Sunday, February 16, 2014

Louisiana Catholic Bishop on Sports Illustrated and Our Porn Problem

I am a general fan of Southern Baptist Russell Moore whose columns have engaged me on various spiritual , political , and social levels. One column that still sticks in my minds was What’s at Stake with Internet Pornography . He said in part :

There’s a situation in counseling I come across all too often: a couple will typically tell me first about how stressful their lives are. Maybe he’s lost his job. Perhaps she’s working two. Maybe their children are rowdy or the house is chaotic. But usually, if we talk long enough about their fracturing marriage, there is a sense that something else is afoot. The couple will tell me about how their sex life is near extinction. The man, she’ll tell me, is an emotional wraith, dead to intimacy with his wife. The woman will be frustrated, with what seems to him to be a wild mixture of rage and humiliation. They just don’t know what’s wrong, but they know a Christian marriage isn’t supposed to feel like this.

 It’s at this point that I interrupt the discussion, look at the man, and ask, “So how long has the porn been going on?” The couple will look at each other, and then look at me, with a kind of fearful incredulity that communicates the question, “How do you know?” For a few minutes, they seek to reorient themselves to this exposure, wondering, I suppose, if I’m an Old Testament prophet or a New Age psychic. But I’m not either. One doesn’t have to be to sense the spirit of this age. In our time, pornography is the destroying angel of (especially male) Eros, and it’s time the Church faced the horror of this truth.

Which brings us to an occasion where I can talk about my  little Diocese in the Sticks that is led by a very competent Shepherd. See Louisiana Catholic Bishop Compares Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition to Child Abuse, Sex Trade

I guess some reaction will be oh there goes Catholic Bishops obsessed about sex again what about the poor the unemployed etc. For those that say that they don't know Bishop Duca very well who in his tenure has brought Catholic Charities to the Diocese and has done a good bit to upgrade our immigration related services..

Bishop Duca uses this as an lead in to the problem of porn addiction.

Porn is a problem no one wants to talk about though study after study shows its a serious problem. This is seen everywhere among Christians.  It is rare I see a column from LGBT Christian activist on the problem of gay porn. It is rare I see the cool Christian progressives talk about it. It is rare that I see the " conservative " Orthodox Christians talk about it.  Why is that ? Because I expect a good many Christians that want to serve God are dealing with this addiction and often fall and fail in trying to overcome it.

It is a tricky problem. It is very vogue to throw out the word hypocrite and Pharisee in today's world.  Thus people that are dealing with a serious sin / addiction like Porn but have a mission to comment on other matters just keep the subject off the table. It is a very lonely place when dealing with this problem.

Which leads me to this to rather mind blowing column by a Catholic group that wonder if the Bishops are wasting their time on an upcoming Pastoral on Porn and the Family. The fact that the poster for this group is writing for a group that proclaims itself  to " amplify the voices of a younger generation and provide insight and analysis on the issues that matter to this generation " is even more troubling. 

The fact is for most Catholic men ( and women ) the only counseling they get on their porn addiction is 5 minutes in the confessional. Porn addiction  like AA groups are rare in Catholic Dioceses which lead Catholisc to have to find some program in an Evangelical Church that in the big scheme of things are even rare there. I am sort of Debbie Downer on American Bishop Pastorals since it seems few people read them and just pull them out when they want to cherry pick a point. However if this pastoral can lead some Bishops to get programs in their Diocese to really deal with this problem well God love them.

We need to quit being in denial. People are hurting and lives are being affected. So while people can debate what role SI has in all this I hope people get Bishop Duca's bigger point.


Anonymous said...

Porn is the Elephant in the Room and no one wants to deal with it.

Rick67 said...

Good post. Thanks.

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