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Made to see God

April 23, 2012

Jesus Divine Word-2

The Archdiocese of Washington has formed an Anti-pornography task force which is bearing good fruit. I’ve invited Mr. Rick Kramer, Associate Director of Evangelization and Family Life to share the work of the task force.

The Gift of Human Sexuality

We were made to see God!  But since the beginning our eyes have strayed.  Genesis tells us that when Adam and Eve ate of the forbidden fruit they saw that they were naked and sewed figs leaves together to hide themselves.  In his great teaching, commonly called the Theology of the Body, Blessed Pope John Paul II teaches that rather than being an expression of true love, our bodies became objects of sinful desires.  Through time the sinful desire for the human body has taken many shapes.  In our own era of technology it has become pandemic through easy and immediate access to pornography.

Donald Cardinal Wuerl, the Archbishop of Washington, in his pastoral letter Disciples of the Lord: Sharing the Vision tells us that “The attempt to recast human sexuality as casual and entirely recreational has led to an untold weakening of and continued assault on marriage and family…”  This is a powerful obstacle to hearing the Good News, but as faithful Catholics we know that there is more to the story.  God sent his Son, Jesus, to heal our hearts and bodies and restore our sight.  Cardinal Wuerl continues: “But no darkness, no matter how dense, can thwart or shroud the seed of new life waiting to emerge in this fresh moment….”  This fresh moment to hear the Good News about Jesus again is an opportunity to renew our own faith. Truth be told, the use of internet pornography today is no less prevalent among Catholics than anyone else; but like nowhere else, we have the tools required to combat this sin: faithful science and God’s grace.

Purpose of the Task Force

In December 2011 the Archdiocese of Washington implemented a task force comprised of experts in parish ministry and clinical psychology in the attempt to formally address the assault of pornography on our families and children.  The purpose of this task-force is to listen to the needs and concerns of priests and laity and to set annual goals for parishes and schools to teach and equip families and individuals with the tools to protect themselves from the harm of pornography.

There are three areas the task force is focusing on: 1) Increasing awareness so that the effects and prevalence of porn and its harmful effects are truly known; 2) Education, through which parents and educators can gain assistance with creating safe environments at school and home for children and families to thrive; and 3) Healing by offering resources to clergy, schools, parish leaders for distributing to help heal wounded hearts and raise up the fallen so that forgiveness may be found and marriages healed.

Please see our website for resources for individuals and for families You may also contact me in the Office for Evangelization and Family Life at 301-853-4546.

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  1. Nathaniel Hurd says:

    Friendship-based accountability is a key part of helping someone end an addiction to pornography.

    Years ago, a Catholic friend was struggling with pornography. He told me that he would look at it to relieve stress and to relax.

    He asked me to be his accountability partner.

    My friend downloaded software from Covenant Eyes onto his computer. Every week, I received a report on his Internet activity, including flags for potentially problematic websites. I checked every url in the report, whether or not Covenant Eyes had red flagged it.

    I gave him feedback after every report, starting with praise whenever there was improvement, asking questions for sites I was unsure about (sometimes the software picked up things in the background that he had not actually sought), holding him accountable whenever he had done something deliberately, and praying for him.

    It was sometimes like wading into a sewer in shorts.

    Double-checking all the urls sometimes led to images that were pornographic or at least problematic. By checking the url, I was also contributing to the view count for the website. But, it was necessary in order to ensure fraternal accountability. (He had asked me to be his accountability partner because others had been lax in checking the reports and holding him accountable)

    Eventually, he stopped seeking pornography and is now married, free of the slavery of pornography. Accountability, helping him be a man instead of acting like an animal, was essential for ending his pornography addiction.