Marriage & Family Life Societal Challenges

Family hiking through a forest

“I thank God that many families, which are far from considering themselves perfect, live in love, fulfil their calling and keep moving forward, even if they fall many times along the way. The Synod’s reflections show us that there is no stereotype of the ideal family, but rather a challenging mosaic made up of many different realities, with all their joys, hopes and problems. The situations that concern us are challenges. We should not be trapped into wasting our energy in doleful laments, but rather seek new forms of missionary creativity. In every situation that presents itself, “the Church is conscious of the need to offer a word of truth and hope… The great values of marriage and the Christian family correspond to a yearning that is part and parcel of human existence.” -Pope Francis (AMORIS LÆTITIA (The Joy of Love), Chapter 57)

Anti-Pornography

United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Resources

Create In Me a Clean Heart: A Pastoral Response to Pornography

“The audience of this statement is broad because pornography affects so many people’s lives and requires a collaborative, concentrated effort by all of us to counter its harms. The statement itself is addressed primarily to parents, clergy, diocesan and parish leaders, educators, mental health professionals, and all those in positions to help protect children from pornography and heal the men, women and young people who have been harmed by its use. We also hope the statement will be helpful for men, women, and young people who themselves view pornography, whether occasionally or habitually, or who have been victimized by pornography.” -Introduction from Create In Me a Clean Heart 

For Your Marriage

A helpful resource website brought to you by the USCCB. This site lists multiple resources to inform and assist you on multiple topics affecting your marriage, including how to address pornography addiction in your marriage.

Books and Publications

Create in Me a Clean Heart
The abridged version of the USCCB statement Create in Me a Clean Heart: A Pastoral Response to Pornography (2015) provides an accessible, easy-to-understand distillation of the bishop’s message of hope and healing to those who struggle with pornography use and addiction. This pamphlet explains the Church’s teaching on pornography, how pornography use affects various people in society, and what can be done to help. This is a good resource for adult faith formation, RCIA classes, chastity courses and so on.
Purchase Pamphlet Here.

Raising Chaste Children in a Pornography World 
One of the most difficult challenges parents face today is helping their children navigate a culture where pornography is more accessible than ever before. In the pamphlet “Raising Chaste Children in a Pornographic World,” internet safety expert, Ryan Foley gives five tried-and-true strategies for helping children grow in the virtue of chastity in the midst of a challenging environment. This is a good resource for all Catholic parents and grandparents, as well as for those who work with children in school and parish settings.
Purchase Pamphlet Here.

Pornography’s Effects on Marriage and Hope for Married Couples
Pornography use within a marriage can have devastating effects, causing betrayal, deep hurt, and broken trust. In the pamphlet “Pornography’s Effects on Marriage and Hope for Married Couples” counselor Sam Meier and his wife Beth share their hopeful story along with practical tips for healing marriages from pornography. This is a good resource for married couples, engaged couples, and those who minister to couples and families.
Purchase Pamphlet Here.

The Role of Priests in Ministry to Those who Struggle with Pornography
Priests are well aware of the harm that pornography use and addiction has on the Catholic faithful. In the pamphlet “The Role of Priests in Ministry to Those who Struggle with Pornography,” psychologist Fr. David Songy offers wise counsel for how priests can be spiritual fathers to men and women in these circumstances, including advice on what to say when the topic of pornography comes up in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. This resource is intended for priests and some content is also applicable to deacons.
Purchase Pamphlet Here.

“Wash Me Throughly”: Healing from Pornography Use and Addiction 
Many people today struggle with pornography use or addiction: men, women, young people; married people, singles, clergy, and so on. It is a challenging problem to overcome, but there is always hope. In the pamphlet “Wash Me Throughly”: Healing from Pornography Use and Addiction,” counselor Daniel Spadaro provides concrete strategies for breaking free from pornography. This is a good resource to have available in the parish church or school, perhaps in a discreet location, and would also be good for adult faith formation, RCIA classes, parent education, and young adult ministry.
Purchase Pamphlet Here.

Additional Online Resources

National Center on Sexual Exploitation
Official website of the National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE), providing access to invaluable resources through its website for those who struggle with pornography, and their families. NCOSE also maintains a research website that compiles peer-reviewed data on the public health crisis of pornography.

Integrity Restored
Integrity Restored provides education, training, encouragement, and resources to break free from pornography, heal relationships, and to assist parents in preventing and responding to pornography exposure which is so devastating in the lives of our children. We are also a resource that trains and helps clergy in assisting families at the parish level, so that the domestic church truly becomes what it is, the human space in which we encounter Christ.

