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Even priests and nuns watch porn, Pope Francis says; warns about dangers

By NICK GARCIA Published Oct 28, 2022 11:04 am

Pope Francis has warned about the dangers of watching pornography online—something that even priests and nuns are doing.

The Pope was answering questions from priests and seminarians during a convention at the Vatican on Oct. 24. He was asked how today's priests and seminarians, who are "immersed in the digital world and social media," can "share the joy of being Christian," without "forgetting their identity or being too exposed and arrogant."

Based on the transcript published by the Vatican on Oct. 26, Pope initially told them that as a "progress of science," social media "must be used" by the clergy—but only to help "move forward" and "communicate."

The 86-year-old pontiff, however, warned about excesses, such as consuming news "around all day," as well as "interesting" programs and music to the point that it doesn't let one work.

Francis, then, specifically addressed pornography, noting it's "a vice that has [gotten] so many people, so many lay people, so many lay women, and also priests and nuns."

"And I'm not just talking about criminal pornography like that of child abuse... But 'normal' pornography," he said.

He urged the clergy, and Catholics in general, to delete sources of pornography in their mobile phones, so they "won't have the temptation in hand."

"And if you can't cancel it, defend yourself well not to get into this," he said. "I tell you, it is something that weakens the soul. It weakens the soul. The devil enters from there: he weakens the priestly heart."

Over the years, the Vatican has sounded the alarm on the spread of pornography in films, television, and books.

In a 1989 memo, the Vatican said watching pornography may foster anti-social behavior. Worse, it said that pornography act as a reinforcing agent in the behavior of sex offenders, child molesters, rapists, and killers.