ON MARCH 22, I attended the "Porn Stars @ CANA" forum at CANA, which was advertised in CatholicNews.

During the forum, I was struck by how much in denial our society is. Take myself for example. I could never believe my young adult son could be addicted or even indulged in pornography. After all, he displayed qualities of a good and responsible Catholic, was active in church ministry and even prayed and read the Bible everyday. Some of his friends have even described him as "holy" and a good role model for his younger friends.

Pornography addiction was, to me, something that happened to other people's children, not mine.

I now realize how naive I was. The overwhelming odds and temptations facing my son, especially through the Internet, are something very few young people could resist. It is extremely easy to fall into the clutches of this insidious curse and difficult, and almost impossible, to overcome without proper help and grace from God.

My son and I share a close relationship and I had always thought he would not be afraid to come to me with any problems he encountered, trusting in our love and respect for each other. However, I had not counted on the shame that his addiction to pornography brought him and his subsequent withdrawal from anyone close to him.

After attending the forum at CANA, I have come to realize how widespread the problem of pornography is in Singapore, and among members of our Catholic community. There are so many wives whose marriages have broken down because of pornography.

There are so many people suffering from this problem and so little help being offered. Whatever little assistance there is for people indulging in pornography is not being publicized enough.

Something can and should be done about this problem, which your newspaper has described as a "plague". We should not continue to remain in denial over this problem which affects all Catholics, not just the youths.

I believe this problem affects the children and their parents, husbands and wives, even priests and religious.

What can be done about this problem? Are we even aware of it, or are we still in denial while the problem ruins marriages and families? Perhaps as a first step, as suggested by quite a few at the forum, would be to include the contact of organizations that offer help in this area in the Catholic Directory. It would certainly be a small step in the right direction.

Tabitha Tay

Singapore 199591

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