By SAMANTHA SMITH, Staff Writer | Published March 21, 2019
ATLANTA—On April 7, the first Sunday of National Child Abuse Prevention Month, the Archdiocese of Atlanta and other dioceses will celebrate Safe Haven Sunday, a day of awareness to help parents and families learn more about the harmful effects of pornography.
This day will be acknowledged during Masses and free resources will be available in English and Spanish.
Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory describes Safe Haven Sunday as “an occasion for us to take a proactive approach in equipping parents so they may better protect and safeguard their homes.”
In 2015, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops issued “Create in Me A Clean Heart: A Pastoral Response to Pornography,” a statement that explains the church’s position on pornography and presents opportunities for “guidance, healing and grace.” It states, “We must see our role in protecting children from pornography as our sacred duty, as well as an aspect of our work to create safe environments in accord with our ongoing implementation of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People.”
In response to this statement, Covenant Eyes created an implementation guide for dioceses and parishes, as well as the book, “Equipped: Smart Catholic Parenting in a Sexualized Culture.” Families may receive a copy of Equipped at their parishes on April 7, or can participate in a seven-day email challenge by texting SECURE to 66866. This challenge will include information on the latest youth apps and Google Safe Search, how to apply restriction mode for popular technologies, provide guidance on having conversations about pornography and tips for creating “safe haven homes.”
“Together we can work to equip parents and families with formation and resources to assist their ongoing and vital work to make their homes safe havens,” said Archbishop Gregory.
For resources on safeguarding families from pornography, contact Patrick Metts in the Office of Formation and Discipleship at firstname.lastname@example.org.