Safe Haven Sunday was observed on August 20-21, 2022, in the Diocese of St. Petersburg.
Bishop Gregory Parkes and the Diocese of St. Petersburg are pleased to offer some of the best resources available to aid you, your family, and your organization in navigating modern technology usage and the deep harm that is caused by pornography. Please take advantage of these training programs, articles, videos, and local resources specifically designed for you whether you are a parent, an educator, a ministry leader, or someone who is struggling with pornography. May God bless you with His mercy, strength, and guidance on your journey.
“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. May we educate ourselves on reliable resources for pastoral support of the faithful and for the healing of pornography use and addiction and make them available to families, parishioners, and others in our care.” – Create in Me a Clean Heart
“You are beloved sons and daughters of the Father. Be not afraid to approach the altar of mercy and ask for forgiveness. Many good people struggle with this sin. You are not alone; there is always hope! […] Knowing the truth of who you are in God and receiving spiritual help are critical, but those who use pornography often need further assistance. Freedom from pornography is a daily choice and calls for ongoing formation. The Church encourages you to seek ongoing support such as counseling, spiritual direction, coaching, accountability groups, couple to couple groups, conferences, and retreats for men and women. These are all means to employ as you seek freedom. Software is available for monitoring on-line activity and blocking pornographic material; these may be a necessary means of avoiding the near occasion of sin.” – Create in Me a Clean Heart
“Parents and guardians, protect your home! Be vigilant about the technology you allow into your home and be sensitive to the prevalence of sexual content in even mainstream television and film and the ease by which it comes through the Internet and mobile devices. Educate yourselves about filtering software that can assist in protecting your home. Foster openness and trust with your children, so they know that they can come to you if they see a sexual image; by talking about it with them calmly, you can give them a healthy framework in which to interpret it.” – Create in Me a Clean Heart
“…[T]eachers, religious educators, youth ministers, and safe environment coordinators: parents have given you a responsibility to protect their children not only from physical dangers but also psychological, moral, and spiritual dangers. You can have a great influence on the children and youth entrusted to your care, and you can help equip parents with the resources they need to protect and teach their children. Children are vulnerable to all influences, good or bad. Create an environment suitable for learning chastity by modeling and teaching the chaste life. Be vigilant over technological access, and monitor it in age-appropriate ways. Young people should be taught that certain types of websites or programs are inappropriate and sinful. Be sure to explain the reasons why they are unacceptable.” – Create in Me a Clean Heart
Diocese of St. Petersburg Highlighted Resources
Safe Haven Counseling Referral List
The following list of mental health professionals include men and women who may or may not be Catholic, but would be respectful of the Church’s teachings on Chastity based on a phone interview. Many of them are certified sexual addiction therapists (CSAT) through the international institute for trauma and addiction professionals (IITAP). Inclusion on this list does not constitute a Diocesan recommendation of any of the providers and is simply a resource. Some counselors on this list on not within the Diocese of St. Petersburg but they are willing to see people from our area and two will work through Telehelp, or HIPPA compliant video chat.