Confessions of a Porn-Addicted Priest
“Forgive me. I have sinned.” I’ve always counted it a privilege to hear these words, to offer forgiveness. But for years, it was tainted with self-recrimination: You’re a hypocrite. Indeed, who was I to forgive or offer counsel, when I struggled with sin that I myself refused to confess because I couldn’t give it up and wasn’t sure I wanted to? Now, I have a confession to make.
It began during seminary, scanning photo galleries of models and actresses that I was attracted to. It seemed harmless, no threat to my celibate commitment. I took that promise seriously. I had no illusions that it would be easy, and it wasn’t. This might take the edge off, I thought.
I had no fears about its effects on my everyday life. I maintained proper boundaries in my work. I was especially vigilant when I was aware of my attraction to someone. I stayed away from sexually suggestive comments, and never flirted or acted inappropriately. I was the model of propriety, even as my browsing turned from the scantily clad to the unclothed.
My busyness seemed like a grace. Studies, ministry and social life always took priority over my explorations in the developing world of online pornography. Keeping my commitments, I reasoned, would ensure it remained a harmless diversion. My self-deception continued, unconfronted.