Free resources offered on Safe Haven Sunday

The Diocese of Venice is setting aside the weekend of March 7, 2021 as Safe Haven Sunday in order to give focused time and resources to address the harmful effects of pornography on youth, marriages, and families. Resources to protect individuals, marriages and families will be offered.

Bishop Frank J. Dewane designated Safe Haven Sunday knowing that pornography is one of the leading causes of addictions, abuse, adultery, divorce, and even human trafficking: it is, in short, a pervasive evil inflicting grave wounds on our families.

“This day of awareness will provide the opportunity for the Diocese to directly address the problem of pornography in marriages, families, and in our culture,” Bishop Dewane said. “Within the context of the Mass, parishes will provide teaching and resources that will support and protect individuals, marriages, and families in making all homes a Safe Haven.”

In addition, each household attending Mass the weekend of March 6-7 will receive a copy of the book, “Equipped: Smart Catholic Parenting in a Sexualized Culture.” This book includes a unique seven-day text-to-opt-in program: The Safe Digital Family Challenge. This Challenge provides practical tips any caring adult can take to create safer digital environments for themselves and their children.

The content for Safe Haven Sunday was created by Covenant Eyes, a company that provides internet accountability software. Their goal is to equip people with tools that offer protection online and encourage accountability and trust in the fight against temptation.

Safe Haven Sunday was developed in direct response to the 2015 statement from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), “Create In Me a Clean Heart: A Pastoral Response to Pornography.” The document states: “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.”

The USCCB statement discusses Church teaching on sexuality, the human person and chastity and explains why pornography is sinful and harmful. It also covers the effects of pornography on the culture and individuals.

“The Church’s teaching on the harm and sinfulness of pornography is grounded in the greater ‘yes’ or affirmation of the inviolable dignity of the human person revealed fully in Christ and the gift of human sexuality and marriage in God’s plan,” the Bishops wrote.

The statement encourages parents to be cautious about media in the home. “Be vigilant about the technology you allow into your home and be sensitive to the prevalence of sexual content in even mainstream television and film and the ease by which it comes through the internet and mobile devices,” the Bishops wrote.

To aide Parishes in their preparation for educating the faithful about the importance of Safe Haven Sunday, the Diocesan Office of Family Life hosted a series of presentations for Diocesan Priests, Deacons, and lay leaders between Jan. 11 and Jan. 13, 2021.

For more information about the issue of pornography and its impact on the family, please visit https://cleanheart.online/diocese-venice-0. This is a customized page specific to the Diocese of Venice which contains resources for parents, educators, clergy, those who struggle etc., and all content is in line with Catholic Teaching.

For questions about Safe Haven Sunday, please contact, Carrie Harkey, Diocesan Coordinator of Family Life, at harkey@dioceseofvenice.org or 941-484-9543.

Safe Haven Sunday

Some key facts about pornography:

  • More than 40 million Americans are regular visitors to porn sites;
  • The porn industry’s annual revenue is more than the NFL, NBA and MLB combined. It is also more than the combined revenues of ABC, CBS and NBC;
  • Some 47 percent of families in the United States reported that pornography is a problem in their home.
  • Pornography use increases the marital infidelity rate by more than 300 percent;
  • The average age that a child is first exposed to porn is 11, and 94 percent of children will see porn by the age of 14;
  • Some 56 percent of American divorces involve one party having an “obsessive interest” in pornographic websites.
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