Bishops’ Planned Statement on Pornography — Come again?

Editorial

We cannot let a planned United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) formal statement put into motion at the Bishops meeting underway this week in Baltimore to pass into the world of drafting, revision, and adoption without noting the gall of it.

The Bishops are going to draft a statement on pornography.

Here is a link to the USCCB’s press release on the planned statement.  Also find it at the end of this editorial.   http://www.usccb.org/news/2013/13-205.cfm

Bishop Richard J. Malone, chair-elect of the Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth, the committee that will draft the document had this to say about it, “The number of men, women, and children who have been harmed by pornography use is not negligible, and we have an opportunity to offer healing and hope to those who have been wounded.”

The statement, the USCCB press release says, “will be pastoral in nature and will emphasize the effects of pornography on marriages and families, while attending to all those harmed by pornography use and addiction.”

Bishop Robert Finn of Kansas City- St. Joseph Missouri remains a sitting bishop with jurisdiction after being convicted of failure to report, as a mandatory reporter in Missouri, a priest of the diocese, Shawn Ratigan, who is now serving a 50 year sentence in federal prison on a child pornography conviction.

We’d like to recommend to the Bishops that they start closer to home with a statement on pornography and begin with the USCCB’s or at the very least a committee of the USCCB’s examination, acknowledgement and action regarding their brother bishop.

Without addressing the Bishop Finn issue and the issue of pornography and priests, the Bishops have no place of credibility to come from to draft a “pastoral statement” on this issue and its consequences and effects.

It’s not just horses that make use of blinders.

— Kristine Ward, Chair, National Survivor Advocates Coalition, (NSAC) KristineWard@hotmail.com

November 12, 2013

U.S. bishops in Baltimore approve drafting of statement on pornography
Bishop Malone highlights negative effects on men, women, children
Statement to be pastoral in nature, focus on effects on marriages and families

BALTIMORE—The U.S Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) approved the drafting of a formal statement on pornography to be issued from the entire body of bishops. Following a presentation by Bishop Richard J. Malone of Buffalo, New York, chair-elect of the USCCB Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth, the bishops, who are gathered in Baltimore for their annual fall General Assembly, voted 226-5 to approve the drafting of the statement.

 “As pastors, we’re aware that many people are consuming or are exploited by pornography, and many also are struggling with pornography addiction,” Bishop Malone said in his report. “The number of men, women, and children who have been harmed by pornography use is not negligible, and we have an opportunity to offer healing and hope to those who have been wounded.”

The statement will be pastoral in nature and will emphasize the effects of pornography on marriages and families, while attending to all those harmed by pornography use and addiction. The Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth will lead the drafting process, and the statement will come before the body of bishops for approval. The tentative timeline is to have a finalized statement by the end of 2015.

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