Over the course of his nine-year tenure, Pope Francis has made numerous head-turning comments within the notoriously conservative Roman Catholic community. He’s long embraced LGBTQ+ members and, more recently, told churches to lay off the fire and brimstone talk about same-sex marriage. This makes him pretty woke in my book, as far as popes go. But even he apparently has to draw the line somewhere, and unfortunately for the rest of the Catholic clergy, he’s here to kink shame the ordained.
During remarks this week to a group of seminarians and priests studying in Rome, wherein he answered ten questions they submitted to him, the pope took up a rather timely topic to discuss: watching porn on your phone. A clergy member asked him how this generation’s seminarians can live a holy life while being immersed in social media and the digital world at large, and the revered pontiff cut right to the chase, saying he knows internet porn is “a vice that so many people have … even priests and nuns.”
“I will not say raise your hand if you have had at least one experience of this,” he said, according to The Washington Post, figuring the crushing weight of guilt is enough to kill the average Catholic (it certainly has almost killed me). “The pure heart, the one that Jesus receives every day, cannot receive this pornographic information.” Por qué no los dos, el Papa?
“The devil enters from there … It weakens the priestly heart,” he continued, which probably feels even more damning to hear in its original Italian. “Dear brothers, pay attention to this. And if you can delete this from your mobile phone, delete it, so you won’t have the temptation in hand.”
The plea, which has since been published by the Vatican, read not unlike a holy dating advice column or the blog I am presenting you with right now: equal parts casual (he opens by apologizing for the delay in his answers, which anyone who’s tried to run a Substack can relate to) and urgent.
The pope has allegedly only ever used a cellphone once in his life to call his sister before immediately giving it back—but don’t think that the 85-year-old holy leader doesn’t know what y’all are up to on the interwebs. To the nuns and priests out there: You didn’t hear this from me, but you can always just delete your search history. And if you’re not ready to let go of your carnal afflictions, there’s always incognito mode to save the day.