Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of February 26, 2007
Pastoral letter decries cellphone pornography
A Shepherd Speaks
By BISHOP FRED HENRY
"We are dedicated to becoming Canada's premier corporate citizen."
For some men, the regular use of pornography normalizes aggression towards women in sexual and other interpersonal encounters, and increases the tolerance for such aggression against women in the larger culture.
Sadly, the greatest impact may be on the young, especially males 12 through 17 years of age, because pornography portrays sexual activity outside of marriage as acceptable without the dire consequences of AIDS or other venereal diseases, and without the responsibility towards conceiving a human life.
These assertions are supported by criminal evidence. A proven direct correlation exists between crimes of rape, child abuse and the physical abuse of a spouse, and the proliferation of pornographic materials and the presence of live porn and sexually oriented businesses in a community.
Pornography is not simply linked to a "one time, one action" phenomenon, but may become like a spiritual cancer that corrupts the person. Dr. Victor Cline (1996) posited four progressive effects of pornography:
Additionally from a moral point of view, there are three reasons why pornography is wrong and sinful behaviour for individuals.
First, pornography offends the dignity of the participants (actors, vendors, the public). Each one is exploited himself or exploits others in some way for personal pleasure or gain. In all cases, the dignity of the human being - whether the person posing, the person producing, the person distributing, or the person enjoying - is debased.
Second, those who engage in pornography immerse themselves in a fantasy world, withdrawing from reality.
While genuine love always involves a self-giving of oneself for the good of others, pornography entices a person to withdraw into a selfish world of perverted fantasy which may later be acted out to the detriment of oneself and others.
"Each of us must respect the sanctity of our own human sexuality."
- Bishop Fred Henry
This problem has increased dramatically, since the Internet offers "virtual reality" sexual interaction.
Third, pornography offends against the virtue of chastity and constitutes an assault on marriage. Each of us must respect the sanctity of our own human sexuality, which involves the integration of his physical and spiritual being.
Furthermore, conjugal love which reflects the union of husband and wife, and the enactment of their vows is sacred. The conjugal act ought to express that faithful, permanent, exclusive, self-giving, and life-giving love between husband and wife.
Economic values that are important today must include the enhancement of people, not their exploitation and debasement.
I would encourage all parishioners, not only Telus subscribers, to express their disappointment to Telus for making this socially irresponsible business decision and to work for the cessation of cellphone pornography.
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