Does participating in a 12 step program go against any Catholic teaching?

I have regularly participated in a 12 step programs since January of 2008 to address my compulsion to look at pornography on the internet. I have made much progress in not acting on lust and the 12 step program has enhanced and strengthened my Catholic faith.

What is the position of the Catholic church on 12 step programs? Does it go against any dogma of the Catholic church? It is ok if I participate in this 12 step fellowship in the eyes of the church?

Members in many 12 step programs define their own higher power. For some, this means the group is the higher power. For others, their sponsor is their higher power. My higher power is Jesus Christ and the holy Catholic church.

Thanks for taking my question.


Catholics were involved in the creation of the twelve step program. Here is a the website for the “12 Step Review,” a ministry by Dominican Father, Emmerich Vogt, O.P.

Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit