The Coronavirus pandemic, it turns out, is also an ideal breeding ground for the use of pornography.
Viewing such explicit material is not only sinful, but highly addictive and can lead to dangerous sexual behaviors and the exploitation of women and children.
Some of the triggers for pornography use are boredom, loneliness, anger, stress and fatigue, all of which are present in many people confined to their homes for weeks on end.
When you add the fact that this material is easily accessed on the internet, and that people are more isolated than usual, you have the perfect storm for temptation, according to Father Allen Hoffa, who leads the Diocese’s anti-pornography efforts as chair of the Lumen Christi Commission.
According to a recent article in the National Catholic Register, consumption of pornography has gone up significantly during the pandemic. Indeed, some explicit sites have bragged about their recent increases in traffic.
Fortunately, there are many ways to get help, starting with the Lumen Christi Commission, a group of clergy, religious and lay people dedicated to protecting the faithful of the Diocese from the scourge of this behavior, and to providing prevention, education and intervention.
Also providing help is Integrity Restored, a non-profit Catholic group that aims to “help restore the integrity of individuals, spouses and families that have been affected by pornography and pornography addiction.” Father Hoffa has been a national speaker for the group.
Another resource is Strive21, a 21-day detox from pornography, with more than 14,000 men participating. A similar course for women who struggle with pornography addiction is in development.
“People who abuse pornography find themselves in darkness, and they find it very difficult to recover,” says Father Hoffa. “It can take over their life.”
Pornography is a multi-billion-dollar industry preying on people worldwide, as well as on children and adults in the Diocese. It is a public health crisis. Statistics show that the average age for a child to experience his or her first pornographic material is 8 or 9.
What can be done? The good news, says Father Hoffa, is that there are countless people willing to help, and many organizations and programs that can make a big difference in the life of someone struggling with pornography. All it takes is a click or a phone call.
For more information, or to find someone who can help, visit the Lumen Christi website, or contact them at 610-871-5200, Option 1, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.