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25 Nov 2015 Middle East - Africa News Comments (1)

LIVE: Pope Francis arrives in Kenya - Watch

Watch a Live coverage of the Pope's arrival in Nairobi (Kenya) at the start of his papal visit to Africa

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24 Dec 2014 Q&A No comments

May a couple who marry in the Church, divorce, and later reconcile resume marital relations?

Full Question A husband and wife are validly married in the Catholic Church, and after several years get a civil divorce, never seek an annulment, live cha…

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09 Nov 2014 Q&A No comments

Is there a difference between a presider and a celebrant?

Full Question I've recently seen places in the missalette where it lists celebrant and presider. Doesn't it mean priest or deacon? What do these really mea…

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23 Sep 2015 News USA No comments

Previewing the Pope at the United Nations: a call to abandon no one

In his much anticipated speech at the United Nations headquarters to be delivered Friday, Pope Francis will likely call on the countries of the world not to aba…

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02 Sep 2016 Uncategorized No comments

Archbishop of Canterbury to join Pope Francis in marking 30 years since Assisi

Religious leaders will participate in a three-day event celebrating the first World Day of Prayer The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, will join Pope Fr…

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21 Oct 2015 News Vatican No comments

Sir James MacMillan to compose work for Fátima anniversary

The celebration in 2017 will be attended by Pope Francis Composer Sir James MacMillan has been commissioned by the Shrine of Fátima to write a work for the s…

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31 May 2016 USA Vatican No comments

Pope appoints pastor as new auxiliary bishop for Philadelphia Archdiocese

Mgr Edward Deliman's appointment was announced by the apostolic nuncio to the United States Pope Francis has named Mgr Edward Deliman, who is a priest of the P…

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17 Dec 2015 News USA No comments

A combined Plea of Intervention for Persecuted Christians

On Tuesday, December 15th, the Canadian Rabbinic Caucus and the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops had a joint meeting and have sent an appeal to Stéphane …

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20 Oct 2015 News Vatican No comments

Why the Synod of Bishops is more than Rock’em Sock’em Robots

When you talk to people taking part in the 2015 Synod of Bishops on the family and ask where things stand, one observation you’ll often hear is that public impr…

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Why is pornography a sin?

Full Question

Why is pornography a sin?


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.


    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.

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