.- Cardinal William Keeler of Baltimore has asked Catholics to join him during Pornography Awareness Week in praying that the nation will experience “a resurgence of purity and renewed commitment to chaste relationships and true love.”
Pornography Awareness Week will run from Oct. 29 to Nov. 5. Thousands of people are expected to express their concern about easy access to pornography and the negative impact it has on marriages, families, children, and individuals by wearing white ribbons.
The ribbons, the cardinal said, are in protest against “the increase of obscenity” in American culture and in favor of a renewal of chastity.
“The idea that pornography does not cause serious problems is a myth,” the cardinal said in his short message to parishes.
Pornography portrays women and children as cheap sexual objects and undermines the wellbeing of individuals, families, and communities, the cardinal indicated.
Furthermore, he said, studies have shown that the largest group of viewers of Internet porn is young people between ages 12 and 17, and that most parents are unaware that this issue is affecting their children. Studies have also indicated that pornography consumption can lead to sexually aggressive actions toward others, especially women.
Pornography can become an addiction and those who face this problem are in great need of spiritual and psychological help, he said. They can also access 12-step programs and other support groups.
He suggested that parishes may be of help to some people in becoming aware of their addiction and seeking help.
The cardinal also provided a list of resources for parishes, suggested prayers of the faithful and homiletic talking points. The information provided to parishes also laments an increase in human trafficking.