Sam Flynn, left, and other members of the Prayer at the Porn Shop ministry pray the rosary in front of Calgary’s Adult Source. Photo by Sara Francis

Prayer vigil targets porn shop

By  Sara Francis, Catholic Register Special
  • December 7, 2011

CALGARY - Sam Flynn is literally taking a stance against pornography. Since the spring, he’s gathered a group of friends for his ministry Prayer at the Porn Shop.

The group prays for an end to pornography outside a Calgary porn shop, the latest prayer vigil taking place Dec. 10.

“I think there aren’t enough people saying this isn’t good for your health or your relationship, this isn’t love,” said Flynn, a 25-year-old Mount Royal University business student.

“It’s destroying families, it’s destroying marriages, it’s destroying relationships. It’s making us love less because we don’t look at people with love any more, but with objectivity.”

Flynn used Facebook to get the word out about his event and so far he’s had a small but loyal following. The participants all sport a T-shirt that reads “Love women, fight porn” while praying the rosary and Divine Mercy chaplet outside Adult Source, Canada’s largest adult chain.

On one occasion a man stopped and encouraged the group, telling them he didn’t know guys like them existed. Conversely, a lot of people drive by yelling out their window in protest, “I love porn.” Flynn welcomes all reactions.

“If no one is out there saying we don’t like this then they’re not going to think differently,” said Flynn.

Ultimately, he would like to see the pornography shop close down due to lack of business.

Flynn got the idea for his ministry after hearing Australian Catholic apologist Matt Fradd speak on the evils of pornography. Fradd challenged his audience to do something tangible to raise awareness about its harmful effects.

In recent years, Fradd founded theporneffect.com, a ministry that exposes the harmful effects of pornography, while working for NET Ministries in Ireland. He continued his ministry after moving to Ottawa to work for NET Canada and was scouted by Catholic Answers to become a full-time speaker and apologist in San Diego this fall.

He believes not only that pornography is wrong, but that it’s at the crux of many social issues, that devalue the person.

“Contraception and pornography are the fuel of the abortion industry because both say I want my pleasure, but I don’t want the consequence of what this act may give,” he said.

To understand the issue properly, it’s important to understand that pornography is not wrong because sex is wrong or the naked body is bad or shameful, said Fradd.

“The problem with pornography is not that it shows too much, but that it shows too little of the human person, that it reduces the beauty and mystery of femininity to a collection of body parts to be used rather than a person to be loved,” he said.

As someone who struggled with viewing pornography in high school, Flynn knows first hand how challenging the temptation can be, but he also knows the healing grace of God. The ministry he’s started in Calgary has helped solidify his stance against pornography and opened up the door to talk about purity.

“Its like, okay, let’s pray for each other and everyone we know because we all need prayers for purity,” said Flynn. “Our faith is strengthened when it is shared.”

(Francis is a freelance writer in Calgary.)

Comments (0)

There are no comments posted here yet

Leave your comments

  1. Posting comment as a guest. Sign up or login to your account.
Attachments (0 / 3)
Share Your Location
Type the text presented in the image below

Support The Catholic Register

Unlike many other news websites, The Catholic Register has never charged readers for access to the news and information on our site. We want to keep our award-winning journalism as widely available as possible. But we need your help.

For more than 125 years, The Register has been a trusted source of faith based journalism. By making even a small donation you help ensure our future as an important voice in the Catholic Church. If you support the mission of Catholic journalism, please donate today. Thank you.