Photo by Christian Wiediger on Unsplash

Speaking Out: Morality suffers in pandemic, too

By  Bernadette Timson, Youth Speak News
  • June 10, 2020

During this time, people are rightly concerned with the dangers of COVID-19. However, there is another problem that has arisen during this confusing time.

While many of us remain at home, Internet usage has increased dramatically. That’s to be expected with more people working remotely, but news reports reveal traffic to pornography sites has also increased.

While technology, social media and the Internet are morally neutral, not everything involving them is used for good. Our society and culture have been saturated with these sites featuring images that rob human beings of their dignity. 

Recently, apologists have taken to hosting online conferences and webinars to speak out about how young Catholics can still live out a life of virtue, especially regarding sexual morality in this time.

“Pornography is the best way to shoot your future marriage in the head,” Jason Evert has said in numerous talks he has given in his 15-plus years as a chastity speaker.

While it is quite a bold statement to make, Evert is known for delivering talks on Theology of the Body in a very calm and down-to-earth way. A few weeks ago, he and his wife Crystalina hosted the Catholic Love Life Conference, which they have announced shall be an annual event.

More research, both spiritual and secular, has revealed the harmful nature of pornography and how it can rewire neural pathways in the brain, particularly the section that experiences pleasure.

What is even more startling is that many connections have been made between pornography and human/sex trafficking, addiction and abortion. Additionally, it can come in many formats, not simply visual, and can affect both men and women.

Many young adults have found themselves tuning in to other talks about love and morality, such as the Theology of the Body Conference, hosted by the Theology of the Body Institute.

Having studied this focus of St. Pope John Paul II’s work, I have found the material to be very useful for finding spiritual and practical answers to hot-button issues in addition to pornography, such as contraception, the masculine and feminine geniuses, homosexuality, embryonic stem cell research and more.

During one of his general audiences in 1980, the future saint said: “The body, and it alone, is capable of making visible what is invisible, the spiritual and divine.” For many who encounter this material for the first time, it is somewhat of a revelation to discover that the human body is created as something good.

This is a very confusing time and, as my Theology of the Body instructor told me, if the Church doesn’t provide the feast of rich, truthful answers about the meaning of the body, the culture will go through the dumpster to find them.

(Timson, 21, is finishing her Event Management studies at Humber College in Etobicoke, Ont.)

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