Young people and porn

Anti-pornPope Paul VI predicted in Humanae vitae, “that a man who grows accustomed to the use of contraceptive methods may forget the reverence due to a woman, and, disregarding her physical and emotional equilibrium, reduce her to being a mere instrument for the satisfaction of his own desires.” This prediction might have seemed far-fetched in 1968 when the encyclical was released, but we now have ample evidence that it was completely correct.

Two Dunedin university students have been in the news over their attitudes to women and their bodies. One thinks that university students should have the right to access pornography through the University of Otago computer network. He says it doesn’t make sense ‘to have the university interfering with what you are doing in your private time.’ This is a very common appeal to personal autonomy. However, the internet connection isn’t their own. It’s the University’s connection, which is available to many students at their halls of residence.

The University doesn’t just filter pornography, it filters file sharing sites too. It provides the connection to help the students in their studies. It’s pretty obvious that pornography isn’t going to help a student. I’ve heard of marriages destroyed by pornography, and family homes that have had to be sold to pay for online pornography debts. Filtering of internet content isn’t unusual in New Zealand. The connections of 75% of the population are filtered for child pornography.

The second student has been in the media over his private Facebook page with featured explicit pictures of local women, posted without their knowledge or permission. The initial response of the police was, “These kinds of sites are not necessarily unlawful, but we do appreciate that they can cause significant upset and social harm.”  Now the police are now encouraging victims to contact them. The University has come out strongly against the now removed page, and is taking disciplinary action.

The images on the Facebook page were only possible because these pictures are being taken and shared with boyfriends. Here the boyfriend seem to think that they have a right to these explicit pictures, or are pressuring their girlfriends into supplying them. The recent celebrity phone hacking scandal has shown how common it is for young women to share ‘intimate’ photos with their boyfriends. Is it coercion, fear of losing boyfriends, or the women buying into the lie that their body is just another commodity that they can use to get what they want? Whatever it is, it’s the boyfriend’s lack of reverence that is driving it. The celebrity, Jennifer Lawrence made the comment about stolen explicit photos she took for her boyfriend, “and either your boyfriend is going to look at porn or he’s going to look at you”.

Another recent trend is ‘upskirt’ photography. Men use hidden cameras at low level to take ‘upskirt’ photos of women in public places. Fortunately New Zealand courts have been prosecuting perpetrators. This is in contrast to a recent Texas legal decision that has decided that this form of photography is a constitutional right. This is similar to the Dunedin students claim that he has a right to pornography. Obviously the Texas court thinks freedom in photography is much more important than the rights of those being photographed.

This is in contrast to a recent French decision on a young man who photographed not women, but Paris landmarks, from a camera on a flying ‘drone’.

He was convicted.

Obviously our society has decided that New Zealand and Texan women are worth a lot less than the photos of French monuments.

Jennifer Lawrence calls the distribution of her photos a “sex crime”. Before contraceptives were accepted, everyone would have agreed with her.


Respect Life Month – Day Twelve

married couple“Dear families, rejoice in fatherhood and motherhood! Openness to life is a sign of openness to the future, confidence in the future, just as respect for the natural moral law frees people, rather than demeaning them! The good of the family is also the good of the Church.”  Pope Benedict XVI

  • Learn about Natural Fertility Regulation.  Married couples learn how to use NFR to either achieve or postpone pregnancy.  Priests and singles promote it to engaged and married couples.  Family Life International NZ teaches Natural Fertility Regulation (Billings Ovulation Method).  You can find out more here.

Humanae Vitae Novena

Eternal Father, we, Your unworthy servants approach You.  We ask You to protect the lives of the Holy Innocents of this day and age, the preborn.  Please bless them and keep them from the moment of conception to natural death.  We ask the guardian angels of the preborn to watch over and protect these children.  Enkindle the flame of maternal and paternal love in current and future parents, so they may be open to life and accept children lovingly and willingly according to Your Will.  Enlighten every mind to the horror of abortion and the evil of artificial contraception, and give us the courage and strength to fight for the Culture of Life with truth and love.

We humbly ask You in the Holy Name of Jesus this favor and through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, her spouse St. Joseph, St, Michael the Archangel, and Your good and faithful servants, Blessed John Paul II the Great and Pope Paul VI, please hear and answer our prayers.  For You are our God, the God of salvation and compassion,
and we glorify You, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, now and forever, and unto ages of ages. Amen.

Say one Our Father, 3 Hail Marys, 1 Guardian Angel Prayer, and 1 Glory Be

  • Holy Jesus, Infant of Prague – HEAR OUR PRAYER
  • Immaculate Heart of Mary – PRAY FOR US
  • St. Joseph – PRAY FOR US
  • St. Michael the Archangel – PRAY FOR US
  • Blessed Pope John Paul II the Great – PRAY FOR US
  • Pope Paul VI – PRAY FOR US

Jesus, meek and humble of heart, make my heart like unto yours. Amen.

The Legacy of Dissent from Humanae Vitae

Forty-three years ago (25 July 1968) Pope Paul VI promulgated one of the most controversial encyclicals ever.  The encyclical letter was Humanae Vitae, a prophetic letter on the regulation of births.

This was the time of free love, the pill and women’s liberation.  Many in the Church felt that it was time to get with the times and for contraception to be allowed.  Paul VI was advised of this and there was an expectation that a new doctrine would be declared.

But Paul VI was protected from teaching error in this instance and he stood firm in the teaching that had gone before him.  He wrote:

“In conformity with these fundamental elements of the human and Christian vision of marriage, we must once again declare that the direct interruption of the generative process already begun, and, above all, directly willed and procured abortion, even if for therapeutic reasons, are to be absolutely excluded as lawful means of birth regulation.

Also, to be excluded, as the Magisterium of the Church has on a number of occasions declared, is direct sterilization, whether perpetual or temporary, whether of the man or of the woman.

Similarly excluded is every action that, either in anticipation of the conjugal act or in its accomplishment or in the development of its natural consequences, would have as an end or as a means, to render procreation impossible.” (#14)

With these words came much dissent from the Bishop’s of the world and a myriad of the lay faithful.  Many chose to do what they wished, and instead of listening to the wisdom of Pope Paul VI, walked a contrary path.  Today, we live the legacy of that dissent.

Pope Paul VI warned of the serious consequences of artificial birth regulation:

  • Infidelity;
  • Lowering of morality;
  • Youth given an easy way to evade the moral law’s observance;
  • Men losing respect for women and using her as a means of selfish enjoyment (think of all the pornography);
  • Rulers imposing upon their people methods of contraception they think most efficacious (think China – forced sterilization, forced abortion and UN programmes in Third World countries that require the implementation of reproductive programmes in order to receive aid.)

We see these consequences at an alarming rate in our world today, and it seems that each day the outlook appears bleaker.

Married couples need the teaching of Humanae Vitae today more than ever before.  Many Catholic couples contracept seeing nothing morally wrong with their choices.  New Zealand has the highest vasectomy rate in the world (and many Catholic men have chosen this form of sterilization).

Those who have the opportunities to teach and influence the faithful need to speak of Humanae Vitae.  This doctrine of love and life needs to shared far and wide.  No one need be afraid.  The truth sets us free.  And so many people need to be set free.

A copy of Humanae Vitae can be downloaded here.