In 1988, Bishop John J. Nevins in the Diocese of Venice in Florida established a diocesan committee on anti-pornography. In his Pastoral Letter "Alive with Excitement and Generosity" directed to the young people of the diocese he notes, "Pornography promotes an increase in premarital and extramarital sexual encounters. It encourages the user to view the image of other persons as mere tools of sexual pleasure, rather than as individuals who are loved by God and endowed with personal dignity. Pornography is degrading to the human person who is made in the image of the living God. It promotes and falsely justifies sexual violence."
I have to admit, pornography is a major problem in our culture and possibly in most industrialized nations. Cable TV and Satellite promote it through many channels they offer. Then there is the Internet probably the most dangerous because it is anonymous and free. A priest told me not long ago about Internet pornography, "many good men are falling because of it." This is terrible for parents and marriage. They may try to regulate the computer at their home if they even are "Internet savvy" (Check the "history" button on your computer browser. If it is erased, something is up!) but what happens when children or teenagers go over their friends house? Certainly in this day and age parents have to discuss Catholic sexuality with their children before the culture does! And what about the impact of fidelity of marital spouses?
But its not just pornography. It seems that most television shows, movies, films, music, etc. bombard us with sex. And it certainly is not sexuality as God sees it. Sex is promoted as the greatest way to "entertain" ourselves. Forget commitment or children. In this way of thinking, your partner our yourself is only to be used as an "object" of pleasure.
Now none of this is a revelation to those reading this column. As Bishop Nevins points out in his pastoral letter, "Any American who knows history can testify that the great Roman Empire was not conquered by an outside enemy, but died from within due to immorality." If we do not change course, the United States will follow the Roman Empire. I am always amazed at how our culture is "scandalized" by sexual promiscuity when it happens to people and yet promotes it through the media!
What is the remedy to this? Certainly God placed high esteem on sexuality. He even made it a sacrament. However, our culture seems to only focus on the "flesh." (cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraph 990. "The term flesh refers to man in his state of weakness and mortality.") Now when only trying to satisfy the "flesh," sexuality is the highest pleasure. There is no desire for Gods Will, children, mutual respect of spouses, or a future Resurrection. This has become our culture slogan, "Eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow you die." This is an atheistic view of life. God has no part in it.
Now I know you can quote me studies that say a high percentage of Americans believe in God. Fine. However, God seems to have no say in our daily moral lives. It is mainly the Catholic Church that proclaims God has requirements. However, the Church has only a small voice in this country. As I have had to tell more than one person, "Heaven (and the Church Christs spouse) is not a democracy." The U.S. is not greater than the Catholic Church. Catholics of this nation need to stand up for their Faith. This is certainly not a Catholic culture.
So getting back to the question, what is the remedy for warped sexuality? Simple - The Catholic Church. Read Gods plan for us through the eyes of the Church. What can we do for the world and our families? Fast, pray, make sacrifices in union with Jesus. Communist Russia fell without a shot. Never before has this happened in the history of the world. Why did it happen now? Because God can do great things for those who have Faith! So dont despair. Work as a family to conquer this culture for Christ!
Brother John Raymond, co-founder of The Community of The Monks of Adoration, received his M.A. in theology from Holy Apostles Seminary.