Pornography, rephrased - looking at pictures for a "positive" reason


I must have written something confusing in my other thread. I will put it more simple. Maybe the other thread should be deleted because it seems that it can be misunderstood.

Put simpler:

I accidentally came across something that looked like porn on Facebook (reading the comment of somebody’s friend and, for a completely other reason, visiting that person’s facebook site).
I wanted to see whether the offensive-seeming (at first glance, without looking too closely, for my own soul’s safety) pictures were public (of course they were, I now relaize, otherwise I could not have seen them). So I clicked at the upper right corner of the picture and was presented with the option to state that i didn’t like this picture or that I felt it should not be on facebook. Of course it should not be on Facebook, so I chose that option. The next question Facebook asked me was: why? One option was “this is pornography”. Which I felt it was. But in order to actually STATE it was (and maybe cause the perosn to get reported), I had to be sure. So I had to look at the pictures more closely in order to be able to choose that option.
Which I then did, realizing they are indeed porn. :frowning:

So I chose that option, that it is pronography. Since, instead of having it reported, I was then also presented with the option to write a message to the person, I chose that option. I wrote them and asked them politely to remove the pictures, also stating that I would feel obliged to report them if they didn’t. Indeed the person then agreed to remove the pictures… at least those ones I had seen (still wondering if they will remove the ones further down as well). Also I had a bit of a “chat” with the person, about faith etc, telling him/her that I would pray for them. It wa snot all that abd of a conversation.

So the effect was positive, at least hopefully so.
Actually I feel I did something good.

The question remains, did I sin by looking at the pornography, if I looked at it with the purpose of making sure it WAS pron before reporting respectively writing the person about it?
Or is this covered by double effect, hopefully? because I really felt I HAD TO, it would have been morally wrong not to say anything.

Hope now it is clearer.



As with all threads like this, talk to your confessor about it.

My own opinion, is you are being scrupulous.

Does a police officer entering a strip club to do s drug bust commit sin?’
Does the humanitarian, rescuing s sex slave from a brothel commit sin?
Does one commit sin if they see a Victoria secret poster in the mall?

Of course not…intent is everything.


Wow, what a dilemma. Having to see the squicky :eek: - but I think what you were trying to do was investigating just enough to avoid making a false accusation - and if that’s the case and you looked as little as possible, that’s not a sin. We’re often confronted by these unexpected things in the immoral climate in which we live, and we have to make quick decisions how to handle them. Maybe another time (let’s hope there isn’t another time! It adds weight to the argument that porn is not harmless - you were victimized in a sense by having to look at the nasty smut when you didn’t want to. I’m glad to hear your friend was at least willing to acknowledge that it was offensive and be willing to remove it.

Now you just need a dose of brain bleach and to relax and do something positive to help put it all behind you. :slight_smile:


that is how it was!

It still FELT kind of wrong, you know. becuase it was… yeah, yuck.
But… well, I don’t know, of course I could have asked FIRST, or tried to look it up in the catechism or whatever… I do not remember, I probably didn’t think that far.

IAnd I do think this is the type of question that moral theology forum can be for. As it is not a personal spiritual question, but a quite clear-cut moral one… that a serious catholic might wonder about, not just a scrupulous person.

I was afraid there might be some kind of rule that pornograhy is SOOO bad, that there is no excuse for looking at it.
But then, I also know about double effect and I also feel that there MUST be a difference between looking at porn in order to sin and looking at it in order to… well, maybe cause a higher good.
Exactly as the Facebook Police (does that really exist?) :wink: would also have to look at the picture sin order to ban the person???

Anyway. Hm. You know, i actually feel I did a good thing; I even got into a quite spiritual conversation with the person afterward (looks like it is a woman/girl; this much I feel I can say without risking giving away her identity) :wink: and she is NOT on my friends’ list (not is the person whose friend she is) so there is no privacy problem here I would say.
And anyway I hope the pictures are removed by now. Not sure if I should check :rolleyes:.



Well I checked with a priest now.
I am at peace about this.
And now a new start again!!


Glad you were able to see a priest and have some peace - remember that a victim of rape or molestation or a “flasher” will feel guilty and “tainted” by the experience, even though what happened was not her (or in some cases his) fault. In a way, it’s like you were visually assaulted by that sleaze. That’s how Satan works - those he can’t corrupt outright into sinning, he torments. Be at peace. I think there might be a St. Maria Goretti group on CAF Social Groups - in fact, I think I joined it - need to check if it’s still there. We can pray against pornography. Then we rob Satan of that victory, as in "Take that, Satan, your efforts got me to pray about this and St. Michael and his angels will be after you!" :knight1::knight2:


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