Viewing online pornography is a widespread “vice” that even nuns and priests are not alien to, Pope Francis said earlier this week.
Speaking to seminarians, the 85-year-old pontiff called on each of the aspiring clerics to think if they “have had an experience or had a temptation to watch pornography in the digital world.”
“It is a vice that so many people have, so many laymen, so many laywomen, and also priests and nuns,” the Pope said.
He stressed that he is talking not only about “criminal pornography,” depicting, for example, child abuse, but also about so-called “normal” porn. Emphasizing that such images “weaken the soul,” the head of the Roman Catholic Church called on everyone who can delete it from phones to do so.
“The pure heart, the one that Jesus receives every day, cannot receive this pornographic information,” Pope Francis said.
According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, anyone involved in producing or watching porn commits a “grave offense.” Pornography “offends against chastity because it perverts the conjugal act, the intimate giving of spouses to each other,” the church’s doctrinal document explains.
Meanwhile, the Pope’s Instagram page, which is managed by the Holy See’s team, made headlines in 2020 after ‘liking’ a racy photo of bikini model Natalia Garibotto. The ‘like’, despite being removed the next day, was appreciated by the model. “My mum may hate my a** pics but the Pope be double-tapping,” she said in an interview at the time.
The Catholic News Agency, citing sources close to the Vatican press, later reported that the Pope’s team had launched an internal investigation to determine how the ‘like’ had happened.