Fight The New Drug
A grassroots, youth oriented, non-religious, non-legislative, non-profit organization dedicated to raising awareness on the harmful effects of pornography.

Covenant Eyes
Covenant Eyes is the pioneer of Internet Accountability software, empowering members to maintain their online integrity. Aware of an ever-growing need to better equip parents, Covenant Eyes has developed a family internet filter that restricts usage based on parental controls.

Book Resources

Integrity Restored: Helping Catholic Families Win the Battle Against Pornography
Pornography is no longer just a men’s issue. Dr. Peter Kleponis presents an alarming in-depth look at the pornography epidemic that is ruining lives, marriages, families, and careers and hindering life-giving relationships with God. Read the stories of real men, women, clergy, seminarians, and teens who’ve suffered from addictions to pornography and went on to find healing. Freedom is possible. Integrity can be restored.
Purchase Book Here.

Integrity Start Here! A Catholic Approach to Restoring Sexual Integrity 
Pornography addiction is an epidemic worldwide. Millions of people are affected by it. While there have been numerous secular and Protestant programs for recovery until now have existed for Catholics. In this workbook, Dr. Peter Kleponis presents his Integrity Starts Here program. This proven recovery program for pornography addiction is the first one to combine modern psychology with Catholic Spirituality. With this workbook, Catholic readers will embark on the journey of creating their own customized recovery program that incorporates their Catholic faith in God, which can lead to lasting sobriety, healing, growth, and change.
Purchase Book Here.

Restoring Trust: A Couples Guide to Getting Past Porn 
Discovering a pornography addiction is traumatic-but knowing about it is necessary for true healing and recovery to begin. In Restoring Trust, licensed clinical therapist Peter C. Kleponis, Ph.D., SATP-C, co-founder of IntegrityRestored.com and creator of the Integrity Starts Here! recovery program provides an authentically Catholic approach to understanding and recovering from pornography addiction whether you, your spouse or both are addicted.

Drawing on real-life case studies, teachings of the Church, and Scripture, this book will show you how healing, recovery, and restoration are possible for each of you personally and for your marriage. Past mistakes and hurts, no matter how deep, do not have to rule your future. With the right tools, and relying on God’s grace, you can restore trust in your relationship and achieve lasting freedom.
Purchase Book Here.

Domestic Violence: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Resources

When I Call for Help: A Pastoral Response to Domestic Violence Against Women 
“As pastors of the Catholic Church in the United States, we state as clearly and strongly as we can that violence against women, inside or outside the home, is never justified. Violence in any form” – physical, sexual, psychological, or verbal” – is sinful; often, it is a crime as well. We have called for a moral revolution to replace a culture of violence. We acknowledge that violence has many forms, many causes, and many victims – men as well as women.”

In this update of our 1992 statement, we again express our desire to offer the Church’s resources to both the women who are abused and the men who abuse. Both groups need Jesus’ strength and healing.
Click here for English.
Da clic aquí para Español.

The National Domestic Violence Hotline provides crisis intervention and referrals to local service providers. Call (800) 799-SAFE (7233) or (800) 787- 3224 (TTY).

For more information, go to www.thehotline.org. Hotline Advocates are available to chat online, Monday-Friday from 9am-7pm CST.

Organizations and Upcoming Events

Peace Over Violence 
Peace Over Violence is a nonprofit 501c3, multicultural, community based and volunteer centered organization dedicated to building healthy relationships, families and communities free from sexual, domestic and interpersonal violence. To achieve this mission our agency manages five departments delivering the services of Emergency, Intervention, Prevention, Education and Advocacy.

Access the Domestic Violence Survivor Referral/Resource Information (PDF Version)

Dragonfly Warriors
Dragonfly Warriors is a nonprofit 501c3, multicultural, and community based and volunteer organization with an active presence in Santa Maria, Santa Barbara and also extends its services to Los Angeles. They are dedicated to building healthier relationships, families and communities which are free from all forms of sexual, domestic as well as interpersonal violence.

With their five distinct departments, they deliver services of emergency, intervention, prevention, education and advocacy in order to achieve their mission of a violence-free society.

Domestic Violence Awareness Project (DVAP)

The Domestic Violence Awareness Project (DVAP) supports the rights of all individuals, especially women and girls, to live in peace and dignity. Violence and all other forms of oppression against all communities and families must be eliminated. The purpose of the DVAP is to support and promote natural, tribal, territorial, state, and local advocacy networks in their ongoing public education efforts through public awareness, strategies, materials, resources, capacity-building, and technical assistance.

MARRIAGE & FAMILY LIFE

Return to the Department page of Marriage & Family Life.

Return to Main Page