Pope Francis has warned seminarians against the “devil” of digital pornography, while admitting that watching pornography online is also an addiction for priests and nuns.
The pontiff made the remarks during a convention with seminarians in Rome on Monday, in response to a question about how a new generation of clerics immersed in social media can use digital tools to “share the joy of being a Christian, without forgetting our identity.” or being too exposed and arrogant.”
In the full text of the event, published by the Vatican on Wednesday (26), Francis urged seminarians to use social media “to move forward, to communicate”, warning them of the dangers, namely digital pornography.
“I won’t say ‘raise your hand if you’ve had at least one experience of this,’” the pope said. “But if each of you thinks you’ve had the experience or the temptation… It’s an addiction that so many people have. So many lay people, so many laywomen, and also priests and nuns. The devil enters from there. And I’m not just talking about digital pornography like child abuse, that’s already degeneracy. Dear brothers, pay attention to this.”
Despite having 64.3 million followers on Twitter, the 85-year-old pope said he did not use social media tools “because I arrived too late”.
A team of people manages the Pope’s various social media accounts.
In late 2020, the Vatican found itself in an awkward situation when it was forced to “seek explanations on Instagram” after Pope Francis’ official Instagram account liked a photo of a Brazilian model, Natalia Garibotto.
The pope’s “like” account was visible in the photo on Garibotto’s page for several days before being unlikable.
However, Garibotto’s management company, COY Co, took advantage of the publicity and reposted the image on its own Instagram account with a message saying the company “has received the Pope’s official blessing.” Garibotto, who has more than 3.3 million followers, joked, “At least I’m going to heaven.”
The Vatican said at the time that “we can rule out that the ‘like’ came from the Holy See.”