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Bishop Joseph Maria Bonnemain of ChurRTR Films/YouTube screenshot

CHUR, Switzerland (LifeSiteNews) — A sexual abuse prevention officer of the Catholic Diocese of Chur, Switzerland, said that “legal pornography” should not be “blanketly demonized.”

Bishop Joseph Maria Bonnemain of Chur did not explicitly distance himself from the scandalous statements of his employee when asked about it by a journalist. 

The sexual abuse prevention officer for the Swiss diocese of Chur, a laywoman named Karin Iten, responded to recent comments made by Pope Francis warning seminarians about watching pornography. “Priests and nuns also have the vice of porn on the web. Beware: the devil enters from there and weakens the soul,” the Pontiff said. 

Iten did not appreciate Francis’ condemnation of pornography and demanded a more “nuanced” view. 

We have to distinguish between illegal pornography and legal pornography, among other things,” Iten told the Catholic news site kath.ch. While she condemned child pornography and the production of porn that “exploits the predicament of people,” Iten said that legal and “fair” pornography has to be judged differently:

Legal pornography under fair production conditions should not be demonized across the board. It’s about an individually healthy approach and good moderation in it. I refer to the sex therapist Ursina Brun del Re, who has done research on porn consumption. So, unlike the Pope, she is a proven expert. What expertise does the Pope have on this?

Iten acknowledged the problem of porn addiction but downplayed the importance of the sacrament of Confession in the process of breaking free from this addiction. “Porn addiction requires professional treatment, not Confession,” she claimed. 

RELATED: Two women attempt to concelebrate Mass at Catholic church in Switzerland

Furthermore, Iten insinuated that there could be acceptable forms of pornography and talked about the “opportunities” of porn consumption. 

The Catholic Church universally condemns all forms of pornography in no uncertain terms. The Catechism of the Catholic Church, for instance, states the following: 

Pornography consists in removing real or simulated sexual acts from the intimacy of the partners, in order to display them deliberately to third parties. It offends against chastity because it perverts the conjugal act, the intimate giving of spouses to each other. It does grave injury to the dignity of its participants (actors, vendors, the public) since each one becomes an object of base pleasure and illicit profit for others. It immerses all who are involved in the illusion of a fantasy world. It is a grave offense. Civil authorities should prevent the production and distribution of pornographic materials. (CCC 2354)

CNA Deutsch asked Bishop Bonnemain about Iten’s scandalous and heterodox statements. The prelate offered a quite generic reply and did not correct or condemn the statements of his employee that downplayed the spiritual and mental danger of “legal” pornography. The diocese sent the following response, according to CNA Deutsch: 

Bishop Joseph Maria supports her [Iten] on those points: Crimes such as child pornography are not to be tolerated. He also condemns any abuse of power, any abuse through exploitation and need, and clearly distances himself from the representation of a human being as an object. He further wishes to emphasize that the consumption of pornographic depictions separates the high good of human sexuality from the personal relationship, intimate affection, and intimate love of two people.

He added that people who suffer from porn addiction should receive professional help because “too many liveshave been destroyed due to this issue. 

Bonnemain is well-known for his heterodox positions. The Swiss Opus Dei bishop expressed support for same-sex unions and knowingly gave Holy Communion to non-Catholics during his ordination ceremony. 

RELATED: Cardinal Müller: Belgian bishops’ homosexual ‘blessings’ are ‘heresy and schism’

Furthermore, the Swiss prelate has been accused by priests in his diocese of implementing “LGBT ideology” in the Church “under the guise of preventing sexual assault.” Bonnemain has also been accused by two groups of lay Catholics of knowingly tolerating liturgical abuse in the form of women “concelebrating” at Catholic Masses in his diocese. 

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