One positive thing about recent
developments is that it has provoked an international conversation about the
virtue of chastity. Up to now it had been ignored or ridiculed. But the
devastating consequences of not living it have become evident to everyone.
However, the media is not quite sure how to handle it. The clearest
illustration of this came in a Reuters
a few days ago:

prominent Roman Catholic bishop in Mexico blamed eroticism on television and
Internet pornography for child abuse by priests, in the latest incendiary
comments on sex scandals in the church. “With so much invasion of
eroticism, sometimes it’s not easy to stay celibate or to respect
children,” Bishop Felipe Arizmendi said during an annual meeting of
Mexican bishops near Mexico City on Thursday.

on television and on the Internet and in so many media outlets there is
pornography, it is very difficult to stay pure and chaste,” said
Arizmendi, an influential bishop from the colonial town of San Cristobal de las
Casas in southern Mexico. “Obviously when there is generalized sexual
freedom it’s more likely there could be cases of pedophilia,” he added.

These are “incendiary” remarks? This is
controversial? What exactly is the correct strategy for dealing with eroticism
and pornography in the media? To consume as much as possible?

That’s more or less what happened in the
Securities and Exchange Commission apparently during the meltdown of 2008. According
to a report to the US Congress
, senior employees of the SEC spent more time
visiting internet porn sites than they did chasing after Bernie Madoff.

senior attorney at SEC headquarters in Washington spent up to eight hours a day
accessing Internet porn. When he filled all the space on his government
computer with pornographic images, he downloaded more to CDs and DVDs that
accumulated in boxes in his offices. An SEC accountant attempted to access porn
websites 1,800 times in a two-week period and had 600 pornographic images on
her computer hard drive. Another SEC accountant attempted to access porn sites
16,000 times in a single month.

Rather than ridicule Bishop Arizmendi,
perhaps the SEC could hire  him as
a consultant on how to raise the productivity of its employees. Chastity isn’t
just for monks.


Michael Cook

Michael Cook is the editor of MercatorNet. He lives in Sydney, Australia.