from the Catechism of the Council of Trent

section on the sixth Commandment


In the explanation of this Commandment, however, the pastor has need of great caution and prudence, and should treat with great delicacy a subject which requires brevity rather than copiousness of exposition. For it is to be feared that if he explained in too great detail or at length the ways in which this Commandment is violated, he might unintentionally speak of subjects which, instead of extinguishing, usually serve rather to inflame corrupt passion.

These are the points which we have deemed proper matter for public instruction of the faithful. The pastor, however, should add the decrees of the Council of Trent against adulterers, and those who keep harlots and concubines, omitting many other species of immodesty and lust, of which each individual is to be admonished privately, as circumstances of time and person may require. [...]

The first [remedy of lust] is studiously to avoid idleness ... in the next place intemperance is carefully to be avoided. ... the eyes in particular, are the inlets to criminal passion, ... Too much display in dress ... [is] an occasion of sin. ... Obscene language is a torch which lights up the worst passions of the young mind ... Immodest and passionate songs and dances are ... cautiously to be avoided [as also] soft and obscene books ... no less than indecent pictures.

But the most efficacious means for subduing [lust’s] violence are frequent use of confession and Communion, as also unceasing and devout prayer to God, accompanied by fasting and almsdeeds. [...]

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