Priest said pornography is ok for married couples

I am in RCIA and had my first confession today. I am not a huge expert on the teachings of marriage and sexuality but this really bothered me when he told me this. He said it is sinful to view pornography alone but it is alright to watch with your spouse for excitement provided that it ends in having intercourse.

Can someone tell me if this statement is correct? I have always been taught that pornography is immoral and sinful and for a married couple to watch pornography together is like inviting other people into your marriage bed. I would think this would fall under looking at another woman in lust who is not your wife. Also I can’t imagine that it would be a good thing to support or give money to any type of pornographic industry to help it thrive. Isn’t that in some roundabout way condoning men and women to sell their bodies?

The Catechism was really vague on the topic all I could find was this section which seems to back up what I have been taught.

2354 " Pornography consists in removing real or simulated sexual acts from the intimacy of the partners, in order to display them deliberately to third parties. It offends against chastity because it perverts the conjugal act, the intimate giving of spouses to each other. It does grave injury to the dignity of its participants (actors, vendors, the public), since each one becomes an object of base pleasure and illicit profit for others. It immerses all who are involved in the illusion of a fantasy world. It is a grave offense. Civil authorities should prevent the production and distribution of pornographic materials."

Can anyone shed some light on the subject and let me know if I am wrong? This is a priest that I highly respect and was completely floored when he said that.

No, it is absolutely FALSE.

You are correct. The priest is incorrect. Hopefully you simply misunderstood him, otherwise this is a very serious matter.

Perhaps he meant that spouses could possess suggestive pictures of each other? I’m at a loss as to what he could possibly have meant that would be morally permissible, let alone a wise idea. :shrug:

The way this is worded this is not true. OTOH, IF the answer was limited to a video of the couple themselves having sex, and used for stimulation between that couple, finishing in the normal manner, that is not necessarily sinful.

You’ll find that various theologians will disagree on this point. I personally don’t see an issue, solely because, unlike pornography, there can be no adultery if the couple is watching themselves.

Sacramental confession is a powerful tool to assist us in growing in personal holiness.

Based on your account of what you were told you were given false information by a priest confessor. Telling a person something gravely sinful is not a sin is not only false, but it is a dangerous. If you believe something is safe that is spiritually destructive you could lose your soul.

All priests can give absolution. If this priest told you watching pornography is not sinful he would not absolve you, because there is no need for it. If I were you I would seek another confessor. If we get bad or unorthodox spiritual council on a matter the chances are this will not be the only matter where the councilor is not in sync with Church teaching.

All priests can absolve, but some are excellent confessors who can help penitents get victory over their weaknesses. Try to find a confessor who will be able to truly help you.

I have to ask if this was heard correctly, and if you did, let me just say this:

I can pretty much promise you that a man, particularly a religious one who has never seen such explicit material, will begin to desire more than his wife if they both keep looking at this.

Also, women are not magically immune from the effects, either.

Other users have stated the Catholic morality on this, but I would add that the priest could be mistaking a Church teaching that you can do whatever in bed with each other (if you are validly married in the Catholic Church, of course) as long as the man ejaculates in the woman.

Normally, we aren’t allowed to countermand this kind of advice, but this is pretty blatant.

This is not something that I did personally, he was giving me an example of an appropriate time to use pornography. I have also been told that ALL sins are absolved once leaving confession unless someone purposely did not confess something. I am not sure if that is correct either but that is what we were taught.

I think you’ve hit on the two key key reasons why pornography is wrong, even for married couples to get excited before regular relations.

You should trust your own judgement on this matter. Your conscience is always the final arbiter of sin and I defy anyone to find fault in your reasoning above.

Frankly, priests - even very good ones - sometimes get things wrong.

This is actually true (with qualification following). Even moreso, it is only mortal sins that we are required to state. So you can hold back certain venial sins if you wish, although it’s good to confess venial sins. Sometimes time prevents a lenghty list of course.

So you confess any mortal sins you recall, and your absolution is valid. If you forget any mortal sins, then you are still forgiven, but you need to mention them next time.

There is no requirement at all for confession of venial sins, although it is good. All venial sins are fogiven in a valid confession, and in fact all are forgiven through attending mass alone, so at least once a week we all start with a clean slate (assuming we attend mass and participate properly, etc). As Catholics, we have to obligation to confess any mortal sins at least once a year, but hypothetically if one does not commit mortal sin, one does not need to go to confession at all (but should because it’s a great sacrament).

That is the sickest statement I have ever heard. I don’t know where you got it, but run like the devil because only the devil could have inspired a comment like that.


Clearly this priest is not a Catholic.
Go to your Bishop and report this incident.
I’m sick of this global undercurrent of heresy within the church every where you look.

Go and find a Traditional Latin Mass with a priest who is a proper shepherd and understands the Faith as we have known it for centuries, and is not afraid to tell you the Truth.

