German priest contradicts pope and backs pornography as sexual ‘relief’ for celibates | Catholic News Agency

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In an interview with Katolisch.de, the news outlet of the Catholic Church in Germany, Backhaus warned against “the somewhat dirty connotation” attributed to the term pornographic.

German priest contradicts pope and backs pornography as sexual ‘relief’ for celibates | Catholic News Agency

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By CNA Staff CNA Newsroom, Nov 16, 2022 / 13:30 pm

A priest of the Diocese of Münster, Germany, Father Hermann Backhaus, said that consuming pornography “can have a relieving effect” on celibate people. He also considers it a “very strong” statement to associate the devil with pornography, as Pope Francis did at a meeting with seminarians in Rome last month.

Backhaus has been a priest since 2001. He works as a psychologist in an accompaniment center for people in the service of the Catholic Church. At the center he offers support with the aim of “growing in interior freedom” and “recognizing and living the vocation given by God.”

This work, as explained on his website, is offered to full-time pastoral workers, religious, and people preparing for those ministries.

In an interview with Katolisch.de, the news outlet of the Catholic Church in Germany, Backhaus warned against “the somewhat dirty connotation” attributed to the term pornographic.

In his opinion, “there are positive effects of explicit sexuality in relation to the couple” such as “making their love life become more alive.”

In the case of celibate people, the German priest says that “the consumption of explicit sexual representations can have a relieving effect, it can’t be denied.”

But he points out: “Of course, there may be better individual relief in this area than pornography.”

Referring to Pope Francis’ recent statement warning clerics against the consumption of pornography, Backhaus said that “the clergy, religious, and other people at the service of the Church generally have experience with pornography.”

However, he disagrees with the pope regarding his assessment that “the devil enters through there” because of the consumption of pornography.

The German priest takes issue with the pope on this point and affirms that “associating the devil with pornography is a very strong statement.”

He also considers that expressing this demonic connection to pornography is a “spiritual exaggeration.”

Throughout the interview, the priest also says that he works in this field “as a psychologist who is also a priest and not the other way around” and that “as a psychologist I do not judge or condemn the consumption of pornography” since it is something “you have to deal with.”

This story was first published by ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language news partner. It has been translated and adapted by CNA.

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