I had an exchange with a long-time reader of this blog. He provided me with an article that presented the debate on pornography as conducted within a conference on the subject in Catholic circles. Then he shared with me his own personal life experience as contradicting all the hesitations and caveats expressed in that conference.
The article that sparked his reactions appeared in the Arlington Catholic Herald, under the title: “Boot Camp Tackles Porn, Relationshipŝ.” I read there: ““We love the body. It’s the temple for the Holy Spirit. The body is beautiful, and sex is beautiful when it’s an expression of authentic love,” said Arlington Bishop Paul S. Loverde Feb. 12 at the Mid-Atlantic Congress in Baltimore.
The bishop was responding to the secular criticism that Catholics are ashamed of or disgusted by the human body, specifically sexuality and sexual activity.”
I think the bit that really must have got under my reader’s skin was: “According to Frank Moncher of Arlington Catholic Charities, pornography harms the viewer because of the interplay of bodily, interpersonal, volitional and cognitive factors. It can cause stress, negatively impact family and peer relationships, and form obsessive and distorted thoughts, among other problems. An addict will make “sexual material a priority and an organizing principal,” preferring to consume pornography over spending time with loved ones. Moncher cited the bishop’s examples of the costs porn has on courtship, family life, business and industry, and society as a whole.”
My reader shared the following testimony from his own life-experience and I find his approach very balanced. “I sent the attachment to my last e-mail because of my attraction to pornography. I’ve collected pornography since I was 14 and I disagree with what the article implied that it is harmful, can have a detrimental effect on a family relationship, etc. As I’ve told you I have been married for over 50 years, have four grown children all college educated, all in successful careers. In my mind pornography has not had an ill effect on my family life any more than masturbation has and I began masturbating at 12. I don’t know if you can use the article but I wanted you to know the push being made and how I feel about it.”
Well, I want to thank him so much for sharing that.