Looking at pornography- mortal sin?

What do y’all think-- is looking at porn a mortal sin? I imagine that the intent whenever anyone looks at porn is to get aroused. If you use porn for masturbating, then there’s the clear mortal sin with the masturbation. But if someone just looks at some pornographic materials to get aroused, and then put is away without any…self abuse…how sinful is that, do you think? Are we in mortal sin territory here or no?

(FWIW, this is a theoretical question and isn’t about me personally, or anyone I know in real life. :o)

Check the Catechism, check what Scripture says about lust.

yes…that is grave matter for mortal sin.

Yes it is because it is lusting towards someone which is the opposite of Chastity. In today’s society it is so hard for us guys because almost everytime we look at a girl it is hard to keep our minds pure.

Pray for us men of Christ that are striving to be chaste!

from the Catechism:

2354 Pornography consists in removing real or simulated sexual acts from the intimacy of the partners, in order to display them deliberately to third parties. It offends against chastity because it perverts the conjugal act, the intimate giving of spouses to each other. It does grave injury to the dignity of its participants (actors, vendors, the public), since each one becomes an object of base pleasure and illicit profit for others. It immerses all who are involved in the illusion of a fantasy world. It is a grave offense. Civil authorities should prevent the production and distribution of pornographic materials.

lol, wow.

Not to mention the adultery aspects of looking at porn if you are a married person.

I have to agree, it should be removed, yet it makes a great marketing tool and our society worships the all mighty buck, so we’ll be subjected to soft core porn on just about every tv channel, radio station, newspaper, magazine, etc. it’s what you don’t recognize as being porn is the most dangerous part of our struggle with modern society.

We are not to tempt ourselves in any way, and looking at porn in any form is doing just that, the fact remains when Christ states that one can commit adultery with their eyes stands quite clear in this matter as well.

What if we watch it frequently and feel a deep attraction for it,what should we do?

Should we just pray for help?

As humans dont we all have strong desires and attraction to the opposite sex and enjoy these physical pleasures?

Yes, looking at porn is a grave sin which can be a mortal sin if the requirements are met.

yes it’s a mortal sin, in any case. Putting yourself in an occasion of sin, willingly, is already a sin.

Thank you guys, you confirmed what my instincts were telling me.

Well, I think you’ve sort of taken the first step by recognizing it, mentioning it here and discussing it. It shows that you are at least cognizant of the dangers involved with pornography and how it relates to your spiritual development. That’s a positive start and one you should be commended for.

The next step would probably be to confess it, perform your penance and begin amending your life. Take the penance your parish priest gives you to heart and meditate on his advice. You’ll likely find the advice he gives you to be more helpful/useful than anything you’ll read here.

As for us all being human and all having strong desires for the opposite sex, you’re absolutely correct. And it is a difficult human emotion to deal with, especially for the male sex. But as with all sin, we can’t use our human desires as a crutch or justification for committing the sin.

At the end of the day, it’s a natural human emotion to want to strangle the guy who is road raging on the freeway. It’s a natural human emotion to want to earn as much money as we can and then spend that money on pleasurable riches of this world. It’s natural to want to lie when we are ashamed of the truth… but that’s the rub unfortunately. We are given all of these natural human emotions that force us to make the right decision even when every ounce of our being wants earthly gratification. If the path to salvation was smooth sailing, we never would have needed Christ to die for our sins.

In my personal life, I have one trick that seems to help me whenever I am starting to succumb to the sins of this earthy world. I think of the sacrifice Jesus made for me. I think of the pain and agony Jesus faced in His Passion. It’s difficult to refrain from succumbing to my earthly desires, but not nearly as difficult as the pain Jesus experienced when he was dying for me. And that sort of puts things in perspective. Nothing that the Lord is asking me to do in this world can ever compare to what Jesus had to go through for me and my sins. And then I get embarrassed about even thinking about giving in to temptation. It reminds me how weak I am. It reminds me just how absurd I am being for not having the fortitude to abstain from porn, or put down the twinkie, or not flip off the guy who just cut me off in traffic.

No time is this message more clear than during the Lenten season.

Definitely pray for help with this matter. And ask those around you to pray for you as well. But remember that you are imperfect, and you are going to fall. And when you do fall, try to remember that we all do. And then confess, perform your penance and amend your life. Get back in the saddle and try again. You will find that each time you fall, it becomes easier to get back up and stay on course. Eventually, you won’t fall anymore.

I’ll be praying for you.

Thank you Mike,

I do (thank God) go to confession but not sure what you mean my the penance thing,the priests just say to pray a hail Mary or an Our Father,i dont see much of the big deal with that

I do see the falls become less and less as we keep striving to keep the Commands of God and as you said its easier to get back up and keep going and keep trying to become better towards avoiding the Falls,

I believe there must be reasons or a reason why one would keep falling,ive heard that Pride comes before the fall,

In the Bible it mentions the thoughts of Lucifer when he said “I will acsend into Heaven”

I think that maybe i try to acsend to Heaven also by my own efforts without God playing or doing His part as he should by His grace,

So what would be the likely outcome? we would fall on our backside and slip into sin or a state of hell because we tries to ‘become a God without God’ as when Satan first tempted Man.

I will also try to remember Christs death,but i wonder ,many people have died or been crucified or put to death on Earth,what is the significance of Christs death,how does it help us that he Bled for us and died for us?

Is it the Holy Communion or Confessions that save us?

But he even gave the Holy Communion to the Apostles even while he was still alive,so what was the point of His death or Crucifixion?

What if we watch it frequently and feel a deep attraction for it,what should we do?

Should we just pray for help?

