Bishop Leonard Paul Blair of Toledo, Ohio, USA on Pornography


… Pornography creates the “illusion of a fantasy world” (CCC, no. 2354) in which young males are conditioned to value women based on the airbrushed images they see in porn.

Pornography is also destructive of marriage. Spouses who habituate themselves to the “perfect” bodies of porn and its perverse acts and become accustomed to “satisfaction on demand,” may, as Mr. Houck says “lose the ability to relate on a personal and intimate level with the real person of his or her spouse.”

Finally, there is the harsh reality of addiction. Statistics and the testimony of experts in the field of sexual addiction suggest pornography is the foremost addiction in the world today due to its pervasiveness and its growing level of acceptance. And because of its availability, explicitness and secrecy, online pornography is the most addictive of all.

Perhaps the most urgent conclusion to be drawn from all this is the need parents have to protect their children from pornography, especially on the Internet. In the words of Pope Benedict: “Children deserve to grow up with a healthy understanding of sexuality and its proper place in human relationships. They should be spared the degrading manifestations and the crude manipulation of sexuality so prevalent today. They have a right to be educated in authentic moral values rooted in the dignity of the human person.” (April 16, 2008)

I would like to conclude with a summary of some helpful advice Mr. Houck offers to individuals who use pornography. These steps encompass both behavioral and spiritual remedies:

Decide to get well, and stop viewing all forms of pornography.

Remove all sources of temptation.

Make whatever changes are necessary in your lifestyle to avoid occasions of sin.

Become familiar with how addictions develop.

Find a support group or network of solid individuals who can help you.

Go to confession and receive the Eucharist frequently.

Develop a daily prayer life.

Seek education and formation in the virtues.

Practice patience and perseverance.

Replace the images and behaviors of the past with acts of love.

May we all be vigilant in working and praying to combat pornography and to help its victims.

+Most Reverend Leonard P. Blair
  Bishop of Toledo


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