Wednesday, December 21, 2011

FW: Michael Voris to Speak at AOTM January 10, 2012


After a month off, the AOTM welcomes back Michael Voris on January 10, 2012 to kick off the New Year.
 
In all ages the faith is a battle and ours is no different.  What makes these days particularly difficult is the confusion and disorientation so often present in those very places from which clarity and order should come.  Even those who strive to be faithful Catholics can sincerely wonder whose example to follow.  During particular troubled times in the history of the Church, the Italians are known to remark that "Peter is sleeping."  Amidst scandals and dereliction of leadership, who could be faulted for asking the same question today?
 
It was said, at another troubled time in the soul Christendom, that "the men at arms will give battle and God will grant them victory."  This requires, however, that men are willing to pick up their arms and fight.  Our age is in need of Catholic action as much as any, but too few men are willing to take up the standard and proclaim the truth and put it into action.  On January 10, 2012 we will tackle this weighty topic.
 
Please visit our web site for more information.  We will continue to update it with additional information as we near the event.
 
http://aotmclub.com/Home
 
Have a blessed Christmas,
 
The Argument of the Month
 
 

 

Argument of the Month
408 3rd Street North
South Saint Paul, MN
55075


Botched Abortion at Sioux City Planned Parenthood Lands Woman in the Hospital

Botched Abortion at Sioux City Planned Parenthood Lands Woman in the Hospital 

December 21, 2011

 

Sioux City, IA - An ambulance responded to an emergency call from Planned Parenthood of the Heartland in Sioux City, Iowa, at approximately 1:30 pm on Tuesday and transported a patient to a local hospital. Sidewalk counselors recalled seeing the same woman earlier in the day as she entered the clinic for an abortion. Her condition is unknown at this time.

 

Sherill Glassmaker, a pro-life activist who was just leaving a neighboring pregnancy resource center, noticed the ambulance in the parking lot and began taking pictures to document the incident.

 

A paramedic working for Siouxland Paramedics took time out from his job to approach Glassmaker and complain about her presence, but did acknowledge that he was responding to a 911 call for emergency medical assistance.

 

As Glassmaker prayed aloud for the injured patient, Planned Parenthood's security guard mocked and threatened to file charges against her in an obvious effort to intimidate her for documenting the incident.

 

Abortionist Nicola Moore, a Massachusetts abortionist who flies to the mid-west to do abortions for Planned Parenthood of the Heartland, was believed to be the abortionist on duty at the time of the incident.

 

Operation Rescue had earlier "outed" Moore as the "Fly in Abortionista" featured in a recent magazine article. An Operation Rescue undercover investigation revealed that Planned Parenthood was engaged in the experimental "telemed abortion" scheme, in which dangerous abortion pills are dispensed to women over an Internet connection without the presence of a licensed physician or a physical examination by qualified personnel.

 

"According to our investigations, Planned Parenthood of the Heartland has long been engaged in practices that endanger the lives of women. This is yet another reason why Planned Parenthood does not deserve even one cent of our tax dollars," said Cheryl Sullenger, Senior Policy Advisor for Operation Rescue.

 

"Women who patronize Planned Parenthood or any other abortion clinic literally risk their lives. We plan to file complaints concerning this incident with the appropriate Iowa oversight agencies in order to protect women from Planned Parenthood's unscrupulous practices."


HT Operation Rescue

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

PRESS RELEASE: St. Stanislaus Kostka Parish Named a Minor Basilica by Vatican



 

 

 

PRESS RELEASE: St. Stanislaus Kostka Parish Named a Minor Basilica by Vatican

 

Through the faculties granted by the Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI, the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments has declared that Saint Stanislaus Kostka Parish, Winona, Minn., has assumed the status of "Minor Basilica," emphasizing the special bond that the parish has with the Pope and with the whole Catholic Church.  This Decree was made on November 10, 2011 and announced to the congregation this past weekend.  Read the FULL PRESS RELEASE attached to this email or online at www.dow.org

 

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

FW: Fighting the Scourge of Pornography



 

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Fighting the Scourge of Pornography

Dear m,
An important new tool in the war against pornography has been released by Anteroom Pictures. I'm referring to a brilliant documentary which ought to receive the widest possible distribution. See Pornography—or Persons as Objects. On a related matter, I've been on the lookout for some time for evidence that the Catholic orphanage system in the 19th and 20th century cannot simply be dismissed as a haven for pedophiles. The real story is far closer to what you would expect. See my review of Edward Rohs' new book, Growing Up in Catholic Orphanages.

