar to a heroine addict. It does something to their brian. Now also with porn, our Lord removes himself from there, even a guardian Angel can not be in the same room. Porn promotes human trafficking, child and woman abuse etc. You can not compare to alcoholism. You are the one who needs to educate herself before you speak so self righteous as you do here. Your notion is part of the problem. You offer no solution and really you have no place to preach at people here on said subject. Not unless your starting a support group to improve matters but your not, your all…
Abeca, you are over-reacting! There are many addictions, and alcoholism is one of them. Yes, it is a good idea, to compare addictions, and to see how to handle them! Try to see that other people have good intentions, and see this objectively, without over-reacting, like a big baby! You are a baby who loves to degrade, attack, and control other people, while puffing your ego up, self-righteously! Why do you go to church? It does you no good.
Abeca may be overreacting, but Anna, you are being cruel to what you just wrote to Abeca. She is not a baby, and she isn’t trying to degrade. She obviously feel strongly about the issue and has dealt with it in lives around her and feels protective of the issue. But she is not trying to degrade or attack, she isn’t puffing up herself. And your last line. Way over the top cruel.
Thank you Anonymous. Your correct. Study also shows that children as young as 6 years have been exposed to pornography. Children as young as 12 are starting that young as addicts. With cell phones, internet social media children are getting addicted. They can get access to free pornography on the internet. If people want to look away from this growing issue then it is what it is. Pornography is a culprit that lead to our sex scandals in the church. Its an issue that needs addressing. Even SNAP would agree to that. When children start looking at pornography at a young age and continue into their adult years it can lead to too many issues. Its not something to take lightly. I pray that our men would speak up against it more. Hopefully we…
Thats fine Anna. My reply to her may have been an overreaction due to her hatred/bashing of V2 and her past comments attacking my charactor. She had it coming to her. No not on purpose but respect is earned and certaintly some women here lost my respect. But to be fair, ok my apologies for misunderstanding her posts, I havent kept up. How about when she insulted Seth. You dont think she was overreacting to his comment. Since your policing the threads now, i expect you to jump in when they overreact, which is often. They…yup we know who they are. As for your other comments judging my faith, well God bless you. You dont know me and I dont know you, but im sure that rod is blocking everyones views. Thank you though, good time for…
“but I’m sure that rod is blocking everyone’s views…. (?)
Rod? Did you mean “God”?
Shall we get out all of our beautiful, big books of Vatican art treasures, to include the world-famous Sistine Chapel– and throw them all away?? Funny! Suddenly, I am really offended! Yes, I DO have some objectionable material in my home– and this objectionable material is not secular– it is from the heart of our Church! I don’t know what to say! Maybe I will ask a priest about this!
No not at all. Dont do such thing not unless you have a porn addiction. A porn addict would not see art but may be filled with dirty thoughts and may lead them to masterbation. Sad to say. Dont make this article about art. This article was created and art was added. That is their issue. It should of conveyed better. On another article I saw it has pics of the brain and how porn affects it. Its just how its presented. Pax Christi.
Sorry, but my computer messed up, and this post had no name– therefore, it went under “Anonymous!” So I re-typed this post, below, with my correct name!
I know it was you Linda. Thanks for the rest to know.
Well, darn– but the only “objectionable” material we have, in our family home– is large, beautiful books, of the Vatican and its art treasures– to include the world-famous Sistine Chapel! Plus, other art books, including the statue of the “David,” in Florence, by Michaelangelo! All Church art! What can I say?? It is too hard, to throw out these books! What would the Holy Father say??
Its your own words and conclusions that say it is so. This article is about porn and it was poorly done by including art and magenfying certain things and you just made it about that. Drawing away from the real issue. How do you expect we help educate the public on lustful sins if you keep making it about something else. Its just jibberish. Not meant to offend you but since your always blunt to me, i hope you dont mind me doing the same. Peace. Merry Christmas.
Thank you Catholic Answers for bringing forth awareness on this subject. I hope and pray that more men will speak out against it as well. Holding more men accountable with truth. Our priests are noticing an increase of this issue affecting marraiges and family life. God bless.
Abeca, it is much better, to try to listen to people, and think carefully, first– before jumping to big conclusions, and bullying others, with your unnecessary, hard-headed, over-reacting, knee-jerk posts! It is much better, to be soft and gentle, like a woman, and to listen, like a woman, and show sympathy, understanding, and empathy– like a woman!! Others may have very good intentions! This is the last I will ever write to you, as it has become a big waste of time!!
Im sorry you felt bullied. This is a forum and it can get blunt. Be honest, you are blunt too. Well dont take it personal. Its not personal. Thank you for letting me know how you felt. Merry Christmas!
Some people have no sense of irony.
From article: https://www.covenanteyes.com/2015/05/04/church-we-must-take-this-seriously-going-to-war-against-porn/
“Pornography and the Church Today
Pornography today is not what pornography was 25 years ago. The pervasive use of pornography, even in the church, has paralleled the growth in access to pornography. Up until the World Wide Web, and subsequently the smartphone, what was limited to a few times a year in a hotel room or a corner section of a convenience store is now in our pocket 24/7. Using pornography is no longer a sin we have to guard against just a couple times a year, but every day of our lives”
Devin Rose God bless you for offering support. I pray that you will be successful in reaching out to our Catholic men. God bless you and your program.