by Sam Meier
Many people remember watching a video about pornography that was shown during Mass several years ago, and we are blessed by Archbishop Naumann’s leadership and courage to confront one of the darkest evils of our time.
We are also blessed to have brave priests, staff, and volunteers at our par- ishes and schools who continue to help people live with sexual integrity. Recently, we redesigned a Web site called www.LoveIsFaithful.com, which has a variety of practical resources to protect families and heal marriages from pornography. There are effective tips to guard children from pornography, a sign up for e-mail updates, locations of theology of the body groups, testimonies, support groups, and counseling resources. The new Web site has been up for one month, and has already drawn visitors from 29 states and 12 countries.
As a counselor who works with men and couples, I meet many good people who have been affected by pornography. Almost all of the people I talk to started their pornography use around the ages of 9-13. Internet pornography use is growing quickly, and a 2008 survey at a Catholic high school indicated that 48 percent of the senior boys and 29 percent of the freshmen boys were using pornography one or more times each week. Our children desperately need the support and guidance of their parents. Many families and teens are being strengthened by Catholic Web sites, DVDs, CDs, and books that provide information on a positive and encouraging vision of love and human sexuality, especially with re- sources on the theology of the body.
On another encouraging note, Jason Evert and Pam Stenzel are speaking to thousands of people at a sexual purity conference in Kansas City on Jan. 28 and 29, 2011. Evert and Stenzel are two of the most popular Catholic speakers on love, chastity, and human sexuality. Junior high, high school, and college students can attend the conference, and advance registration is recommended due to limited seating. Parents are encouraged to join their teens during this conference. There are also other speakers and breakout sessions that will be very inspiring for couples and adults.
Finally, we are grateful to a number of donors who have helped raise billboards on I-35 and I-70 with a positive message about respecting women and confronting pornography. The board also contains the Web site name in large letters; you can view the pictures of the billboards on our Web site. We are raising support for additional billboards to protect more families from pornography, while inviting people to the hope and healing of Jesus Christ. We are open to your thoughts and feedback, and deeply grateful for your prayers.
Let’s light up the darkness of pornography with the hope and mercy of Jesus!