"There are great advantages to the advances in social media. This is the dark side of all of that," he said.
He warned that pornography "captures younger and younger people" and is "destroying marriages and families at a very rapid rate."
He praised his diocese's anti-pornography addiction initiative Reclaiming Sexual Health, noting that there are many new resources and ministries on the topic.
Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City said that his diocese's Catholic Charities affiliate reports that over 50 percent of family counseling clients had pornography use as a problem that impaired their marriages and family life. He suggested that awareness of this issue should be raised at Sunday Mass, if it can be done through lay witness.
Bishop David Foley, retired head of the Diocese of Birmingham, Ala., praised the Sacrament of Reconciliation for combating pornography.
"I have found the power of the Sacrament of Penance in overcoming pornography is tremendous," he said.
"It's true confessors are hearing of this sin more often, but they are working with their penitents. The regular practice of confession is an answer, a strong answer, to this problem."
Archbishop George Niederauer called attention to the Cincinnati-based Religious Alliance against Pornography, a 30-year-old organization co-founded by Cardinals Joseph Bernardin and John O'Connor.
In addition, Bishop James Conley of Lincoln, Neb., recommended the Covenant Eyes anti-pornography filtering and accountability computer program.
"I think it is the best out there," he said.
Salt Lake City Bishop John Wester noted that the bishops' Committee on Communications has been working on anti-pornography legislation. Bishop Curtis Guillory of Beaumont, Texas, said his diocese recently held a workshop on the issue for priests. Many of his priests said that they previously lacked information on pornography.
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Another speaker, Bishop Jaime Soto of Sacramento, asked that the statement highlight social aspects of pornography, including exploitation of women and children in the U.S. and abroad.
Bishop Malone said that possible statement topics include chastity and sexuality; basic information about pornography, its use and its effects on users and users' families; the negative effects of pornography on society; an "authentic vision" of the human person; and "the mercy, grace of conversion and freedom Christ offers through his Church, especially through the sacraments and prayer."
He said the statement could also recommend "proven practical resources" for pornography users, their loved ones, and clergy.
Now that the proposal for the statement has been approved, it must be drafted by bishops working in committee and then presented to the bishops at a future meeting.