Patrick Trueman
November 19, 2015

Will the U.S. Catholic Bishops’ Statement on Pornography be Effective?

Faith communities are taking a stand against pornography. November 17, 2015 the U.S. Catholic bishops passed the statement “Create in Me a Clean Heart: A Pastoral Response to Pornography” with overwhelming support (98% approval: 230 yes, 4 no, 1 abstention).

The National Center on Sexual Exploitation commends the bishops‘ stand against pornography as exploitive and harmful material.

The bishops‘ statement is critical, because we are facing a public health crisis of pornography, which affects nearly every family in America. This comprehensive, forceful, pastoral statement on the harms of pornography will have a monumental effect on the Church and on all of American society.

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The National Center on Sexual Exploitation hopes that the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops goes a step further and develops a specific plan of action for every Catholic Church that will include at least the following five steps:

1) A comprehensive training program for all priests and religious personnel, including teachers and youth group leaders, outlining the harms of pornography, strategies to combat the pandemic, and recovery programs to help those affected.

2) The availability in all churches and parish libraries of updated educational materials on the harms of pornography, strategies to avoid harm, and recommendations on blocking and accountability software.

3) An updated comprehensive list of experienced counselors, psychologists, and psychiatrists who treat pornography addiction made available to every parishioner.

4) Age-appropriate anti-pornography lesson plans for inclusion in Catholic school curricula.

5) Inclusion of training on the harms of pornography to marriages and families in all pre-cana programs and marriage retreats.

National Center on Sexual Exploitation

Founded in 1962, National Center on Sexual Exploitation is the leading national organization opposing pornography by highlighting the links to sex trafficking, violence against women, child abuse, addiction and more. The organization changed its name from Morality In Media to the National Center on Sexual Exploitation early in 2015 to better describe the organization’s scope and mission, which is to expose the seamless connection between all forms of sexual exploitation.

Further Reading