Is viewing pornography on the Internet a mortal sin? What is a good method to get away from what I know in my heart is wrong?
Of its nature, the viewing of pornography is a mortal sin. As with any mortal sin, one’s culpability (blame worthiness) is affected by how freely one consents to the act, and the degree to which one fully knows and understands the gravity of the evil involved.
Internet pornography presents a very serious temptation to many, and many pastoral challenges for the Church. The fact is, today, increasing numbers of people compulsively view this sinful material, and many are outright addicted to Internet pornography.
As any confessor or pastor of souls will be able to attest, large numbers are approaching the confessional and counseling and are quite “stuck” in Internet pornography. Many have seen their relationships and marriages greatly harmed, and some even end up with criminal charges related to the viewing of pornographic images of minors. Addiction to pornography is a slippery slope that leads to increasingly debased and degrading imagery. Pornography is indeed, a snare, which lures its victims with promises of momentary delights, only to leave them quickly hungry for more. This is due to the increasingly insatiable lust that it ignites.
One of the more effective remedies that has emerged recently is a system of accountability, wherein one's Internet activities are monitored and recorded, and a daily report is sent to someone of the pornography addict’s choice. This “sponsor,” of sorts, reviews the list and holds the addict accountable. Certainly too, filters can be of some help, to prevent tempting materials from appearing in the first place. These filters can be of great help to those who struggle more mildly with the problem. Sadly though, many true pornography addicts know their way around such filters.
Finally, this salutary reminder: absolutely nothing we do on the Internet is private. When we are on the Internet, we are out in public, and our browsing habits are not hard to discover, for those who might wish to know. What’s done in the dark can be brought to the light.
Take Internet pornography seriously, it is a grave sin, which causes great harm, and is highly addictive to many people. The Scriptures say, Flee fornication (1Cor 6:18). And one does well to heed this prescription in a particular way related to Internet pornography. Flee pornography; it is a snare.
Is there a difference in the meaning between the words Hallelujah and Alleluia? And if not, why are they spelled differently?
No, both words are the same. Hallelujah is a Hebrew word, ( הַלְּלוּיָהּ Hallal (Praise) + Yah (The LORD). Hence “Hallelujah” means, “Praise the Lord!” But the exact way that the Hebrew letters are transliterated into English and other languages has varied a bit over time. Perhaps most influential is the fact that the Greek New Testament rendered the Hebrew word Hallelujah as ἀλληλούϊα (allelouia). And since Greek is generally more influential in English spellings than Hebrew, many English translations render the word as Alleluia.
However, not an insubstantial number of English translators have preferred over the centuries, especially when translating the Old Testament Hebrew, to render the term Hallelujah. Some translators will use Hallelujah for the Old Testament and Alleluia for the New Testament.
Music has also influenced the decision over which spelling to use since some of the famous compositions from the Baroque period, such as Messiah, used the spelling Hallelujah that was more common in earlier English translations of the Bible.
At the end of the day, it is the same word, just with different spellings.
Since the Church says that having children is intrinsic to sex and marriage, should we just strip the sterile and older people of their right to marriage?
The Catechism says that sex must be ordered per se to the procreation of human life (# 2366). “Per se” does not mean every act can be fertile but only that “by itself” (i.e. per se) the act is not intentionally hindered from its natural ends. This is what contraception, homosexual acts, and certain heterosexual practices, that do not complete or naturally render the marital act, do. But it is clear to any biology novice that not every sexual act results in conception.
Consider by analogy, that I call a friend, and this might result in speaking with her, or perhaps being sent to a voice mail. Whatever the final result, my reason and purpose for calling was to try to reach my friend. One would likely consider me a madman if, in dialing the numbers, I had no intent of reaching my friend, and was angry if she did pick up the phone and begin to speak. Whatever the final result, the calling of my friend is per se related to speaking with her.
And this is what it means that marriage, and sexual activity, must be “per se” related to the procreation of children, even if the results of that activity do not always attain the full purpose of that action.
Older and/or sterile people do not intentionally exclude one of the two fundamental reasons for marriage and sexual activity.
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