The Battle for Sexual Integrity and Authentic Masculine Sexuality

Note: The National fellowship of Catholic Men is pleased to announce the availability of our first Blog for Men. The Blog contains multiple articles on important men’s topics and provides the opportunity for men to communicate with one another on these topics. The blog is accessible from the NFCM Home Page or you can go directly to it here. The article below is from the Blog topic, “The Battle for Sexual Purity.” This Blog topic already has many questions and responses by men.

Chastity. Purity. Physical integrity. Anti-pornography.

Whadaya think? One of the first challenges we face as men in dealing with this issue in our lives (and make no mistake about it, we all face this challenge) is how to describe it. Some of these terms hit men as very feminine. Anti-pornography speaks to one facet of the issue, but is not inclusive of the whole spectrum and is perceived by some as negative. More positive, but a bit less obvious is the “physical integrity” moniker. But does this speak to the whole continuum of this issue? We all realize this is much more than just a physical issue. It is psychological, physical, emotional, spiritual, etc. It is, in the final analysis however, about healing. Regardless of what you call it, however, we can all acknowledge the battle.

For about a year, four of the KC Catholic Men’s Fellowship (KCCMF) leaders have been involved in assisting our Archdiocese (Kansas City, Kansas) with establishing a boots-on-the-ground strategy for dealing with this horrific challenge to our personal, spousal, parental and societal well being. Like many sins, I have primarily focused on dealing with such issues individually. I gave relatively little thought to the familial or societal ripple effect. Simplistic as this sounds, I figured whatever problems I faced were mine to deal with. End of story. I could not have been more wrong.

Our advisory group began to meet with our archdiocesan folks to consider the full impact of pornography and discuss how to pragmatically deal with this issue. Under the inspired leadership of Archbishop Joseph E. Naumann, we were introduced to the initial study and awareness campaign called “As for Me and My House.” The “My House” theme comes from the challenge of Joshua (Joshua 24:15) to the men of ancient Israel. Those research results and information eventually became a video presentation by the Archbishop and diocesan staff about this explosive problem/challenge. Soon an informational kit was made available to every parish along with an educational video — which was shown in every parish during Mass.

With awareness now raised, we have begun several initiatives to “go deep” into the issue of men and sexual integrity. Here are a few of the initiatives now underway:

1. Creation of an advisory task force to oversee “boots-on-the-ground” efforts (this is what we four KCCMF guys head up).

2. Hiring of a full time Catholic male archdiocesan counselor with experience in counseling men on the full spectrum of sexual integrity issues from disordered attraction to full sexual addiction.

3. Creation of an emphasis to existing parish based small faith groups to incorporate general information and support services for men in the sexual integrity issue.

4. Creation of special weekly sexual integrity accountability groups in the archdiocese. We currently have three of these for men acknowledging their strong attraction/addiction to disordered sexual habits. Two are face-to-face meetings and a third is a teleconference meeting for rural participants and those unwilling to meet face to face with other men.

5. Dedicated phone “hot line” for men requesting assistance of varying degree. This is handled by the full time counselor.

6. Creation of multiple marketing materials and tools including Catholic accountability questions, bulletin announcements, conference materials, video and audio tapes, Catholic materials from other ministries, phone-based priest counseling, confessional hand-outs for priests to give men at reconciliation, on-line accountability software, etc.

7. Finally, we are considering the idea of a spouse based marketing campaign where wives of men struggling can call for support, materials, and training on how to begin a dialogue with their husbands.

8. We have partnered with non-Catholic, like-minded men and look forward to our fourth annual Men Of Valor conference dedicated to reclaiming sexual integrity. We also support and facilitate legal efforts to restrict sexually based businesses (porn shops, clubs, etc.). We have partnered with the wonderful National Coalition For the Protection of Children & Families. Recently scores of Catholic and non-Catholic clergy presented thousands of signatures to area District Attorney’s demanding action. The National Coalition’s Kansas City office has been successful in calling for two grand jury investigations into sexually oriented businesses. Both Johnson and Wyandotte counties in Kansas have begun selecting juries.

These are just a few of the initiatives envisioned as we begin a comprehensive effort to take back our lives, families, and diocese from the ravages of sexual sin. Needless to say, there is much more to be done, but we are in the battle. Will you join us in this battle in your home, parish, and community?