Deep personal commitment is vitiated by both abuse and pornography. Interestingly, the Vatican newspaper has just reprinted the third part of On the Pastoral Care of the Divorced and Remarried , issued by the CDF under Cardinal Ratzinger in 1998. This deals with the objections against the Church's policies: The Pastoral Approach to Marriage Should Be Founded on Truth.

Bishop Robert Lynch of St. Petersburg has also called attention to the threats to religious liberty in President Obama's new health care plan. (One wonders how many of these attacks stem from an essentially pornographic understanding of human sexuality.) See Bishop Lynch's recent address: Health Care Law May "Thwart" Both Your Religious Liberty and Your Freedom of Conscience Protection.

In this context, one does not wish to ignore the Feast of Saint Ambrose tomorrow, the great Bishop of Milan who baptized Saint Augustine when he was ready to leave his sensual attachments behind.

But of course the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception on Thursday, a holy day of obligation, is even more relevant. Pope Pius IX proclaimed the Immaculate Conception in Ineffabilis Deus on December 8, 1854.

I know not everyone can take this day off from work, but I hope you will make a point of treating it as the great feast that it is!

Jeff Mirus
President
Trinity Communications

P. S. As you do your Christmas shopping, please use our Amazon link as much as possible. Click the Shop Amazon button at the top of this message or click the Amazon advertisement in the right column of most pages on CatholicCulture.org. We'll earn eight percent!


 

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Another Extraordinary Form Mass in the Diocese of Winona - Immaculate Conception - Mass in Wabasha...


Mass will be at St. Felix for the Feast of the Immaculate Conception - I have to work - I am bummed.

+JMJ

 

Father Cook will be offering the Extraordinary Form of the Mass on Thursday at 6:30 a.m. at St. Felix, Wabasha.

 

A group will depart from the Winona State Newman Center at 5:30 a.m. (Mmmm. Nothing like waking up on a crisp winter morning to experience the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass!)

 

All the cool kids are doing it… because after all, none of us really have anything better to do than to receive the flesh of the God of the Universe in honor of the BVM… begging her intercession and maternal protection over all that we do.

 

We should be back in Winona by 8:30 a.m. (probs earlier, but its better safe than sorry). Even if you can't attend, be sure to invite friends, family, coworkers, classmates… even people who you really, really dislike. All are welcome.

 

Also, if you would be willing to drive, please let me know.

 

In Christ Jesus,

Alison Mary.

 

Happy Feast of St. Nicholas - who is Santa Claus?

Fr. Fasano on Santa Claus 



Monday, December 5, 2011

FW: e5 Men Fasting Reminder - Annoucing New Website



 Annoucing New Website

To unsubscribe click the Manage Your Subscription link at the bottom of this e-mail.

 

If you are a LADY and signed up to e5 MEN by mistake you can unsubscribe using the Manage Your Subscription link at the end of this e-mail and then you can read what e5 Women is all about by clicking here.

 

 

This Wednesday is the 1st Wednesday of the Month

 

www.e5men.org

 

Dear e5 Man,

 

A number of new e5 Men have signed up these past several weeks through an abreviated web page. Inadvertently there was some information you might have missed. Please either visit the e5 Men webite by clicking here or review some of the information below in the next block of this e-mail.

 

e5 Men has a new website! Please visit it by clicking here. It has been redesigned from the ground up to facilitate multiple languages. Presently there is only English. We will be working on adding languages throughout 2012. 

