Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Pornography, a Death Trap, Part IV of Six...

Bishop Robert Finn’s interview with Zenit news agency is continued here. He is the Bishop of Kansas City, Missouri.

Q: You mention that the sacrament of reconciliation is a great tool in overcoming pornography use or addiction. What are you doing to bring both your pastors and your faithful back to the confessionals?

Bishop Finn: An important pastoral priority has to be the renewal of the "lost sacrament": confession. We priests must use it frequently along with daily examination of conscience if we are to grow in the spiritual life. There is no way to be holy men without confession. If we begin to do this more, then we will know how to preach about it—and about sin—and we will be more determined to make time to hear confessions.

We will figure out when people will come and we will be more generous in being available. We are short of priests to hear all the confessions that should be heard, but without this sacrament, a large percentage of our parishioners are probably not even living in sanctifying grace. Consider the widespread use of pornography, of contraception, and the falloff in attending Sunday Mass. These are serious/mortal sins. If people are also not using the sacrament of confession, then the "good works" they are trying to do have no supernatural or meritorious content.

A few parishes that have many confessional times available, and the priests are dependably there when people come, still have long lines. We must make this a reality in all our parishes.

Q: Your diocesan Web site already has a section entitled "anti-pornography effort." Can you explain what your diocese is doing in the fight against what you called an "epidemic attacking human dignity"?

Bishop Finn: We began almost two years ago to collaborate with our neighboring diocese—the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas and some Protestant denominations—for instance, the National Coalition for the Protection of Children and Families—to set strategies and provide resources to help people get loose of this evil.

Our diocese has two support groups associated with our Catholic Family Counseling Services and Catholic Charities to help men—at this time we do not yet have a similar group for women. We have provided some materials to priests and deacons and asked them to preach on this. We have sponsored "men's conferences," and had some speakers address mixed groups. We have published some contacts indicating resources—computer screening devices, accountability groups, etc.—that might help people looking for help.

To be continued next week

Fr. Stanley