Pornography, a Death Trap, Part VI of Six...
This is the last part of Bishop Robert Finn’s interview with Zenit news agency. He is the Bishop of Kansas City, Missouri.
Q: You tell married couples to teach chastity to their children with their own example. You speak of how pornography can affect a marriage. Could you elaborate on that?
Bishop Finn: Some of this is addressed above.
If a spouse is discovered to be using pornography this will inevitably cause great distress. It should, because we realize—intuitively—how degrading it is to use substitute human persons this way.
The damaging effects of this exposure to pornography have been chronicled also: see the section from the pastoral letter, within Chapter 2, entitled "Effects of Pornography."
Using this type of stimulation seems to foster a preference for using images for our gratification. Clearly, it is easier to turn to this medium than to work on a human relationship. The use of pornography is an exercise of sexual infidelity, with all that goes along with that. It can lead to sexual acting out, often in private ways—e.g. masturbation, increased time searching for more explicit materials.
We become more self-centered, less other-centered. It takes time away from the responsibilities we have for our work and family. Use of pornography robs us of supernatural grace. The deepening of grace, vital to the growth of married love, is impeded. We don't get the grace needed to sustain Christian marriage.
As a person develops a vice of using images in place of committed relationships, our whole understanding of the proper way of relating to others is distorted.
It serves the perpetrators of pornography to do all they can to keep it legal and to protect it. It is a multibillion dollar industry. It, however, is destructive to the personhood of everyone who uses it because it devalues people. It is dangerous to society as well. It is a significant factor in the terrible sexual abuse of women and children.
I would like to underscore Bishop Finn’s teaching on Confession and pornography. The regular and frequent use of the Sacrament of Penance is the means to overcome the trap and the effects of pornography. Prayer is the other essential means, particularly to Our Lady, the Virgin Most Pure. She helps us to make good Confessions in order to receive her Son worthily. Today, Corpus Christi, is the day we contemplate this gift of Christ’s Body and Blood. She also helps to understand the unending Love of her Son’s Sacred Heart whose feast we will celebrate this Friday. His Love overcomes all evil, including that of pornography.