A priest recently cited Matthew 5:28 (“Whosoever looks at a woman…”) and chided me in confession for going to Communion after committing adultery with a woman in my heart.
Ever since my age of puberty, I’ve had a fetish for women’s shoes, and this priest’s admonishments reminded me of my early years when Sears still published a catalog and I had those “impure” feelings when looking at the shoe section, just as other young men may have viewed the intimates pages. Thus, I would go to confession for committing “mortal sin” and be told not to look at the catalog.
The problem with having a fetish (psychological abnormalities aside) is that women wear attractive footwear to the supermarket, in restaurants, on the street and to Mass, so I’m constantly battered by “pornography.” As a member of Sexaholics Anon, I know the tactics, e.g., bouncing the eyes away, etc. I’ve said all that to say this: If I’m in moral sin every time I look at a woman with sensuous footwear, then I will constantly be in a state of moral sin. However, is not the question here the amount of attention I give? This is true of any temptation to sin. And, in fact, I do not lust and commit adultery with a woman (Matt 5:28); I lust after their footwear, so I’m not even sure that this verse applies, although St. Paul also admonishes against the flesh and impurity.
I am not, I hope, trying to justify my sin. I appreciate your insights.