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Workshop Offers Solutions for Internet Pornography Addiction
9–11 June 2011 • On-campus Event
The enormous world of internet pornography continues to invade our culture, and the statistics* are staggering: 40 million Americans are regular visitors to porn sites; 70% of men ages 18–24 visit porn sites monthly; 1 in 3 porn viewers are women; there are 116,000 searches for “child pornography” daily; 35% of all internet downloads are pornographic; and in the U.S., Internet porn pulls in $2.84 billion per year.
In his recent campus workshop addressing this invasive addiction—“Internet Pornography and Chastity”—Dr. Albert Rossi, adjunct professor for Pastoral Theology at St. Vladimir’s, stressed two things: hope in Christ and help from commendable resources.
“The sessions,” said Dr. Rossi, “stressed the necessity of personal stillness and accountability. Perhaps the signature insight of the workshop was, ‘Christ is everything.’ Many persons don't comprehend the seriousness of Internet pornography. But, Jesus said, ‘If anyone looks at a woman lustfully he commits adultery with her in his heart’ (Matt 5:28). In Jesus' time, adultery was a serious sin, punishable by death. In the workshop, we discussed how viewing Internet pornography is a form of ‘adultery,’ with disastrous consequences for personal relationships.”
Dr. Rossi also noted the importance of personal accountability in addressing the problem of the pull toward Internet pornography. “‘Revolving door’ confession for an Internet pornography addiction only aids and abets the behavior,” he observed. Thus, in his presentation, he particularly highlighted the distinction between self-will and surrender to the Lord, along with surrender to another human being—inside and outside of the sacrament of Confession. “Isolation is the enemy of emotional and spiritual growth,” he stressed.
He also recommended two sources of help for those dealing with an Internet pornography addiction or compulsion: “Covenant Eyes,” a software program that provides accountability for computer use; and “Sexaholics Anonymous,” a 12-Step fellowship that includes individuals, many of whom are professionals, whose "only" sexual problem is Internet misuse.
* Via online MBA.