by Peter C. Kleponis, PH.D.
How can there be a culture of life when so many souls are addicted to pornography? Dr Kleponis, a clinical therapist, has produced a really important resource which examines the addiction and also the means of obtaining healing from a Catholic perspective. As he states: "The good news is that freedom from pornography addiction is possible. Lives can be restored and marriages can be healed."
Unfortunately, without the restoration of sexual integrity, the consequences of the addiction are devastating. The author notes that pornography is affordable, accessible and anonymous. It is also increasingly acceptable in society.
Addiction to pornography often begins with emotional wounds and pornography is used to keep the pain away. But the more the addict returns to it, the more physically dependant he becomes. People are more likely to become addicted if they are lonely, insecure, angry and stressed. Dr Kleponis also notes that many addicts describe a lonely childhood and many tend to be narcisistic.
The effects of the addiction on marriage include a breakdown in trust, disordered sexuality and sexual dissatisfaction. Unsurprisingly, many marriages end in divorce.
Psychological support is essential but the healing is most importantly sacramental. As Kleponis notes, pornography is essentially two or more people "using each other for selfish reasons that defies God's beautiful plan for sex."
Especially important are the Eucharist and confession. Also noted are prayer, fasting and devotion to Our Lady.
This is an important resource on one of the most pressing problems today.
REVIEWED BY DR PRAVIN THEVATHASAN