On September 22, Faith Connections’ Theology on Tap hosted Dr. Moira McQueen from the Canadian Catholic Bioethics Institute and Denis Costello from Catholic Family Services of Toronto as they jointly explored the Church’s teaching on pornography.
Dr. McQueen started off by first reminding us that our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit within us (1 Corinthians 6:19). Our beautiful Catholic faith teaches us that sexuality is a wonderful gift from God and is ordered to the conjugal love between a husband and wife. Dr. McQueen explained that pornography is dehumanizing and degrading, objectifying both the viewer and the viewed. Simply put, porn is the opposite of love.
Denis built upon this discussion by drawing from his own experience in working with people who struggle with pornography. He described the suffering caused by porn. The constant struggle to hide this addiction from spouses, families, and friends can lead to feelings of shame, guilt, and spiritual brokenness. Denis explained how difficult it is to just simply delete the graphic images from memory after being exposed to them. To emphasize this point, he repeated the phrase, “Whatever is present to me, shapes my becoming” several times throughout his talk.
As Dr. McQueen mentioned during the presentation - chastity requires self-mastery. Porn is not just a “male” issue. It is everyone’s issue. We don’t need more finger-pointing at the men and women who struggle with this sin. We need to stand together as a community and encourage each other, brothers and sisters in Christ, to pursue chastity. “We are not the sum of our weaknesses and failures; we are the sum of the Father’s love for us and our real capacity to become the image of his Son” (Saint Pope John Paul II).
- Judith Kwok
Editor's note: Judith noted a resource she is aware of that may be helpful in struggles with pornography: www.covenanteyes.com
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