While Pope Francis seems to be trying to drag the Roman Catholic Church at least somewhat out the dark ages and end the Church's obsession with all things sexual, the U.S. Catholic Bishops are having none of it. At their fall plenary session, they made it clear that pornography are larger concerns than climate change, wealth disparities or the need to assist the poor and less fortunate. These bitter old men are truly psychologically disturbed and are obviously unfit to give moral guidance to anyone. A piece in Religion Dispatches looks at the continuing bizarre obsession of the same group that has fought tooth and claw to avoid just compensation to victims of predatory priest. Here are highlights:
In another sign of just how far the agendas of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and Pope Francis have diverged, it’s worth noting that at their recently concluded fall plenary, the bishops signaled strongly about what’s on their radar when the only formal pastoral statement they issued was about what they consider a pressing pastoral crisis—pornography.These warped and bitter old men are unbelievable. And people wonder why the younger generations are walking away from religion.
The bishops couldn’t be bothered to add either the environment or the plight of distressed peoples—whether they be refugees and immigrants or the poor—to their list of key priorities, despite the fact that they are a clear priority for Francis . . . . there was virtually no mention of growing economic inequality or the corrosive effects of unfettered capitalism. But pornography got a 22-page official pastoral statement.
Chief among the sins that pornography can lead to, according to the bishops, is masturbation, in a warning that appears to come from a 1950s anti-masturbation PSA:
And in case that isn’t enough to scare you off porn, other potential consequences include “adultery, domestic violence, the abuse of children in child pornography, and sex trafficking,” as well as abortion and contraception, since pornography “promotes and even celebrates promiscuity and a view of sexuality devoid of love or openness to new life.”While popular culture largely sees it as acceptable, masturbation is always gravely contrary to chastity and the dignity of one’s body. Like other sins against chastity, it seeks sexual pleasure outside of the mutual self-giving and fruitful intimacy of spouses in marriage, in this case, even outside of any relationship at all. In addition, engaging in masturbation has powerful neurological effects that can make it into a highly addictive behavior.
It’s a little rich for an institution that’s still struggling to come to terms with sexual predators in its midst to warn about child pornography, which is obviously a heinous crime completely apart from the adult viewing of consensually made pornography.