From CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE:
The U.S. (Roman Catholic)bishops have approved the development of a pastoral statement on the dangers pornography poses to family life that would serve as a teaching tool for church leaders. On Day Two of their annual fall general assembly in Baltimore, the bishops voted 226 to 5 to allow the Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth to develop the statement.
The committee planned to bring a draft to the bishops in 2015. It would be the first formal statement on pornography issued by the bishops as a body.
In all seriousness, I wonder how many of these celibate bishops access pornography, in one form or another, themselves, or did so in the past when they were younger and more virile. I also wonder if the five who voted against the measure did so because they didn't want to be hypocrites as well as onanists (one less sin to answer for come Judgement Day).
For men, masturbation and pornography go together like a horse and carriage and I guess that's particularly true if your chosen career path precludes any opportunity for the love and marriage option. Of course, there is nothing morally wrong about having a wank. Pornography, on the other hand is a moral minefield. Ironically, masturbation is more of a taboo subject than pornography. But that's people for you. They'll take to the streets to try and stop two men marrying each other (which wouldn't hurt anybody) whilst keeping very tightlipped and inanimate when it comes to things like wife beating, forced marriages and the physical and psychological abuse of children that takes place within families.
The thing is the vast majority of men (and all teenage boys) masturbate and a large percentage of those who do, at least occasionally, look at pornography whilst doing so. This means that any group of men who wish to pronounce on the acceptability of pornography are going to have to fess up to their own usage of pornography or they are going to come across as a bunch of hypocrites. I would have thought that the Roman Catholic male hierarchy would be fed up of tarring themselves with this particular brush right now.
To be honest, I don't think men can discuss the moral implications of pornography with any integrity. I am sure there are men who never look at pornography but who is going to believe a man who makes such a claim especially after so many abusive priests claimed they never abused anyone. If the Roman Catholic Church, if any church or, in fact, any institution wants to set up a committee to discuss the morality of pornography, they should probably restrict its membership to women.
Alternatively, they should leave well alone as only the bishop who hasn't tossed himself off can toss the first stone.