Recent statistics show that the amount of money spent annually in the U.S. pornography industry is greater than all of the money spent on Major League baseball for a year combined. Worldwide, the industry brings in over $57 billion dollars.
Startlingly, this makes pornography one of the largest and post powerful industries in the world--a fact that the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas has decided to fight head on.
“I think we’re naïve”, said Kansas City Archbishop Joseph Naumann, “if we don’t think that all of us are vulnerable to . . . [what] the culture is communicating, and very powerfully communicating, through modern instruments of communication.”
For this reason, the Archdiocese has launched “As for me and my house”, a unique, anti-pornography program which will be implemented on a pilot bases in a number of parishes throughout the area.
According to the archdiocese, the program, whose name is taken from the book of Joshua, seeks to help faithful fight against the influences of pornography and call Catholics to greater fidelity and respect for human sexuality.
According to a recent story in The Leaven, the archdiocese’ newspaper, the idea was born after the archbishop’s office was approached by an interfaith group who were developing a similar program.
Archbishop Naumann said that the materials the ecumenical group were using “were good, but from a Catholic viewpoint they were incomplete.”
“They didn’t use the resources available to us through the sacramental life, nor did they take the rich teaching we have from Pope John Paul II’s theology of the body, which helps us understand, in a very integrated way, our sexuality.”
The Archdiocese opted to work in conjunction with the interfaith group--The National Coalition for the Protection of Children and Families--but to develop its own, fully Catholic anti-pornography program.
“We asked key members of our archdiocesan staff”, the Archbishop told The Leaven, “to develop a program that will help parishes achieve this goal . . . calling us to a deeper conversion to Christ and to the principles of the Gospel in this very important area of our lives — human sexuality.”
In its final version, organizers say the program will include support and counseling for those struggling with pornography addiction, a website with wide-ranging resources, and a course offered in John Paul II’s Theology of the Body catechesis.
Added Archbishop Naumann: “I think this is really an opportunity for our people to hear a representation of the church’s teaching — its meaning, why we believe what we believe, and the beauty of human sexuality.”