Venom of pornography slowly kills family life

By Steve Wood
The venom of internet pornography is slowly killing the spiritual life of millions of Christian fathers. At every Catholic men’s conference I have spoken at over the past four years, I have encountered men addicted to Internet pornography. Men from every region of North America, who attend Mass every Sunday, are silently addicted to porn.
Scores of wives have contacted the Family Life Center alarmed about their husband’s addiction to pornography. These wives are fearful about pornography’s corrosive effects upon their husbands, their marriages, and their children.
A March 2000 national survey conducted by Zogby and Focus on the Family found that one in four American men seek sexual fulfillment online. Nearly one in five Christians gave the same response. Yes, internet pornography has spread to men in the church, yet many men have told me they have never heard a single word about pornography in their parish, or in their diocese.
Pornography is spreading to kids. Almost a third (31 percent) of children age 10 to 17 from households with computers say they have seen a pornographic website. The Attorney General Commissions on Pornography found that 12 to 17-year-old boys are among the highest consumer group of pornography – the sons are following in their father’s footsteps. Millions of Christian men in their 30s and 40s started a secret pornography addiction after they found their dad’s Playboy and other pornographic magazines hidden under a mattress when they were 9, 10, and 11-year-old boys. Technologically savvy kids today can easily find computer records of their dad’s visits to pornographic websites.
Addiction to internet pornography is not going to disappear on its own. Internet pornography, already a billion dollar a year business, is growing at an increasing rate. During January 2000, there was a 40 percent increase in pornographic sites visited compared with just four months earlier. Broadband will bring the internet to television. One pornography provider predicted that broadband technology will “give the viewer the opportunity to cull through 100,000 adult videos.”
Internet pornography is a crisis among men in the church. I urge the leadership of every Catholic men’s group to educate themselves about the problem of internet pornography and how to assist men in both preventing and overcoming a pornography addiction.
Finally, two action steps are needed:
• First, thousands of special accountability groups need to be established to help Catholic men overcome pornography addiction.
• Second, a like number of support groups for the wives of men struggling with pornography need to be organized.
In the words of Dr. Jerry Kirk, pornography is “anti-children, anti-women, anti-marriage, anti-family, anti-church and anti-God.” I add that pornography is profoundly anti-fatherhood. Nothing less than the future of Christian fatherhood is at stake in this battle for purity. It is time for Catholics to take action.
– St. Joseph, pray for us to be pure fathers.
(Reprinted with permission from dads.org.)

How pornography hurts a marriage
These are some of the devastating effects of Internet pornography upon marriage, the family and the individual:
• It destroys the trust and intimacy within the husband-wife relationship and often leads to the end of the marriage itself.
• It creates obstacles to real communication and personal interaction with one’s spouse and with others.
• It stimulates within the porn addict a distorted view of sexuality that can lead to the desire for riskier, perverse and even criminal sexual behaviors.
• It draws focus away from one’s family life and relationship with God and sets a destructive example for one’s children.

Marriage Encounter strengthens marriages
Want to improve the relationship with your spouse?
For more information about Marriage Encounter or to register, call Alex or Mary Ann Krauska at (316) 721-1650, or visit www.wwme.org.
Marriage Encounter (en español)
Encuentro Matrimonial en el Spiritual Life Center. Para mas información o para registarse, llamar a Victor o Paz Bañuelos al (316) 708-7289 o (316) 946-9730.

Three books to help wives whose husbands suffer from internet impurity
Here are three books to help women whose husbands have a problem with pornography. They are available at www.familylifecenter.net.
• “Dealing with your husband’s secret life”
• “Shattered Vows: Hope and Healing for Women Who Have Been Sexually Betrayed” (A valuable book for every woman struggling with sexual betrayal.)
• “I Surrender All: Rebuilding a Marriage Broken by Pornography” (A book that candidly describes the horrendous damage to a marriage that comes from pornography.)
For additional information go to familylifecenter.net.