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Open letter from a priest to a porn star: I understand your suffering

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"I have met people broken by pornography. On both sides."

Dear Amarna,

Allow me to introduce myself: My name is Patxi Bronchalo, and I’m a priest—a small town priest. One of those whom you call “guardians of morality” (it sounds like we’re something out of Dungeons and Dragons). I’m just one more.

During my four years as a priest, I have had many, many moments of happiness, and also many difficult moments, and I can only give thanks for who I am. Not a single day have I regretted choosing to follow God.

I wanted to write you in response to the advertisement for the Erotic Exposition [“Salón Erótica”] of Barcelona, which has gone viral on Twitter [Editor’s note: In the video, Amarna Miller accuses Spanish society of hypocrisy, and there are especially strong accusations and scenes against the Church due to the cases of sexual abuse of minors, as well as some images that could constitute blasphemy referring to the Virgin Mary]. It seems like a strange topic for me to express an opinion about. I have never looked for the videos you make; I only want to comment on the advertisement. I know that I’m risking jokes of every kind because I am a priest, but hey, that happens on social media.

Read more: When your husband is a porn addict

Just like you, I am concerned about the situation of our country. Beyond what shows up on the news, each day I deal with people’s suffering. I’m sure you can imagine it. Families who have lost their homes, young people and elderly who have lost their jobs, immigrants that it seems like nobody here loves, people of every kind broken by the widest variety of family problems. It sounds harsh even to say it: there is hardly a single day when I don’t see somebody cry.

I also agree with you in that we live surrounded by hypocrisy. It’s true. It’s not just a Spanish problem; it’s a problem with humanity. We human beings tend to think one thing and say another. It’s not something new that we are just discovering now.

We Christians base ourselves on the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and more than half of its pages warn us to be very careful about being “Pharisees”; they call us to courage, to authenticity, to consistency.

We priests are often accused of going around telling everyone what they should do, how they have to live, what is wrong — as if we were better than anyone else. We have that reputation, although most people are very much surprised when they actually meet one of us personally. We are not weirdos. We can even be likeable.

Read more: The porn problem: Prayer isn’t enough

And behind that accusation against us, there is a great truth which we should never forget, which is that we must put ourselves in the other person’s shoes before speaking.

Only by doing this can we see how suffering and sorrow are the cries of a soul that is drowning. As I said, we priests hear this cry all too often. We cannot fool ourselves.

We are not only flesh. What we choose to do with our physical freedom, what others do to us with theirs, has consequences for the soul, for life itself.

Read more: He was addicted to porn; now he is fighting back

A great deal of the suffering that I see belongs to women. I have met prostitutes with very deep wounds, already scarred for life because of having been treated day after day like objects instead of as persons. None of those who used them, put themselves in their shoes.

I have met mothers with terrible suffering after an abortion (no one usually talks about that), even many years after it happened. None of those who recommended that they abort, put themselves in their shoes, and few know now what to do so that they can be well again.

I have met people broken by pornography. On both sides. In front of the screen, I know many men who are addicts, who due to this addiction have lost their wife and children.

Pornography works just like a drug: it requires constantly more content and stronger content in order to satisfy the consumer. I believe that, over the years, we will see even more consequences. I dare to say something more, although I know that it is politically incorrect: Let us not fool ourselves. Pornography and pederasty are closely related.

Read more: Porn and the destruction of women’s bodies and souls

On your side of the screen, I was able to hear the testimony of a girl. She is one of the people whom I have seen suffer most in my whole life. Her family wounds from her infancy and childhood led her to that world. She thought it was some kind of liberation, and that working like that, she would be loved and valued. A great lie. She was treated like a piece of meat in a loveless market. She is the one who said it: only love can fill your soul. And I wonder: Is that feminism? Is that how women are liberated? Something is wrong there.

I do not presume to spend my life telling each person what he or she has to do; it’s just that I have seen a great deal of pain and I have to talk about it. I do not know you. I do not know if you think all priests are bad, or if you have ever even met one.

What I do know is that I do not hate you and I understand that behind your thick skin you may have many wounds that make you suffer. I pray for them. I pray for you. And I pray to God for all the people hurt by pornography.

Best regards.

Read more: 3 Ways to rebuild your marriage after porn

Article originally published by “El blog de Mr. Potato y la cabra”. Translated from the Spanish edition by Matthew Green

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