 

In Christ,

 

Steve Habisohn

e5 Men Founder

 

 

e5 MEN

 

Thousands of Men in Over 80 Countries

 

PROTESTANTS, ORTHODOX,
& CATHOLICS TO FAST TOGETHER
 
HUSBANDS FASTING FOR THEIR WIVES
 
The e5 Man fasts for his bride as a way to imitate Jesus as described by Saint Paul in his letter to the Ephesians, chapter 5 (for which the e5 is named). e5 Men fast in unison on bread and water for at least one 24 hour day per month - preferably the 1st Wednesday of the month.
 
EPHESIANS 5:25 "Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her."
 
EPHESIANS 5:28-29 "So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church."
 
Jesus made a bodily sacrifice on the cross for his bride the church to present her to God the Father "without spot or wrinkle." (Eph 5:27) By fasting for our earthly bride and joining our sufferings to Christ's we intercede for grace for our brides. At the same time our act of bodily love in union with Christ accelerates our own conversion.
 
By making this sacrifice for the women in our lives we live out the essence of the gospel through a very particular act of self denial. To lay down one's body out of love for another is the central message of the gospel.

 

E5 MEN REQUIREMENTS

 

Except for medical reasons, the minimum requirements to be an e5 Man are that you:

  • Be a baptized Christian man.
  • Register with e5 Men
  • Fast on plain bread and water at least one 24 hour period a month for your bride for her needs of spiritual growth and/or  healing; preferably on the 1st Wednesday of the month. 

ADDITIONAL INTENTIONS OF THE E5 MAN

The intentions of the e5 also include:

  • All the other e5 Men's brides or primary intention.
  • For all the e5 Women registered with us.
  • For all women sinned against by men.
  • For the petitions sent to us by women.
  • And in general for all women.

 

NOT ONLY FOR MARRIED MEN

 

Membership is not limited to married men. For single men, their fast may be dedicated to their future bride. For widowers or those unlikely to get married,the beneficiary of their fasts may be for a daughter, a sister, or a granddaughter, and for those whos faith believes in the need - their deceased wife, or any other women in great need. For the consecrated celibate man the benefit of their fast can be for the benefit of the community they serve or for consecrated celibate women.

 

 

To Learn about fasting as an e5 Man more than once a month click here.

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Sunday, December 4, 2011

Midnight Mass Christmas 2011 Diocese of Winona Extraordinary Form

Yep - that's right.  This year there will be two - not one - two Midnight Masses in the Diocese of Winona celebrated in the Extraordinary Form according to the 1962 Missal.  Two separate Priests from the DOW are doing this for the faithful.  Praise God.  And thank you to these wonderful Priests!!!


Fr. Patrick Arens of 
ST.  MARY’S-CHATFIELD Parish Center Office 507-867-3922 and
ST. PATRICK’S -LANESBORO 507-467-2480
-not sure which Church this will be at - call for more info

and Fr. Cook of St. Felix and St Agnes

Fr. Cook will be saying the Extraordinary Form Midnight Mass at, yes, Midnight to celebrate the birth of Our Lord.  (Mass will be at St. Felix.)  It has also been said there will be a choir from Winona coming up to help the angels welcome the Lord.  I cannot say how much I am anticipating this glorious evening.  Midnight Mass AT Midnight.  Singing.  Glorious.

