Why is pornography a sin? - Catholic News Service

Why is pornography a sin?

Full Question

Why is pornography a sin?

Answer

The virtue to which we are called with regard to sexual relationships is called chastity. Through integrity and self control, the chaste person observes the true meaning and intimacy of sexual relations. Pornography is gravely offensive to this. The Catechism of the Catholic Church explains, “[pornography] perverts the conjugal act, the intimate giving of spouses to each other. It does grave injury to the dignity of its participants (actors, vendors, the public), since each one becomes an object of base pleasure and illicit profit for others. It immerses all who are involved in the illusion of a fantasy world” (CCC 2354).

Christopher West, in his book Good News About Sex and Marriagesays this:

[Pornography] does nothing but foster in a man his fallen inclination to treat women as things for his own sexual gratification. A man who uses pornography, so long as he remains in its clutches, has incapacitated himself to love women properly . . . he cannot hope to have a healthy, pure relationship with a woman. He cannot hope to enter marriage honestly, fruitfully, and faithfully. Men who use pornography have emasculated themselves. (84)

It is important to rely on God’s grace to escape the clutches of pornography so that one can love as God intended.













11 comments

    1. Simon Reply

      Genesis 38, 8-10 says, “Then Judah said to O’nan, “Go into your brother’s wife, and perform the duty of a brother-in-law to her, and raise up offspring for your brother.” But O’nan knew that the offspring would not be his; so when he went in to his brother’s wife he spilled the semen on the ground, lest he should give offspring to his brother. And what he did was displeasing in the sight of the Lord, and he slew him also.”

      In Catholic moral theology, the sin of “Onanism” covers contraceptive intercourse (including but not restricted to interrupted intercourse) as well as masturbation (CCC 2352, 2370).

      1. Michael Reply

        That wasn’t masturbation, it was removing his member before ejaculation to avoid conception. The catachism does address the former, calling it “gravely disordered” but acknowledging various circumstances such as “force of acquired habit” that reduce culpability.

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  2. Denny Reply

    Masturbation denies both the unitive (love-giving) and procreative (life-giving) aspects of the marital act. Instead of being a true expression of love, which is a mutual and total self-giving to another, masturbation deliberately turns one toward oneself.

  3. andrew gruberski Reply

    What does a man do , who doesn’t have a relationship with anyone , and who doesn’t look at pornography ? Is he not even allowed to have ANY KIND of sexual thought in his head ? Masturbation helps me . God knows I am a man with a penis and testicles and a sexual urge . Is God so unforgiving , that He wouldn’t afford some precious leeway in my life ? Does God condemn me – even though I try so hard to walk in His statutes ….as much as I pray everyday and seek His forgiveness ? Is God really so cruel so as to not understand me and afford me His love ? I love Jesus – does He NOT love me ? Amen .

  4. Chizy Reply

    Dear Andrew, your tone of voice suggests that your mind is made up on what you feel is right and God should have to understand with you. We certainly cannot know more than God. Some of His commandments seem like deprivation and punishment to us because the devil won’t let us see the real truth. All we have to do is to Trust and Obey as there’s no other way to be happy. Only then can the truth be revealed to our hearts. The issue of sex is deeper than the ordinary eye can see. We need to constantly pray for the spirit of God to help us understand. But please always remember this, Anything God asks of us is for our own good. Everything God says or does is Good. Rebuke any spirit that makes you argue with the words of God. Ask for His grace, it’s enough for us. Love from Chizy

  5. Natalie Reply

    Yes, we all have sexual desires, we are human! But I must say, that viewing pornography is wrong. The industry brings in billions of dollars from the exploitation of human beings, sometimes from human trafficking. Viewing or purchasing pornography does not make it right just because “everyone does it.” There are a great deal of things that “everyone does” that are not morally sound. I am not here to judge anyone, because I know that I am not perfect, Jesus came to call sinners. God loves us and wants us to come to Him for help. If anyone is dealing with the temptation to turn to pornography, ask God for guidance, He will help you! If God was unforgiving, He would not have sent His only Son to suffer and die for us. He loves us and wants to help us.

  6. Aaron D'Costa Reply

    Why is everything about fear. Fear the wrath, fear the change, fear the consequences.

    1. Chris Weyer Reply

      We are to realize with a certain humility that we deserve punishment for our transgressions and therefore should fear doing anything that could bring such punishment upon us. But it is ultimately about love, not fear, for love has power over fear. Fear, at first, may help us to avoid sin, but it is only love that can ultimately convert our hearts back to righteousness. It is for this love that we should want to avoid offending God and bringing suffering upon Him. See the Act of Contrition to reflect on this further.

  7. Charles Reply

    I would like to say the sin on On an in Genesis is coming one of the biblical grounds held by most churches to argue against contraception until around 1930s when the church of England started the change by accepting contraception. However the sin which can also be analysed from the same view as masturbation and pornography needs to be analysed from the issue of sex as allowed or created by God. Sexual intercourse was created in the confines of proper marriage for procreation. The primary purpose of marriage being procreation and raising offspring according to the will of God. The secondary being combating concupiscence by supporting each other. Having said that I want to add that any sexual activity must happen:
    a) In a proper marriage as ordained by God and explained by Paul in 1cor 6 and 7 that is is honourable in all and bed undefiled.
    b) It must happen with the intention or openness to procreation.
    Now if these two are not met, any form of sexual activity can not be holy as it does not qualify to cover the conditions under which love making was created and the end for which it was created.
    Morally we can explain other ways to look at the various illicit acts.

    By indulging in pornography u are arousing yourself or having thoughts or wishes to sleep with the person who is not your married spouse. You are therefore harbouring or arousing thoughts and looking at someone lustfully who is not your spouse because that is the intended end result of watching pornography and this does not qualify for the two basis stated above.
    You can explain any moral ills from the above two.

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