Pornography & Priest Abuse

The U.S. Bishops published a document warning about pornography, especially these days with the Internet.  It’s interesting to contrast their statements today with the priest abuse of the past how many years.  The italics is the pornography statement.

The Church has always had the duty of “scrutinizing the signs of the times” and “interpreting them in the light of the Gospel.”
“If I knew then what I know now,” was the bishop’s statement for how many years.  Priest abuse of children was considered a “moral failing” and not a criminal offense.

Pornography, though not new, is a particularly dark “sign” of the modern world, one that harms countless men, women, children, marriages, and families. Today it can be considered a structure of sin.
Catholic Church structures were in place by not being in place.  It was assumed that men and women be consoled or transferred again and again with letters of vague language while never admitting an abuse of any kind.

It is so pervasive in sectors of our society that it is difficult to avoid, challenging to remove, and has negative effects that go beyond any one person’s actions.
How many bishops throughout the world thought that the priest abuse was isolated while cases of victims grew and grew.  “Pervasive” is an understatement for the Church’s blind eye.

At the same time, as with any sin, pornography’s prevalence in our society is rooted in the personal sins of individuals who make, disseminate, and view it, and by doing so further perpetuate it as a structure of sin.
“Structure of sin” is what caught my attention with this pornography document.  Pornography’s “structure” was (or is) the “structure” built into the Catholic Church hiding of hundreds and hundreds of priest abusers.
What color is this kettle?  I think the hierarchy should cleanse itself before trying to cleanse technology.

In the following paragraphs, we as pastors and shepherds evaluate its presence in our society. In imitation of Jesus, the Divine Physician, we examine the sickness of pornography in order to offer a fitting cure: the plentiful mercy and love of God given in the sacraments and in the Church’s accompaniment of those who strive steadfastly toward purity.
No comment necessary except perhaps the U.S. Bishops should wait fifty years before ever again talking about sexuality.

About Rev. Joe Jagodensky, SDS.

A Roman Catholic priest since 1980 and a member of the Society of the Divine Savior (Salvatorians). Six books on the Catholic church and U.S. culture are available on
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1 Response to Pornography & Priest Abuse

  1. Dave Cooley says:

    Good comments, Joe. I experienced the 1960s Jesuit “paranoid theology of the body,” when what is a universal part of growing up was considered to be grievously sinful.


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