More from St. Felix

On July 7, 2007, Pope Benedict XVI issued a document called Summorum Pontificum (Supreme      
Pontiffs), which generously gives all priests permission to celebrate Mass (either publicly or privately) according to the rubrics of the 1962 Missal without special permission from the Bishop or the Holy See. This Mass, promulgated by Pope Saint Pius V in 1570 and later reissued by Pope Blessed John XXIII in 1962, is sometimes referred to as theTridentine Mass or the Traditional Latin Mass. This Traditional Latin Mass is in contrast with the New Latin Mass (Novus Ordo), which was introduced as a part of the reforms of the Second Vatican Council and promulgated by Pope Paul VI.  Pope Benedict is calling the Novus Ordo the 
“ordinary expression” of the Liturgy in the Latin Rite, and the Traditional Latin Mass (1962 Missal) the “extraordinary expression” of the Liturgy in the Latin Rite.  Both Masses are forms of the one Roman Rite. The pastor can offer one Mass on Sunday using the “extraordinary form” and even offer 
Masses in the “extraordinary form” during the week. The Faithful can request to have a  Funeral Mass said using the  "extraordinary form” (i.e., a Traditional “Requiem Mass”). In  addition, the Faithful can request that their pastor perform the Sacraments of Baptism, Penance, Holy Matrimony, and 
Anointing of the Sick using the earlier ritual. I am explaining this document, Summorum Pontificum, as background to the following:

Every Saturday morning I will offer a Low Mass (no music; no sermon) at 8:00 a.m. in St. Felix Church according to the rubrics of the 1962 Missal. Everyone is invited to attend these Latin Masses on Saturday morning – in the extraordinary form.” There will be booklets provided containing the Ordinary (unchanging) parts of the traditional Mass; bringing an old traditional Latin Mass  missal is  suggested.  I will hear confessions after Mass on Saturday mornings beginning at 9:00 a.m. until all confessions are heard - Fr. Cook

Can I just say I am glad to be living in the Diocese of Winona now.
From the Bulletins of St Felix - Wabasha and St. Agnes - Kellogg

On Sunday evenings during Advent, we will have      
Exposition and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament from 
7:00-8:00 p.m. in the Church of St. Agnes. Everyone is welcome to 
participate in this beautiful hour of prayer and Adoration of the 
Blessed Sacrament which will include: (1) a short reflection; (2) time 
for silent reflection; and (3) sung Sunday Vespers. Vespers is the Latin 
name for the official Evening Prayer of the Church, and it consists of 
a hymn, three psalms, a reading, the Canticle of Mary, and prayers of 
intercession. When I was ordained a deacon in 1996, I promised to 
pray Vespers for you every day. It is important to remember,     
however, that Vespers is not just for priests and deacons to pray.  
According to the Second Vatican Council, “Pastors should see to it 
that Vespers is celebrated in common in church on Sundays and on the 
more solemn feasts. The laity are encouraged to pray Vespers with the 
priests, or among themselves, or even individually.” (Sacrosanctum Concilium, 
#100) Please join us for Benediction and Vespers tonight, Sunday, 
December 4 at 7:00 p.m. at the Church of St. Agnes.


In anticipation of the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe on 
December 12, please join us the Knights of Columbus for a special 
hour of prayer at St. Felix Church on Tuesday, December 6 at    
7:00 p.m.


Thursday, December 8, the Church celebrates the   
Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin 
Mary. On December 8, 1854, Pope Pius IX declared infallibly that 
the Blessed Virgin Mary was preserved from all stain of original sin at 
the first moment of her conception in the womb of her mother,    
St. Ann. The Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception is always 
a HOLY DAY OF OBLIGATION for all Catholics living in the U.S.A. 
because Mary, the Immaculate Conception, is the patroness of the 
United States of America. 


The Mass Schedule for the Immaculate Conception is as follows:


Wednesday      December 7    7:00 p.m.        St. Felix    CCD Classes


Thursday         December 8    6:30 a.m.*  St. Felix Latin


Thursday         December 8    11:00 a.m.  St. Felix School Mass


Thursday          December 8    6:30 p.m.  St. Agnes


*Yes, this Mass does begin at 6:30 in the morning!  This early Latin                    
Mass will be completed by 7:30 a.m. so that you can fulfill your      
obligation to attend Mass and still get to work or school.  This Mass will 
be a “Low Mass” – there will be NO music or sermon at this Mass.  (Thank you, Father for the EF Mass)




Advent is our opportunity to prepare for the coming of 
the Lord at Christmas. The most important way to have “every 
heart prepare Him room” is by making a good confession. Whether 
you have been away from the Sacrament of Penance for one month 
or several years, now is the time to receive the Lord's mercy and 
forgiveness in this beautiful sacrament. “He was born to give us 
second birth,” and that second birth comes to us in the confessional. 

