The Lord's prayer: "And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil", takes on a specific meaning in the context of contemporary civilization, steeped as it is in elements of hedonism, self-centredness and sensuality. Pornography is unfortunately rampant, debasing the dignity of women and treating them exclusively as objects of sexual pleasure. These aspects of present-day civilization certainly do not favour either marital fidelity or celibacy for the sake of the Kingdom of God.Therefore if the priest does not foster in himself genuine dispositions of faith, hope and love of God, he can easily yield to the allurements coming to him from the world. On this Holy Thursday then, dear Brother Priests, how can I fail to address you in order to exhort you to remain faithful to the gift of celibacy which Christ has given us? In it is contained a spiritual treasure which belongs to each of us and to the whole Church.
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
One of the biggest dangers to priestly vocations
is really the prevalence and pervasiveness of pornography on the internet. It sets up unreal expectations, and makes men, especially those high school and college age who have more than just a passing exposure (and let's face it, more than half of young men have 'more than a passing exposure' to pornography), think that celibacy just isn't possible.
For an intro into the academic analysis as to why and how pornography is so dangerous, head over to Aggie Catholic.
From hearing confessions, from working in an all male high school and now working with men discerning a call to the priesthood, I concur with every conclusion.
In paragraph 5 of his 1995 Letter to Priests on the importance of women in the life of a priest, Pope John Paul II states: