“The devil comes in from there,” Pope warns seminarians during question-and-answer sessions.
Pope Francis has warned seminarians in Rome about the dangers of online pornography, calling it a temptation that “weakens the priestly heart.”
The pope will extensively answer a wide range of questions from priests and seminarians during a meeting at the Vatican on Monday. He discussed reconciling science and faith and trying to live a virtuous life while struggling with personal shortcomings.
When asked how best to use digital and social media to “share the joy of being a Christian,” the Pope warned against watching the news obsessively and listening to music that distracts from one’s work, before raising a more carnal risk.
“And on this [subject]there’s also something you know well: digital pornography,” he said, according to the transcript of the question-and-answer session released by the Vatican on Wednesday.
“Each of you thinks whether you have had the experience or been tempted by digital pornography. It’s a vice that so many people have, so many lay people, so many lay people and even priests and nuns,” Francis said.
“And I’m not just talking about criminal pornography like child abuse, where you see live cases of abuse – that’s already degenerating – but the more ‘normal’ pornography,” he added.
The Jesuit Pope has previously condemned pornography, most recently in June when he called it “a permanent attack on the dignity of men and women,” saying it should be a “threat to public health.”
Francis advised his audience to remove pornographic material from cell phones “so you don’t get tempted.”
“The devil comes in from there,” he warned. It weakens the priestly heart.”