Monday, November 28, 2011

FW: Watch this short video clip on the Great News!




 
Brian Gibson from Prolife Action Ministries explains the wonderful news about Regions Hospital in St. Paul, MN closing its abortuary in response to pro-life prayer. Seven 40 Days for Life campaigns, petitions drives, calling, letter writing, boycotting and prayer, prayer, prayer!
 

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

UPDATE on Walgreens

From AFA



Walgreens responds to flood of calls

"We fully agree with you ..." - Walgreens spokesman
November 22, 2011

Dear , 

Walgreens' consumer relations has apologized for offending customers by labeling dozens of Christmas-specific items as "holiday" in its pre-Thanksgiving newspaper inserts last Sunday.
In responding to thousands of phone calls, Walgreens community affairs director John Gremer issued a statement to AFA, which says, in part:
"During the months of October and November, we make greater use of the word 'holiday' to include celebrations such as Thanksgiving and Hanukkah. But as Christmas Day draws closer, you’ll see more references to the word 'Christmas.' That includes the message, 'Merry Christmas,' which will be on the front of our newspaper sales insert on Dec. 25.

"We fully agree with you that – while we're helping customers celebrate a variety of holidays during this time of year – we should continue and increase the use of the word 'Christmas' when referring to items specifically for the Christmas holiday."
AFA is grateful to Walgreens for its response and willingness to listen to customer concerns. As a result, AFA is suspending its "Christmas Boycott" of Walgreens.
Check out AFA's 2011 Naughty or Nice list of retailers and how they stand in the "War on Christmas."

I HAVE TO GET THIS SHIRT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friends - keep in mind Christmas and my birthday are coming up!!!!!  Just a hint.  I wear a large.

G.K. Chesterton said, “In Catholicism, the pint, the pipe and the Cross can all fit together.” Indeed, they can, and they must. For it is equally the heretic and the heathen who falsely consider all drinking is drunkenness and all smoking is vice, but it is the Catholic - whether he is a formal member of the Catholic Church or not - who accepts the pint, the pipe, and the Cross. For though neither of them are good for the body, they are all good for the soul.


Monk Rock Store

Monday, November 21, 2011

Extraordinary Form - Traditional Latin Mass Time Change

Latin Mass: The traditional Latin Mass is

celebrated twice a month, on the first and third

Sundays, at 1:00 pm at St. Bridgets in Simpson.

Notice the time has changed - from now on, the

Latin Masses will be held at 1:00 pm. Questions?

Contact Don Hagler at 206-4355 or visit

 

www.rochesterlatinmasssociety.org

Boycott Walgreens, this year's Christmas Scrooge



 
American Family Association   Take Action Now

 

Boycott Walgreens, this year's Christmas Scrooge

Sign your pledge to boycott Walgreens this Christmas season.
November 21, 2011


Dear Men of Good Will,

 
Yesterday, Walgreens placed a 24-page circular in newspapers all across America. It had all the festive markings of that day known as...Holiday?
It's true! At Walgreens, they advertise "Holiday Candy," "Holiday Gift Tags," "Holiday Gift Wrap," "Holiday Decor," "Holiday Accessories," "Holiday Nuts and Snacks" and "Holiday Hats and Stockings." But no Christmas! In total, Walgreens used the term "holiday" 36 times, rather than using "Christmas."
Oh, the trees advertised in their circular? It's just "Prelit" trees.
Go to Walgreens' website and you can shop their "Holiday Shop" and take advantage of their "Holiday Shipping." If you want Christmas, it's not there.
At Walgreens, Christmas doesn't exist! Walgreens wants you to do your "Christmas" shopping with them, while refusing to recognize that Christmas even exists.
Walgreens doesn't want to offend non-Christians by using the word Christmas. The fact that they're censoring the use of Christmas and might offend Christians by doing so seems to be of no importance.
TAKE ACTION
1. Sign your pledge to boycott Walgreens this Christmas season.
2. Call Walgreens' Customer Service at 1-800-289-2273 and let them know you will boycott their stores this Christmas, or until they agree to begin recognizing Christmas in their so-called "holiday" advertisements and website.
3. AFA has released its annual "Naughty or Nice" list of retailers for 2011.  Find out how other stores stand in the War on Christmas.

