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Bishop Issues Letter on the ‘Epidemic Plague’ of Porn, Calls on Men to Recommit to Purity

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By Hilary White

“I call on every man in the Diocese of Arlington to search his heart and renew his commitment to purity. I call on every husband and father to renew his sacred commitment to his wife and children.”

– Arlington Bishop Paul Loverde

ARLINGTON, VA, (LifeSiteNews.com) – The growth of pornography use, particularly on the internet, is “a matter of utmost urgency for every son and father today,” Bishop Paul Loverde of the Catholic diocese of Arlington, Virginia said in a letter to his flock released this week.

Titled “Bought with a Price: Every Man’s Duty to Protect Himself and His Family from a Pornographic Culture,” the 77-page letter was first issued in 2006, but in his introduction, Bishop Loverde emphasizes that the porn industry has grown exponentially in the last eight years.

Since 2006, Loverde said, “the porn epidemic engulfing our families, marriages and communities, has reached a pandemic scale.”

Pornography, Loverde wrote, “has been excused as an outlet for free expression, supported as a business venture, and condoned as just another form of entertainment.” But “it is not widely recognized as a threat to life and happiness. It is not often treated as a destructive addiction” that “changes the way men and women treat one another in sometimes dramatic but often subtle ways.”

“I call on every man in the Diocese of Arlington to search his heart and renew his commitment to purity. I call on every husband and father to renew his sacred commitment to his wife and children,” Loverde wrote.

Loverde quoted the Catechism of the Catholic Church on pornography, calling it “an offense against the dignity of persons,” that is “objectively evil, and must be condemned.”

“Rather than being the expression of a married couple’s intimate union of life and love, sex is reduced to a demeaning source of entertainment and even profit for others. Pornography violates chastity also because it introduces impure thoughts into the viewer’s mind and often leads to unchaste acts, such as masturbation or adultery.”

Answering the objection that pornography is a “harmless” vice, Loverde writes that to the contrary, the porn industry “preys on the most vulnerable: the poor, the abused and marginalized, and even children” with promises of easy money. “This exploitation of the weak is gravely sinful.”

“Those who produce and distribute pornography leave a wide path of broken and devalued men and women in their wake.”

The letter includes a “plan of life” to help those already involved in pornography use to break free, and a study guide for groups. Among the recommendations is to create a more accountable Catholic community, by finding “at least one or two faithful Catholic friends in your life who can hold you accountable for living your faith in the context of authentic friendship.”

“To a degree that my father could never have imagined,” Loverde wrote, “today’s father must protect himself and his children from the relentless assault of an increasingly pornographic culture; moreover, mothers share this sacred task.

“Every home now stands in the pathway of this attack on our children’s innocence and purity. If we are not vigilant, our sons and daughters will pay a steep and heartrending price.”

Read more: LifeSiteNews

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