Internet Filters - A Necessity

Source: District of Canada

Do not put off putting up safeguards for your children's computers. Due to accidental viewing as well as the pull of original sin, anyone is capable of running into pornography.

Here are some very disturbing statistics: a 2008 survey found that 93% of boys and 62% of girls in the population at large had seen pornography on the internet, on average by age fourteen. Most of them had seen it for the first time by accident. For the non-Catholic authors of the survey, the finding was extremely disturbing. The psychological damage being down to the children worried them. Worse than that is the death of the soul caused by mortal sin and the deadly sin of lust that gained control over many of them.

Let us be completely lucid: our homes are not immune from this scourge. It is not a question of “my child would never do that.” Because of original sin, we are all capable of committing serious sin. St. Philip Neri used to pray every morning: “Watch over me today Lord, otherwise, by this evening I could be a Muslim!” Whenever there is danger, it is necessary to take precautions. The precaution should be in proportion to the level of danger. A parent who left a loaded gun within reach of their children would be thrown in prison. The internet is a loaded gun. Very useful when used carefully, very dangerous when used carelessly.

Here is some practical advice:

  • Have the internet only accessible in a public place within the house – a common room where anyone can pass through at any time. Wifi in the home means that anyone with a device can access the internet anywhere – in secrecy with attendant temptations. Bishop Fellay requires that Society priories not have wifi, and that the internet be only accessible in public areas.
  • Use internet blockers and filters. We are under a grave obligation to have recourse to internet filtering if the internet is a frequent source of sin. That is why a priest must withhold absolution until the penitent takes the proper measures to reduce the occasion of sin. If internet access from a mobile phone is an occasion of sin, the mobile phone must be equipped with filters, with the password set by a parent of friend.

Here are some options recommended by people in the know:

  • K9 is very easy to set up. Works both on computer and mobile devices. Does not slow down your device. You can select either pre-set filters or customise your own.
  • Safe Eyes can also set time limits. You can choose to have the company keep the password. This means that the filter cannot be removed except by calling them up.
  • For those who live on their own, Covenant Eyes allows you to permit yourself to monitoring by a third party. You simply sign up and designate a parent or friend.
  • A great choice of mobile phone management is Mobicip. Very reasonably priced ($40/yr for 5 devices), it is a cloud-filtering service that helps parents create a secure environment for their family. The administrator can: oremotely apply and adjust internet filtering oremotely monitor web browsing history oset internet time limits

Dear Parents and young people, please do not put this off. It is no good saying after an accident that “I should have checked…” It will be too late then.

Fr. David Sherry