Former Archdiocese of Los Angeles official decries city’s pornography industry


A former official of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles has attacked the city’s pornography industry and called for a revival of decency laws. He also called on Cardinal Mahony of Los Angeles to lead the fight against the multi-billion dollar industry.

Dennis Jarrard, former Chairman of the now-defunct Commission on Obscenity and Pornography for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, wrote in an opinion piece that the Californian metropolis was “the world capital of pornography.”  He said area pornographers produced billions of dollars worth of DVDs, videos, magazines, and other items filled with “mental poison.”

Jarrard said that pornography hard-wires into “countless minds” the images of “rapes, perversions, sexual tortures and other sociopathic acts.”  After connecting pornography with sexual assault and venereal disease, he noted that 8 to 10 million American teenagers are major consumers of pornography.

Jarrard decried the mainstreaming of pornography citing “A pornography "star" who wrote an autobiography and found pre-teen girls flocking to her book signings; she was a positive role model, they told her.”  He also cited a Newsweek report that 70 percent more teens from middle- and upper-class homes were now choosing to become prostitutes just to make extra money.

Referring to the case of U.S. Senator Larry Craig, an Idaho Republican who caused a scandal after his arrest for lewd conduct in an airport restroom, Jarrard decried that charging a senator with indecency was easier than obtaining obscenity convictions against pornography producers and distributors. 

The Archbishop of Los Angeles, Jarrard claimed, should be leading the fight against pornography.  Jarrard believed that the present archbishop, Cardinal Roger Mahony, could not be that leader.  “His repeated shielding of clerical sex criminals makes it impossible for him to preach against sexual evils,” Jarrard said.

Jarrard related that Alfonso Cardinal Lopez Trujillo, head of the Vatican's Pontifical Council for the Family, sent him a letter encouraging the Archdiocese of Los Angeles to fight pornography and reinstate Hollywood decency codes.  According to Jarrard, Cardinal Mahony ignored the letter.

Declaring that the action would be good for children and for society, Jarrard said that Cardinal Mahony should step down and let Pope Benedict XVI appoint a replacement.

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