Stand Of Catholic Church On pornography (Mortal Sin)
Q: It has come to my attention that my 22-‐year-‐old son, who does not live with us, views a lot of Internet pornography. What can I say to him to dissuade him?
A: Biblically, pornography is sinful, and unfit for a Christian. Jesus, for example, forbids a man to look with lust on a woman (Matt 5:28-‐30), which of course is the precise purpose of pornography. Other passages forbid sexual immorality as well (1 Cor 6:9, 18ff; Eph 5:3ff; Col 3:5ff), etc. As these passages make clear, such sins are mortal and un-‐repented of, and exclude one from the Kingdom of Heaven.
Psychologically, pornography is unhealthy because it is unreal. It is rooted in fantasy. The photos and movies are photographically enhanced, the models are often surgically altered, etc.
In a way, pornography is cowardly, and appeals those who cannot, or will not, take the risk to live in the real world and make the commitment to live and interact with a real spouse and all that entails.
In real life sex is not had with a body, it is had with a real person, who may not measure up to the fantasies and exotic wishes of pornography addicts. Real people have limits, preferences, moods, and do not simply disappear when sexual pleasure is had. Thus, pornography turns one inward, instills unrealistic notions, and often destroys interest in normal marital life.
Addiction to Internet pornography is growing dramatically, and many are locked into terrible and descending cycles. It is a grave evil and takes terrible personal and family tolls. Many need significant help to break free. Often, a 12-‐step program under the strict care of a sponsor can help some.
I pray your son will consider the grave spiritual, moral, and psychological ruin that can come from indulging this vice.
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