Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Next weekend (March 12-13) the Diocese of Davenport will celebrate its third Safe Haven Sunday. Many of you are already familiar with the Safe Haven initiative from the last two years of implementation in our diocesan parishes and schools, during which we provided resources to parishioners to use to protect their homes and initiate essential conversations with children.
Throughout the past two years, the increase of overall screen time experienced as a consequence of the pandemic has resulted in a significant spike in pornography exposure. In addition, many individuals and families find themselves struggling with a greater sense of isolation, loneliness and anxiety. These added stressors can also contribute to an increased use of pornography.
As your bishop, I care deeply about your well-being and want to do all I can to guide and equip parents in forming children to live safe and virtuous lives. I realize that pornography is not a topic most adults want to talk about, especially with their children or grandchildren. However, given our present circumstances, it is a topic that must be addressed for the health and safety of all.
Pornography use and addiction prevent one from experiencing genuine, intimate and lasting relationships with others and with God. By engaging in this year’s Safe Haven Sunday awareness day, we as a community are affirming our commitment to create holy, healthy and secure environments, free of pornography and other online dangers that deprive the home of its place as a safe haven.
To this end, parishes and schools in the diocese have been encouraged to provide instruction and materials that will support and protect individuals, marriages and families from the harms of pornography. As a first step, I suggest that you take part in a 7-day Safe Digital Challenge by texting “SECURE” to 66866. This simple action will help you protect your home from unhealthy online content.
It is my hope that participating in this challenge, and utilizing the additional resources offered on the Diocese of Davenport Clean Heart webpage (https://cleanheart.online/ diocese-davenport-0), will assist you and your family in successfully addressing the perils of pornography.
If you are struggling with pornography use or someone in your household is, please talk to your parish clergy or contact the diocesan Marriage & Family Office for support.
Gratefully Yours in Christ,
Most Rev. Thomas R. Zinkula
Bishop of Davenport