July 18 - July 31, 2005

FR. Roy Cimagala

The scourge of pornography

A RECENT report from a Vatican study caught my attention when it said that in Italy alone some 70 percent of the boys at ages 15-18 access printed or online pornographic material. I wonder how it is in the Philippines.

With these dirty materials now readily available in the Internet, what with all those pop-ups that just appear on screen anytime, I wonder how many of our young, not to mention, the old ones also, are corrupted by pornography.

This phenomenon is not really a surprise, since we know that the kids are the frequent users of television and the Internet, and thus most vulnerable to the threat of pornography.

There is definitely a need to more effectively supervise and regulate the use of these means of communication, since they can easily turn into instruments of corruption to the young and to people in general.

There is a need to form people in general to be responsible citizens able to exercise self-control and mature judgment. This will take a lot of effort, but there is no other way but to undertake such program of education.

As one Church official said, a true pedagogy has to be found involving the family, the school and society in general, where professionals working in the field of communication become responsible, and proper ethical codes established.

This may sound quixotic, but I’m afraid there is no other way to effectively combat this deadly threat to society.

The bad effects of pornography cannot be questioned anymore. It weakens the moral fiber of people. It stunts spiritual life. It perverts the person. It leads people into a world of illusions, of false images and values.

Pornography distorts human relations, since it is based on the exploitation of persons. It creates anti-social attitudes, erases the moral sense and obstructs the development of mature relationships among the people.

It is based on selfishness and egoism and leads to an obsessive state of dependency.

Those who try to soften the evil of pornography by saying it’s just part of growing up, should be reminded of the moral aspect, and not just look at the matter from a purely human or biological point of view.

Pornography makes the kids lose their innocence and innate sense of goodness as it introduces them to a world of dark obsessions with their usual complicated network of deception and hypocrisy.

I would even say that a good part of the reason why so many people find it hard to pray, offer sacrifices, and do other spiritual things is the scourge of pornography.

Pornography has become so commonplace that even those living in relative simplicity in the barrios can already have easy access to it. This is a very unfortunate development we are witnessing these days.

Why do many young people refuse to grow in maturity, to take on responsibilities, etc., as are becoming obvious in many places, can be due to the influence of pornography in their lives.

This is what is happening these days. I get the impression that because of this corruption due to pornography, many people now exhibit a know-it-all attitude, or have become skeptical or even cynical in life.

This makes them more prone to other complications in life. Obviously, not only the personal lives are affected, but also the family, professional, and even the social and political lives of people are badly affected.

We have to be reminded of our duty to fight pornography wherever it is found.

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