Free resources for individuals and families on Safe Haven Sunday Print
Around the Diocese
Written by Marriage and Family Office, Diocese of Madison   
Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019 -- 12:00 AM

MADISON -- Pornography is not a topic most adults are comfortable speaking about. This is especially the case when it comes to parents addressing it with their children.

Regrettably, it’s the topic that’s becoming more and more necessary to address in our digital age. Too many parents, grandparents, and guardians think that internet-based pornography is beyond the interest of their children. We need to be informed on this matter. Statistics tell us another story.

Exposure to pornography

First exposure to internet pornography is often during the elementary school years. This often occurs by accident.

Picture this: your child typed in the wrong word on social media, your nephew clicked on the wrong YouTube video, or your godchild’s friend showed him his first sexually explicit image on Instagram.

When parents and guardians haven’t created an environment where it’s safe and welcome to talk about uncomfortable topics, children will often hide these experiences out of shame and embarrassment.

Keeping homes safe

The late Bishop Robert C. Morlino was passionate about the domestic Church. He wanted all homes to be safe. He saw it as his sacred duty to protect the children in the Diocese of Madison from pornography, and to guide and equip individuals and parents with forming children to live virtuous and holy lives online and offline.

Pornography creates an impediment to obtaining deep and lasting relationships with Our Lord Jesus Christ, who is to be the center of our very lives, homes, and vocations. Pornography is a bondage and a fake. It is a mockery of true and holy intimacy that is celebrated through the sacramental life of the Church.

Safe Haven Sunday

To provide you with the tools you need to overcome pornography and to make your home a safe haven for children and adults -- one free of pornography -- the Diocese of Madison will celebrate its first annual Safe Haven Sunday on January 20, 2019.

Within the context of Mass, parishes in the Diocese of Madison will provide teaching and resources that will support and protect individuals, marriages, and families in making all homes a safe haven.

This awareness day is inspired by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ formal statement Create in Me a Clean Heart: A Pastoral Response to Pornography, where the bishops explain: “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 generations.”

By celebrating this awareness day with the theme Equipping the Family, Safeguarding Children, we as a community are saying we want holy, healthy, and safe homes, free of pornography and other online threats that deprive the home of its role as a safe haven.

Each home will be given Covenant Eyes’ book: Equipped: Smart Catholic Parenting in a Sexualized Culture. This book includes a unique seven-day text-to-opt-in program: The Equipped 7-Day E-mail Challenge. This challenge provides practical tips any caring adult can take to create safer digital environments for themselves and our young people.

We encourage you to take advantage of these resources and ask that you be intentional about taking the steps suggested to ensure safety and joy for you, your loved ones, and the greater community.

Pornography doesn’t need to be fought alone. It is our hope that the resources provided to you on Safe Haven Sunday will both encourage and teach all individuals and families dealing with the effects of pornography that loving support is available. It’s worth battling pornography for wholeness and purity for you, your spouse, your children, and the future of everyone in our diocese.


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