Take Action Now Sign your pledge to boycott Walgreens this Christmas season.

It is very important that you forward this alert to your friends and family members.

Sincerely,

Tim

Tim Wildmon, President
American Family Association
Help us Financially
Donate Online to AFA
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Action Link
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Copyright © 2011 American Family Association. All Rights Reserved

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter to Celebrate Mass at St. Augstine, Nov. 27

I do not have to work this day, I am definitely going to try to get up there for that!!!!  WOW - haven't been to a FSSP Mass since Lincoln - one of the most reverent and well said Masses you will attend.

Men,
 
Many of you have been to Saint Augustine for AOTM, but never seen any part of the Church besides the basements.  Next Sunday, November 27th, you'll have an opportunity to change that.
 
Father John Echert, Pastor of Holy Trinity and St. Augustine churches in So. St. Paul, has invited The Superior General of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter (FSSP), the Very Rev. John Berg to offer the 11:30 Traditional Latin Mass at the Church of St. Augustine (408 3rd St. N. in So. St. Paul) on the 27th of NovemberThe Fraternity of St. Peter is an international priestly fraternity established by Pope John Paul II to provide the traditional Mass and Sacraments to Catholics around the world under the provisions established by the motu proprio Ecclesia Dei.
 
There will be a reception for Father Berg in the church hall immediately after Mass, at which time he will also offer a brief presentation on the general mission of the Fraternity of St. Peter.  So please--tell your friends and family members, forward this email to your Catholic contacts, pray for the success of this event, and mark your calendars for the 27th of November.




Argument of the Month
408 3rd Street North
South Saint Paul, MN
55075


Good book to read....

Been going through this book for about a month now, taking small bites as time allows - good book - definitely worth a read.

A return to modesty : discovering the lost virtue By Wendy Shalit

Extraordinary Form - Traditional Latin Mass - for the day after Thanksgiving 11/25/2011 - Diocese of Winona

Father Patrick Arens will be home in Kellogg for the Thanksgiving holiday, and he has graciously volunteered to offer the Thanksgiving Day Mass ( 9:00 A.M) N.O. at his home parish of St. Agnes. He will also offer a Traditional Latin Mass on Friday morning (11/25/2011) at 9:00 a.m. at St. Agnes in Kellogg, MN.

Also, for Advent at St. Agnes - Kellogg, MN:


On Sunday evenings during Advent, we will have Exposition and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament from 7:00-8:00 p.m. in the Church of St. Agnes. This hour of Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament will include: (1) a short reflection; (2) time for silent meditation; and (3) sung Sunday Vespers – the official Evening Prayer of the Church. Everyone is welcome to participate in this beautiful hour of prayer and adoration.  (WOW)

