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Canadian bishops issue pastoral letter on chastity

Catholic World News - January 31, 2011

The Episcopal Commission for Doctrine of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops has issued a pastoral letter to young people on chastity.

“Living chastity is no easy business in the sex-saturated world of contemporary Western culture,” the letter states. “It’s impossible to walk through a shopping mall, turn on a computer or television, glance at an advertisement or browse through a bookstore without being bombarded by sexual imagery of every kind. Pornography has never been more widespread, reaching almost epidemic proportions. It denigrates authentic sexual expression and encourages masturbation, sexual intimacy outside of marriage and the separation of the life-giving and love-giving meaning of sexual relations.”

“The Sacraments of Reconciliation and the Eucharist help us on our journey to live chaste lives,” the letter continues. “If we commit a sin of impurity alone or with another person, the Sacrament of Reconciliation communicates to us God’s forgiveness and merciful love. All we need to do is approach his throne of mercy with sincere sorrow in Confession and we are assured that all our sins are forgiven.”

The letter upholds St. Augustine, Blessed Kateri Tekakwita, Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati, and St. Gianna Beretta Molla as “chaste lovers and holy role models.”

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