For information on diocesan materials, men’s faith sharing group tactics, sexual accountability groups, great online resources and more, contact dan@stjosephcenter.com. Dan Spencer, founder and director of The St. Joseph Center and current Chair of the Kansas City Catholic Men’s Fellowship.

Dan Spencer

By

Dan is the Executive Director of the National Fellowship of Catholic Men and a co-founder of the Catholic Business Network. He has appeared on numerous Catholic media including EWTN television as well as Vatican, Relevant and EWTN radio programs. Dan serves on both the Kansas City Kansas Archdiocesan Advisory Board on Evangelism and Anti-Pornography initiatives. He is a frequent speaker and consultant on Sexual Integrity diocesan programs. Dan spent over 20 years as a senior advertising and marketing executive in national media firms followed more recently by 10 years as a “new media” entrepreneur, investor and consultant. His clients ranged from the NFL to the California Chamber of Commerce to the Rolling Stones. Currently he and his wife own a business in Kansas City while he speaks both nationally and internationally. He and his wife of 37 years, Linda, have four grown children and three grandchildren-all living in the Kansas City area.

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  • Guest

    Are you familiar with Steve Wood's website, http://www.dads.org, and his Family Life Center? He already has some excellent materials. Mary S.

  • Guest

    You will be unable to address this issue without stabbing at the deeper issue of the contraceptive attitude within society.

    Contraception is about objectifings one's spouse.

    Pornagraphy is about objectifing models in magazines.

    The two are at the heart the same issue and have great need of being addressed together. Tell the bishop, men need to be hearing this from in the Sunday homily for a start.

  • Guest

    We men sure are weak when it comes to sexual sin.

    Anyone who is strong…pray for us all and help pull us out of the abyss.

    If priests started to talk about contraception in their homilies, eyes would role but the conversion process would start. Prayers for all the priests who should be putting it in their homilies. Many many prayers. This probably requires fasting. I need to fast more and dedicate it to purity and Truth.

    GK — God is good!

  • Guest

    Also there is Ken Henderson website TrueKnights.org. Ken is a former user of pornography and he tells of how it almost ruined his life and marriage — his prayer book and his story has been an immense help to me. It kindled my prayer life! I turn off the TV and pray instead!

    Also in regards to the bishops speaking out there is a pastoral letter from the archdiocese of Arlington called "bought with a price — pornography and the attack on the living temple of God"  by Bishop Paul S. Loverde. Great reading!!

  • Guest

    I so admire our men of faith for the humility required to address these issues. Our prayers are with you in the good fight.

  • Guest

    My husband, a deacon, is unafraid to talk about the lie of contaception in his homilies. The best ones he gives, and receives the most positive comments on, always include this subject.

    "Do not try to please everybody. Try to please God, the angels and the saints. These are your public. If you are afraid of other people's opinions, you should not have become Christian." St John Vianney

  • Guest

    Mary S. –yes, we use some of Steve's materials here in KC.

    Fishman–you are correct and we are integrating the entire NFP and Theology of the Body component this Fall.

    gk–God is indeed Great!

    Dedleman–we have recommended Ken's stuff for quite a while. There is a beautiful website done by our friend Mr. Art Bennett-www.UnityRestored.com for those who want a professional psychologist help and support.

    Thanks for the prayers, Stirling–men are finding healing! Praise God.

    Bambushka–your husband is correct. We agree–speak truth and the Holy Spirit will bless it.

  • Guest

    bambushka,

    Tell your husband that he is sent from heaven to this culture that does not understand the glory that God has given us in our sexuality.  We as a culture understand that sex is important and worth an investment of our time.  But, we do not see the value in how the male and female body go together.  We do not collectively see how God-like we are in that moment when our physicial ecstacy brings two separate people into a unity of goodness!  If we did, we would not tamper with that most Godlike moment.  God himself designed sex and offers it to us freely.  He made us male and female.  And we accept it with reservations and stipulations and worries!  We are so human … but with God's grace can become more like Him.

    Your husband knows where the important things are.  God bless him and you for supporting him!

    GK – God is good!

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