Saturday, November 19, 2011

FW: The pornographic pandemic - we are awash in porn

Note: This article originally appeared in Columbia magazine, the magazine of the Knights of Columbus, and is reprinted here with permission
Join a Facebook page to end abortion here. Click "like." 
November 18, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) - In a conversation with a priest in my diocese, I shared my spiritual director's report that every other confession he hears from men involves the sin of pornography. The pastor's response was shocking: "Oh, it's much worse than that!" Since then, this sad reality has been confirmed by many others: The sin of pornography is overwhelming Catholic men.
Pornography is now more popular than baseball. In fact, it has become America's pastime, and we are awash in it. Porn is on our computers, our smartphones, and our cable or satellite TV. It's common in our hotels and even in many retail stores and gas stations. For many men — and, increasingly, women — it is part of their daily lives.
Yet, Catholic teaching on the subject is clear. Use of pornography is a "grave offense." The Catechism of the Catholic Church states, "Pornography … offends against chastity because it perverts the conjugal act, the intimate giving of spouses to each other. It does grave injury to the dignity of its participants (actors, vendors, the public), since each one becomes an object of base pleasure and illicit profit for others" (2354).
In Life of Christ, Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen wrote, "The penalty of those who live too close to the flesh is to never understand the spiritual." Hardcore pornography on the Internet offers an ocean of perversion. It takes the mind where it should never go, loosening its moral moorings and leaving it adrift in a treacherous sea of sin. That is the fate of those who give themselves over to pornography: They find themselves alone with their images and an insatiable appetite for more.
While astounding to many, users of pornography eventually put religion, marriage, family, work and friendships secondary to their desire for pornography. They may want to change, to go back to life as it was before porn, but most will return and descend further. Dr. Mary Anne Layden, director of the University of Pennsylvania's Sexual Trauma and Psychopathology Program at the Center for Cognitive Therapy, likens pornography to crack cocaine. In a testimony to the U.S. Senate in November 2004, she noted, "This material is potent, addictive and permanently implanted in the brain."
Sadly, for the regular consumer of pornography, confession and contrition are normally not sufficient to break from pornography because, like drug abuse, pornography is not just a bad habit — it is often an addiction.
A DESIRE THAT DOES NOT SATISFY
Addiction to pornography is now commonplace among adults and is even a growing problem for children and teenagers. Few who are addicted will get help, and the consequences can be lifelong and severe.
Pornography's addictive strength is a result of long-term, sometimes lifelong, neuroplastic changes in the brain. Psychiatrist Norman Doidge, author of the best-selling book The Brain That Changes Itself (Penguin, 2007), writes, "Pornography, by offering an endless harem of sexual objects, hyperactivates the appetitive system. Porn viewers develop new maps in their brains, based on the photos and videos they see. Because it is a use-it-or-lose-it brain, when we develop a map area, we long to keep it activated. Just as our muscles become impatient for exercise if we've been sitting all day, so too do our senses hunger to be stimulated" (108).
With pornography, in other words, our brain's pleasure system that excites our desires is activated, but there is no real satisfaction. This explains why users can spend endless hours searching for pornography on the Internet.
Doidge further notes that porn viewers develop tolerances so that they need higher and higher levels of stimulation. Thus, they often move to harder, more deviant pornography. More than a decade ago, Margaret A. Healy, adjunct professor at Fordham University School of Law, and Muireann O'Brian, former head of End Child Pornography, Prostitution and Trafficking (ECPAT), observed a link between adult and child pornography. Since that time, scores of current and former law enforcement authorities have noted that many adult porn consumers will eventually move to child pornography, even if they are not pedophiles and had no interest is such material at first. These findings account, in part, for the prevalence of child pornography in the world today.
Viewing porn changes the user's attitude toward sex, his or her spouse and society. He or she uses sexual fantasies to get aroused, tries to get partners to act out pornographic scenes, is more likely to engage in sexual harassment and sexual aggression, and views sex as a casual, non-intimate, recreational privilege. Laydon and other clinical psychologists have reported that, ironically, erectile dysfunction is commonly associated with constant porn use among men. One reason for this is that the constant search for sexual images and often-accompanying masturbation lead to dissatisfaction with one's spouse. After all, a man's wife cannot possibly maintain an image that competes with the women in the fantasy world of pornographic videos and images. The regular porn consumer sets himself up for disappointment and the almost-certain disintegration of his marriage.
