What a sad state of affairs. This unelected regulating body that should protect Canadians from the sin of pornography is the very institution that is making sure this evil will reach and morally destroy the lives of more people. It's the same CRTC that will not grant a licence to any Christian channel to broadcast the Gospel 24 hours, seven days a week, but they have readily said yes a porn station. It's totally absurd. Pornography has already spread throughout the country like a deadly plague of immorality. It’s on the Internet, in the movies, the magazines, the music videos and television. Pornography poisons the dignity of humanity and the quality of social life.
All over the city streets of Toronto there are countless adult movie outlets. The Now magazine that is distributed for free can be found in our local public libraries; it’s filled with adult classifieds and pornographic images. We also have the Naked News that airs from Toronto and it shows nude female newscasters reading the news. Does this not remind you of two biblical cities known and destroyed by God for their impertinent sin?
Recently, Archbishop Raymond Roussin of Vancouver and Bishop Fred Henry of Calgary spearheaded a campaign to stop the phone company Telus from giving its customers a free service enabling them to download pornographic images and videos from their cell phones. With many customer complaints and the leadership of the bishops the company agreed to stop the service.
Here are some additional frightening statistics:
- Worldwide revenue from pornography is estimated at $57 billion a year
- There were 4.2 million pornographic websites in 2004
- Seventy-eight percent of 18 to 24-year old man visit pornographic websites on an average month. Sixty-eight percent of men in their 20s and 30s admit to being regular users of pornography
- One-third of all visitors to adult websites are women. One out of every six women is struggling with addiction to pornography
- Half of all hotel visitors order pornographic movies
- Forty-seven percent of Christians surveyed say that pornography is a major problem in their homes
- Ninety-eight percent of 8 to 16-year olds have watched online pornography, in most cases while doing school homework
Where does all this sobering information come from? It’s from a pastoral letter to the faithful by Bishop Robert W. Finn in the Diocese of Kansas-City. It’s titled, "Blessed are the Pure In Heart": A Pastoral Letter on the Dignity of the Human Person and the Dangers of Pornography." Pornography, fornication, prostitution and lust are all offenses against chastity. Here’s what the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches on this:
"Pornography consists in removing real or simulated sexual acts from the intimacy of the partners, in order to display them deliberately to third parties. It offends against chastity because it perverts the conjugal act, the intimate giving of spouses to each other. It does grave injury to the dignity of its participants (actors, vendors, the public), since each one becomes an object of base pleasure and illicit profit for others. It immerses all who are involved in the illusion of a fantasy world. It is a grave offense. Civil authorities should prevent the production and distribution of pornographic materials." (2354)
As responsible citizens and Christians we ought ask ourselves: why have we so easily permitted this degrading material to destroy the moral dignity of so many people and families? Have people become mere commodities to be bought and sold for a price? Pornography offends God because it thwarts His love and plan for humanity. God has given us the gift of life for a higher calling. We are all created by God to live a virtuous life. Blessed John Paul II explains this so well in Love and Responsibility and the Theology of the Body.
The Church in her wisdom clearly identifies this evil and the devastating harm it causes to the person and the soul. She reminds those in charge that they have the ethical obligation to stop the production and the consumption of pornographic products and activities. We all have this moral responsibility. There’s so much to pray for and to be done in Canada.
- The Truth and Meaning of human Sexuality, Pontifical Council for the Family, 1995
- Pornography and Violence in the Communications Media: A Pastoral Response
- Married Life and the Gift of Life, USCCB, 2006
- Breaking Free: 12 Steps to Sexual Purityfor Men, Family Life Centre Publications
- www.pornnomore.com is a Catholic site that includes information, prayers, witness talks and other useful resources.