I would pray the rosary. Even once a day will seriously help you. If you’re using the computer to view it, you could try moving the computer to a public place, or only use the internet at a library.

many people have died or been crucified or put to death on Earth,what is the significance of Christs death,how does it help us that he Bled for us and died for us?

He took our sins upon Himselft, He took our deserved punishment.

You’re very welcome.

Often a priest gives a penance that more closely relates to the sin. For instance, if you are struggling with patience in dealing with others shortcomings or dealing with things in this life that you can’t control, your penance will be to recite the Prayer of St. Francis or the Serenity Prayer. Or to read a specific chapter of the gospel that relates to whatever you are struggling with.

If your penance is consistently Hail Mary/Lord’s Prayer, that would be a shame. If it is a large parish community and many people are seeking reconciliation at one time, there could be added pressure for him to assign penance quickly and keep things moving. Most parishes will request that if you have a detailed confession that is going to take longer than the standard 10-15 minutes, that you schedule a one-on-one session. Still, it should be fairly effortless for a priest to come up with something more meaningful to your particular situation than the standard Lord’s Prayer/Hail Mary. You may want to consider looking outside of your parish for reconciliation or scheduling a private session with your parish priest to discuss the issues in more detail during a time when multiple confessions aren’t being heard.

Wow, these are huge questions my friend. And difficult ones to answer in this medium. The answers to these questions are what comprise the core of Catholic belief and to answer them completely would require more than I could fit into one post.

What I can do is point you to the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
I highly recommend diving into the CCC yourself, in your spare time, and familiarizing yourself with the core Catholic beliefs:


“Jesus handed over according to the definite plan of God”**

599 Jesus’ violent death was not the result of chance in an unfortunate coincidence of circumstances, but is part of the mystery of God’s plan, as St. Peter explains to the Jews of Jerusalem in his first sermon on Pentecost: "This Jesus [was] delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God."393 This Biblical language does not mean that those who handed him over were merely passive players in a scenario written in advance by God.394

600 To God, all moments of time are present in their immediacy. When therefore he establishes his eternal plan of “predestination”, he includes in it each person’s free response to his grace: "In this city, in fact, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place."395 For the sake of accomplishing his plan of salvation, God permitted the acts that flowed from their blindness.396
“He died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures”**

601 The Scriptures had foretold this divine plan of salvation through the putting to death of “the righteous one, my Servant” as a mystery of universal redemption, that is, as the ransom that would free men from the slavery of sin.397 Citing a confession of faith that he himself had “received”, St. Paul professes that "Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures."398 In particular Jesus’ redemptive death fulfills Isaiah’s prophecy of the suffering Servant.399 Indeed Jesus himself explained the meaning of his life and death in the light of God’s suffering Servant.400 After his Resurrection he gave this interpretation of the Scriptures to the disciples at Emmaus, and then to the apostles.401

"For our sake God made him to be sin"

602 Consequently, St. Peter can formulate the apostolic faith in the divine plan of salvation in this way: "You were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your fathers. . . with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot. He was destined before the foundation of the world but was made manifest at the end of the times for your sake."402 Man’s sins, following on original sin, are punishable by death.403 By sending his own Son in the form of a slave, in the form of a fallen humanity, on account of sin, God "made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God."404

603 Jesus did not experience reprobation as if he himself had sinned.405 But in the redeeming love that always united him to the Father, he assumed us in the state of our waywardness of sin, to the point that he could say in our name from the cross: "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"406 Having thus established him in solidarity with us sinners, God “did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all”, so that we might be “reconciled to God by the death of his Son”.407

The process for breaking a bad habit, especially one that you like very much, is to substitute a good habit that meets the same need.

So, first of all, identify the need that is being met. Is it that you like to look at beauty? If so, then perhaps take up painting, go for long walks in the country side, or go visiting to art galleries, to fulfill your need to look at beauty.

Is it because you are lonely? If so, join a club of some kind (prayer groups are usually very good for this), where the people are likely to welcome you and become your friends.

See, the thing that makes sin so attractive, is that, in a very warped and round-about way, it meets a need. What we have to do, when we find ourselves falling into sin is, “What need of mine is not being met, that somehow this sin is trying to help me to meet”

When you figure that out, you will be well on your way to conquering the sin. :slight_smile:

Hi,maybe the thing with Intercourse or porn is that its pleasurable,it offers pleasure

unfortunately i feel i live a bit isolated and dont derive enough pleasure from social relationships with women or friends as much as i would like to

i live with Parents and i find it hard to even talk to them

I dont know the reasons why all sorts of people would turn to pornograpy ,but i feel maybe my life has gone off the rails a bit ,and therefore i turn to self harm and abuse,smoking,sex abuse and lack of desire to even carry on with life

anyway probably better to have troubles and remember God then be carefree and be spiritually asleep

Stop watching porn and redirect our time and energies into loving other people and doing good.

Instead of using and abusing other people for our own gratification, we should love other people for their own sakes. The liberation and fulfillment that come from loving are far greater than any fleeting feeling of pleasure.

I agree,my falls into these traps have become less frequent as i try to keep Gods Commands and grow spiritually

We can just say to ourselves if we fall,‘well il keep trying and try to do better next time’

I dont know why i like sometimes so much the unnatural actions and pleasures and desires that can be seen with those Sinful movies

We are to live in a natural state with God as much as we can ,but when i find myself liking so much unatural things i cant believe how far away i must be from God or from living in a natural state

Why do i like/love such things?

But thank God im still young and maybe have many more years to develop Spiritually and Mature with God and keeping his Commandments and learning to love more of the better things in life and Jesus Christ and His Church