Pornography has become more prevalent than ever. Over-sexualization in entertainment has become the new norm, and devices such as smartphones and tablet computers have given us too-easy, constant availability of and accessibility to harmful materials.
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops recently issued a formal statement entitled “Create in Me a Clean Heart: A Pastoral Response to Pornography.” In the publication, the bishops not only reminded us all of the sinfulness of accessing and using pornography, they also rightly noted, “The use of pornography by anyone in the home deprives the home of its role as a safe haven and has negative effects throughout a family’s life and across generations.” Sin is not the only consequence: marriages fall apart, spouses lost trust and perspective regarding their own love for each other, and young people have their understanding of sexuality warped. Children are especially at risk! The average age of a young person's first exposure to pornography is 11 years old!
On the Second Sunday of Lent this year, March 7/8, all of the Parishes of the Diocese of Baton Rouge, including Ascension of our Lord and St. Francis of Assisi, will begin implementing an anti-pornography campaign entitled “Safe Haven Sunday.” This will help to raise awareness of the dangers of pornography and provide families with tangible resources for making homes a “safe haven,” especially for the young.
- A small booklet will be available after all the masses this weekend entitled EQUIPPED. This booklet is meant to be a guide to help parents keep their children safe from the dangers of pornography that are found on the internet and smart phones.
- A website for parents, ministry leaders, men, women and educators: https://cleanheart.online/diocese-baton-rouge-0. This site provides excellent resources for the groups listed above. For example, Click the “Educators” tab and see the Digital Citizenship. This links to Protect Young Eyes site showing a list of various digital devices and how to set up controls, filters, etc. Very practical.
- For more information, you are urged to view this diocesan video, which gives more information about this effort: http://youtu.be/TRQh09Sfjow. This is a video created by the Diocese of Baton Rouge for Safe Haven Sunday 2020 that addresses the dangers of pornography in the home and family.