some of them were partially nude. The images, however, were not pornographic.
Well if you don’t mind me asking do you know what the website’s purpose was? Was this just a website full of partially nude women or was it a website with a different purpose that had photos of women. What I mean is for example was this a medical site that happened to have partly nude people for educational purposes or was this a site like maxim. Clearly maxim is pornographic regardless of the women only being partially nude because the intent is to induce sexual arousal. Just as it is clear maxim is pornographic it is also clear that a medical site thats sole purpose is education is not meant to be pornographic. Merriam Webster’s definition of pornography is this;“movies, pictures, magazines, etc., that show or describe naked people or sex in a very open and direct way in order to cause sexual excitement”. Now this clearly would put maxim or playboy in these categories but really you could still use a medical site as pornography. In reality pornography is essentially a media of sort that you use for sexual arousal. So there definitely is a wide array of things that could be coined as pornography if used in such a way. I think the biggest thing is intent. Are you intending for this material to arouse yourself? I think this is the question that must be asked. If you were aroused by something but did not want to be aroused and did not want it to happen then really you would not be using that as pornography.
Earlier today, I was on a website that essentially gives you random pages to look at that are supposed to be interesting.
This can be a risky thing to do depending on the situation. I have used stumbleupon before and never had a problem with it giving something like this. I can attribute that to making sure under my “interest” columns on the profile I didn’t mark anything that I knew would be of questionable result. Still it can be risky and I do not use it anymore. Again without knowing what the primary purpose of the page that came up on you was I can’t really give much of an answer as to whether you should really continue using the website.
Some of it might have been suggestive to a small degree, but I did not have any lust as a result of looking at these. I did not have a sexual desire, or fantasy, or anything like that. I just looked at them, and thought the women were very beautiful. Which is what I might have done looking at a medieval painting that portrayed partially nude females, except these were picture images and not paintings.
Again more of a context would be helpful but if you were looking at paintings that had partially nude(or even full nudity such as a painting of adam and eve.) people in them and were not meant to cause arousal and you were not aroused then that is not sinful but it could be a near occasion of sin.
So, clearly I consented to look at these images. But could this be considered sinful, considering the fact that this did not result in any lust?
If you didn’t lust and you had no intent on using the images in a sexually explicit manner that is good however it probably was not the most prudent thing to do to stay on the website and scroll through the images. Near occasions of sin are not necessarily sin if you immediately try your best to get out of the situation and resolve to avoid them in the future. For example if an former alcoholic were to be bought a drink by someone who did not know that the person was formerly an alcoholic it would clearly be a near occasion of sin to drink the drink because one will lead to two and so on. So the alcoholic would have to be prudent and not take the first sip. So it is sinful to refuse to avoid near occasion of sin and thus lead yourself into sin.
All in all this all lies in context and without more I can’t give much more guidance. Also note this is just an off the top of the head remembrance on teachings on moral theology I could not find in a quick search the official Catholic definition of pornography or official guidance though I know the documents are out there. It is my hope someone else can provide those for you as I am short on time right now other wise I will look for and add them later.