What does this have to do with the Latin mass?

I find it very hard to believe attending a Latin mass will help the OP understand the faith better. Unless the OP speaks Latin…but I understand that it’s a language not often spoked these days.

Any good Catholic theologian/priest will tell you that pornography is fundamentally disordered to human sexuality. Even if it is “for married couples”, porn is fundamentally oriented towards self gratification. Human sexuality is for co-mutual satisfaction between a man and woman joined in matrimony, and must always be open to the gift of life. Taking satisfaction in your spouse is no sin, as long as your ultimate satisfaction is for your spouse while giving thanks to God and being open to the potential for life.
Viewing porn to achieve arousal is in essence using the person/people in that porn as an object. This denies their humanity, equivocating them to an ends to the mean, and thus treating them as persons unworthy of dignity.
All people are made in the image and likeness of God. If this is really what your priest said, you need to go to the Diocese and report this egregious affront to Catholic teaching

I’ve heard similar stuff, I had a priest tell me that Masturbation is OK if it gets too much to struggle with, though it’s still a sin, but to try to maintain as much Celibacy as possible, but this priest is young, so I dunno, maybe things are different amongst these new generation priests. Since becoming pre-Catholic(still in RCIA), it’s new to us, we have to practice at it, we won’t get it perfect the first couple of times.

I have not found a priest who preaches heresy where the TLM --which is canonised–is the accepted form of the Mass.
I don’t want to engage in an argument about the Latin Mass if your only concern is that the TLM requires a shift in our hearts and minds, requiring spiritual effort on the part of the individual soul.

I listened to this Lighthouse Catholic CD, that said when people naturally have sex nobody is watching, so it would be unnatural to watch others doing it. That’s how we know it’s wrong.

I forget which CD it was, one of these two:

Porn Detox (though, I believe it was this one)

The Pornography Plague and the Path to Christian Purity

Might want to give that priest one of these CD’s.

You really need to talk to him. There is not an appropriate time to look at lewd pictures, but especially not pictures of someone not your spouse! Alluring pictures of your spouse, maybe, but how wise it is to have those in existence if only your spouse may morally look at them is a real question. If he tells you he means real porn containing lewd acts performed by total strangers, that’s not a priest I’d trust with the care of my soul.

Is your concern that someone may have a sin absolved that they did not actually confess or that there are some sins that will not be absolved by your average confessor?

The other concern people have is that they believe that absolution is the same as removing all the temporal results of sin. Those are not the same thing. The old analogy used is that absolution accomplishes reconciliation with the person you offended by breaking their window, while the temporal result remains–the window is still in pieces.

Well, no, my concern is that someone converting to the faith should hear the mass in their own language so they can understand clearly what is happening and what prayers they are offering.

The Latin mass is fine for those who clearly understand the mass well already. If people connect well in that form, that’s great. I don’t. I like mass in English. Latin was hard enough to study in high school and I’m pleased to have left it behind me.

I firmly believe that people should learn the mass in their own language before progressing to the Latin mass, which I think requires a strong understanding of the mass already before one can meaningfully participate.

Sorry to hijack the thread here.

That’s pretty bad man…

Maybe take this to your diocese it seems like this preist maybe not intentionally could lead a lot of people astray.

Maybe I’m wrong sugesting this but that’s pretty serious.

Porn leads to lust after another person who is not your spouse, thought or disres to have other partnes or invite others into the bedroom.
It demoralizes sex and marriage it takes away from any resposibilty.

I hate porn.

Just about every man has watched or looked at pornographic material or at some point had issues with it.

If you take all the make up away and air brushing there average women.

Porn just makes me angry and sad.

My friend where he works women constantly talk about sex and hit on him.
He’s a married man and very devoted to his wife.
He told me some of these women would have sex with 3 guys or have some friends over.
He was repulsed.

Its just aweful when you think about it because some people will do that in their own marriage or behind their spouses back.
It can eat you alive thinking about that or how the other person will feel when they find out.

So porn is evil and it promotes evil.

I know this is often put forward as the Catholic standard, but there is something so wrong about it on so many levels. Pope John Paul II said in Love and Responsibility "remember that you may not treat that person as only the means to an end, as an instrument, but you must allow for the fact that he or she, too, has, or at least should have, distinct personal ends” (p.28). This idea that the ultimate end is depositing in the vagina makes a woman seem like a semen recepticle for the man to avoid sin.

Everything that is shared should be ultimately ordered to the communion of the shared orgasm. That should be the standard. The ultimate goal to be aiming for. There seems to be too much emphasis on maximising each persons experience individually.

Honestly, I think we are selling out Catholic sex by aiming for a lesser goal.

The Priest that you spoke to OP, is confused by the the wishy washiness that’s gripping our concept of sex in these modern days. There are even hoards of non religious people who recognise the damage of pornography to the value of human beings and their dignity. That’s how obvious it is.

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