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18 Jan, 2024 15:39

Stop watching porn – Pope

The pontiff’s address came after one of his top cardinals was condemned for writing a sexually explicit book
Stop watching porn – Pope

Sexual pleasure “is a gift from God” which is being “undermined by pornography,” Pope Francis told an audience at the Vatican on Wednesday. The pontiff’s address came after it emerged that his head of doctrine penned a sexually explicit book in the 1990s.

“Winning the battle against lust, against the ‘objectification’ of the other, can be a lifelong endeavor,” Pope Francis declared, before denouncing pornography as a manifestation of “the demon of lust.”

The search for sexual pleasure outside of a loving relationship “can generate forms of addiction” and “turns into a chain that deprives human beings of freedom,” the pontiff continued. He called on Catholics to reject “satisfaction without relationship” and practice “pure love in the giving of oneself to the other.”

Nothing about Pope Francis’ speech broke with the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which states that anyone involved in producing or watching porn commits a “grave offense.”  Pornography “offends against chastity because it perverts the conjugal act, the intimate giving of spouses to each other,” the doctrinal church document explains. 

The pontiff may have chosen to focus his speech on the topic in light of a recent controversy, in which his newly promoted chief of doctrine, Cardinal Victor Manuel Fernandez, was condemned by conservative Catholics for a book he wrote in 1998 on spirituality and sensuality.

Now out of print, the book featured graphic descriptions of the female orgasm that conservatives argue should have been beyond the knowledge of a supposedly celibate priest, as the cardinal was at the time of its publication.  

Fernandez touched on porn in the book, remarking that women could be just as “aroused by hardcore pornography” as men, according to the Catholic News Agency.

The pontiff has broken with Catholic tradition on several occasions in recent years, offering statements of support for LGBTQ activists in 2021 and 2022, and updating Church doctrine in December to allow priests to bless same-sex couples in some circumstances. Cardinal Fernandez wrote the doctrinal text explaining this change.

Despite liberalizing some elements of Catholic doctrine, Pope Francis has continued to rail against pornography, even within the ranks of the clergy.

Erotica is a vice that has affected “so many people, so many lay people, so many lay women and also priests and nuns,” he said in an address to seminarians in 2022. The pontiff called on priests to delete pornographic apps and websites from their phones, warning that “it is something that weakens the soul.”

“The devil enters from there,” he continued. “He weakens the priestly heart.”

Pope Francis’ Instagram page, which is managed by the Holy See’s media team, made headlines in 2020 after ‘liking’ a racy photo of bikini model Natalia Garibotto. The papal office launched an internal investigation into the incident, the Catholic News Agency reported at the time.



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