Catholic Bishops: Pornography harms families and communities

By Michael W. Chapman

(CNSNews) – The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) recently sent a letter to Attorney General William Barr urging him „to confront the ongoing harms wrought by the pornography industry and to protect its victims” through vigorous enforcement of obscenity laws and investigation of porn producers.

The bishops stressed in their Apr. 30 letter that „pornography harms families and communities,” and „when viewed by the young, it provides a terrible model and expectation of how persons should treat each other, potentially leading to coercion or violence.”

The bishops said that the coronavirus pandemic has reminded communities and nations that we are all in this together, and „cannot go on thinking of ourselves, but only together can we do this.”

However, „pornography is the antithesis of this,” said the bishops. „Rather than remembering and loving our fellow humans as brothers and sisters, it objectifies them – often directly exploiting them – and diminishes the health of users’ relationships with others.”

„In fact, legislative chambers in at least 15 states have declared pornography a public health crisis in its own right,” they wrote. 

The Department of Justice (DOJ) needs to act now, according to the bishops, because first „there are direct victims: the persons used in the productions. Many have their consent (even if technically legal) compromised by desperate circumstances while, for others, consent is completely absent.”

„The department rightly pursues human traffickers; however, virtually unchecked proliferation of pornography fuels the demand that frequently results in commercial sexual exploitation,” said the bishops.  Unprecedented, unlimited, and anonymous access to pornography via modern technology has led users to seek more and more extreme videos.”