Barriers to Vocation - Porn/Masturbation addiction


#1

catholicculture.org/culture/library/view.cfm?recnum=6182

The above article describes that a certain congregation would not consider any candidate whom have had an addiction. Of course, the majority of men have had a “brush” with the addiction, but even those with a former addiction would be precluded from candidacy.

Certainly, a lot of other sources did not discourage those with a shameful past to join the seminary, but this depends on the individual congregation.

So what if someone applies to the seminary if they have overcame their addiction for about 2 years already? Are candidates screened on this matter prior to postulancy or just before novitiate?


#2

The term Hypocrisy fits perfectly in in this context I think.
How can a congregation dismiss a person called to serve God as a priest only due to a struggle he has had earlier with masturbation?

Matthew 7:3-5
3 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye./QUOTE]

I find this bible passage quite fitting to those in the congregations who obviously see themselves as better humans than these priests.
Also, wouldn’t it bee more of a strength than a weakness to have suffered from it themselves when giving advice to others in the confessional?
I think so…


#3

That was an excellent article, thanks for posting. As I read this I could understand why this would concern young men who were considering entering the seminary in hopes of becoming a priest. During their younger years they engaged in addictive behaviors which they had hopefully left behind as they matured. HeadingBackHome has shared an interesting point of view and I think I agree that it can almost seem hypocritical. However, if I was a victim of priest abuse I would appreciate the lengths the Church is now going through to prevent future abuse. The research seems to present a case for a long term problem for those who have had an addiction even though they might have stopped for a long period. Then coupled with a lifestyle which seems to be associated with pornography abuse, a young man with a prior problem may return to the addiction. This is a very difficult issue with no simple answers.


#4

I think it should be on a case-by-case basis. That’s also what the novitiate is for. “Keep your focus,” and “Take it to the confessional” would be appropriate.

We are not tempted beyond our strength.

Does the Christian know how to ‘fight?’ We’re tempted according to state-in-life, and “Old Scratch” can make a compelling case sometimes.

And nothing beats the Rosary for combat – other than the Mass and the LOTH.

Blessings,
Cloisters


#5

As a man who is discerning whether I have a sacerdotal vocation (and I have a sincere intense hope that I do), if there were even a shadow of doubt that my entering the priesthood could potentially endanger a child I would not hesitate to sacrifice my hopes to protect the lambs and sheep of any flock I would have been called to tend.


#6

I would tend to agree with the Bishop. If you look at addictions of all kinds, you’ll see there is a likelihood of relapse. It may only be brief, but it is a relapse nonetheless. This applies to alcohol, drugs and any other addiction. I believe there is probably another calling for these men. Possibly leading a community support group.


#7

I would tend to disagree. There are plenty of examples of Saints leaving behind old vices (addictions) and walking on the straight and narrow. I think it’s crazy to deny someone because of a sin they have overcome, to do so would be to say that the Holy Spirit cannot really effect change in us. In my own experience it is very possible for God to change you. Sometimes I speak to old friends and they can hardly believe that I am the same man. I believe in the transformative power of Christ!


#8

#9

Pornography is HIGHLY addictive and, even when you don’t view it, it sticks in your mind. Your are presented with all sorts of temptations to go back and view it. Many studies have been done about its effects. That being said, I think it shouldn’t ban an applicant altogether. If the candidate hasn’t viewed it in about 2 years, that would be a problem but if they didn’t view it in the last 10 years, it shows strength and maturity. It should be on a case-by-case basis rather than a black-and-white scenario.


#10

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