Expert Answer Forum

internet QUESTION from Bryan May 10, 2000 Is looking at pornography on the internet a sin?
ANSWER by John-Paul Ignatius, O.L.S.M. on June 9, 2000 Dear Mr. Bryan:
Yes, looking at pornography from any source is a sin.
The Catechism says:
2354 Pornography consists in removing real or simulated sexual acts from the intimacy of the partners, in order to display them deliberately to third parties. It offends against chastity because it perverts the conjugal act, the intimate giving of spouses to each other. It does grave injury to the dignity of its participants (actors, vendors, the public), since each one becomes an object of base pleasure and illicit profit for others. It immerses all who are involved in the illusion of a fantasy world. It is a grave offense. Civil authorities should prevent the production and distribution of pornographic materials. Pornography is a GRAVE offense. However, Pornography is a HIGHLY addictive thing. MANY people are truly addicted to pornography and sexual sins.
When such addiction is present, the mortalness of the sin may be reduced according to the teaching of the Church.
There is hope, there is help for such people. We have a support group on this website for those addicted to sexual sins.
But the bottom line is yes, purposely viewing pornography is sin.
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