My Dear Parishioners,
The Archdiocese of Philadelphia, in cooperation with the U.S. Bishops, is designating the weekend, of March 2-3 as “Safe Haven Sunday.” They have selected the software company Covenant Eyes, as the organizer of this event. The Covenant Eyes Mission Statement from their own website is:
What people do online impacts their lives offline. Our goal is to equip people with tools that provide protection and encourage accountability and trust in the fight against Internet temptation. We bridge the gap between technology and relationships.™
In preparation for “Safe Haven Sunday,” the organizers have asked me to communicate the following information to you this weekend.
As you work hard to create safe havens for your children and spouse, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) wish to bring one particular issue to your attention. It’s not easy to discuss, but it’s important. That issue is pornography.
In November of 2016, the USCCB released a pastoral response to pornography, called
Create in Me a Clean Heart. The intention of writing this document was to:
- offer healing and hope to those who have been wounded by pornography;
- articulate the Catholic Church’s response to the pastoral crisis brought about by the production and use of pornography; and
- raise awareness of its pervasiveness and harms.
Why? Because pornography is hurting many people, including marriages and families, singles, priests and religious, and even children. It hurts the healthy process of vocational discernment for our young people. Pornography use impacts the relationships of children with their parents, husbands with their wives (and vice versa), the pastor with his community, and most importantly, our relationship with our Lord.
In the formal statement, the USCCB speak directly to parents about being proactive about the issue of pornography in the life of the home with their children and together as a married couple ensure the home keeps its status as a safe haven for all. The Bishops state, “The use of pornography by anyone in the home deprives the home of its role as a safe haven and has negative effects throughout a family’s life and across generation.”
Thus, on March 2 & 3, 2019 we will be celebrating the first annual “Safe Haven Sunday” with the theme “Equipping the Family, Safeguarding Children.” This awareness effort is meant to draw our attention as a community to the seriousness of the issues of pornography and to recommit ourselves to take steps to ensure our homes are safe havens for all.
There will be resources on the tables in the back hallway. You can begin learning more now by joining The Equipped 7-Day Challenge: A Digital Crash Course by texting the words “SECURE TO” to the number: 66866 to receive seven days of emailed digital tips!
May God Bless You,