Marital love is meant to be a total giving of oneself to a lifelong, faithful partner. It is a trusting, selfless giving. By contrast, pornographic sex is selfish, demeaning and mechanical. In his catechesis on the theology of the body, Pope John Paul II emphasized that there is a "moral goodness" in marriage, which is faithfulness. That goodness can be adequately achieved only in the exclusive relationship of both parties. Too many people miss out on that unique goodness of marriage and settle for the temporary, perverted and unfulfilling excitement of pornography.
PROTECTING OUR CHILDREN
A father has a duty to keep his children from pornography and a sacred obligation to set an example of purity for his family. What greater authority could a father have about the harms of pornography than the words of Christ?: "But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart" (Mt 5:28).
If you have become a porn consumer, ask yourself this: Am I the same man who professed fidelity to my wife on my wedding day? Fidelity cannot be maintained if one consumes pornography. Wives of porn consumers feel as though their husbands are committing adultery. Affairs of the mind are every bit as destructive as affairs of the heart.
Divorce lawyers report a high correspondence between pornography consumption and divorces. One 2004 study in Social Science Quarterly titled "Adult Social Bonds and Use of Internet Pornography" revealed that persons having an extramarital affair were more than three times more likely to have accessed Internet porn than those who did not have affairs. Further, those ever having engaged in paid sex were 3.7 times more apt to be using Internet porn than those who had not.
If you have a porn habit, your children may follow. Many pornography addicts report that their first exposure to porn was the discovery of their parent's porn collection, which started them on a life of sexual confusion and exploitation. A 2006 survey of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children revealed that 79 percent of youth gain unwanted exposure to pornography in the home.
To a child, pornography normalizes sexual harm, according to Dr. Sharon Cooper, a pediatrician at the University of North Carolina. "Research has shown that the prefrontal cortex — the home of good judgment, common sense, impulse control and emotions — is not completely mature until children are 20-22 years of age," she explained. The introduction of pornography to the brain's prefrontal cortex is therefore devastating to key areas of a child's development and may be life-altering. "When a child sees adult pornography … their brains will convince them that they are actually experiencing what they are seeing," Cooper added. In other words, what a child sees in porn is what they believe is reality.
Some children will actually emulate what they see in pornography and experiment on siblings, relatives and friends. Many studies show that children exposed to pornography initiate sexual activity at an earlier age, have more sex partners, and have multiple partners in a short period of time. A 2001 study in the journal Pediatrics also found that teenage girls exposed to pornographic movies have sex more frequently and have a strong desire to become pregnant.
THERE IS HELP AND HOPE
Thankfully, there are organizations, counselors and resources that provide hope for those suffering from the destructive effects of pornography on children, marriages, relationships and society. Many who have been addicted — adults and children alike — have been helped through counseling or online exercises offered by recovery services.
It is critical, however, that each person and each family does a reality check. Ask yourselves whether you and your family are protected from the scourge of pornography. Do you have adequate parental control or filtering software on your home computer? Is the computer in an open area of the home? If you have children, have you talked to them about the spiritual and social cost of pornography? Do you have premium cable or satellite channels on your TV that offer pornography as regular fare?
If you are viewing pornography or indecent material, you are harming your very soul and perhaps those of your children and your spouse. The biblical warning is severe: "If your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out" (Mk 9:47). At a minimum, make sure that your computer both at home and in the office is filtered and that you have an "accountability partner" — perhaps your wife or a good friend — who has access to your computer and the sites you visit. Finally, get involved in the war on pornography. It is worth the fight for you, your family and your nation.
Patrick A. Trueman is the president and C.E.O. of Morality in Media. A member of St. Francis Xavier Council 6608 in Buffalo, Minn., Trueman served as chief of the U.S. Department of Justice Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Criminal Division, under Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush.
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There are numerous resources to help both men and women with porn addictions. Here are just a few:
* How to Deal with Your Sexual Addiction
* Porn Addiction – Identification and Help.
* Catholic Porn Help for Those Struggling with Pornography &Resources for Men Desiring to Maintain Their Purity
Many more can be found by searching the Internet.


HT Catholic Parents Online