Pope Francis strongly condemned internet pornography this week, claiming that “the devil enters” through such content.
The comments were made on Wednesday when speaking to a group of seminarians, when the pontiff was asked by one aspiring priest how the internet could be used more responsibly.
“I believe that these things should be used, because it is a progress of science. They do a service to be able to progress in life,” the Pope said, adding that he himself had arrived “too late” for such technologies.
“It’s not my world,” he said.
However, said that while the technologies could be very useful for communication, “I cannot fail to speak here of the dangers” – including wasting time with frivolous activities like watching videos and music.
“And there is also another thing, which you know well: digital pornography,” he said. “I say this quite clearly.”
“Each of you think if you have had the experience or have had the temptation of pornography in the digital world,” the Pope continued.
“It is a vice that so many people have, so many lay men and women, and also priests and nuns.
“The devil enters from there. And I’m not just talking about criminal pornography like child abuse, where you see live cases of children abused: this is a degeneration. But even ‘normal’ pornography. Dear brothers, be careful about this.
“The pure heart, the one that receives Jesus every day, cannot receive this pornographic material that is so common nowadays. And if you can delete this from your mobile phone, delete it, so you will not have the temptation in hand.
“And if you cannot erase it, protect yourself well so as not to fall into this. I tell you, it is something that weakens the soul. It weakens the soul. The devil enters from there: it weakens the priestly heart.”
The Pope concluded: “Forgive me for going into these details about pornography, but it is a reality: a reality that touches priests, seminarians, nuns, consecrated souls – this is important.”