Fifty Shades of Grey and the Spiritual Darkness of our Time

Fifty Shades

by: Rev. William Patrick Casey. C. P. M.


For many years now I have been preaching about the spiritual battle of our time. Unfortunately, it seems obvious that the spiritual battle of our time is rapidly becoming the spiritual massacre of our time. We, as a people, have lost our sense of sin. With this pervasive loss of the sense of sin, we are now seeing the ever-growing, inevitable loss of the sense of God made manifest by the rise of an increasingly aggressive Militant atheist movement in our country. Weak, meager resistance to it on the part of Christians emboldens the enemies of Christ more with every passing day.


Anyone who needs proof that we are a morally bankrupt nation need only look at the phenomenal, smashing success of Fifty Shades of Grey. At present, the book has sold more than 100 million copies worldwide, the vast majority of which have been disseminated here in the United States. The movie has taken in some 600 million dollars in theaters worldwide.


Secular progressives have attempted to present Fifty Shades of Grey as an avant-garde, daringly artistic expression of contemporary sexual experience. The reality is nothing so benign. Fifty Shades of Grey is nothing less than a celebration of sexual perversion in the objectification and degradation of woman. It is the latest in the never-ending assault on the dignity of womanhood and the sanctity of human sexuality. It is another unmistakable indication that western civilization is now entering into a final and (humanly speaking) irreversible stage of moral depravity. There is an old saying, “What one generation will tolerate, the next generation will accept.” In the increasingly amoral landscape of our degenerate American pop-culture, it would seem than even sexual violence against woman can attain a certain degree of social respectability. God help us.


When I was growing up In middle-class America, pornography was something that was disdained, hidden and reviled by a largely decent and just people who took Judeo-Christian values seriously. It was typically seen as something vile and disgusting which would ultimately destroy the souls of those who demeaned themselves by its use. The Americans of generations gone by generally understood the inherent power of pornography to bring about the disintegration of public morals, the mass corruption of youth, and the kind of deviant attitudes about sexuality that would effectively stoke the tires of marital infidelity and consequent, disastrous levels of family breakup.


This conviction was (up until the period of social and moral confusion which prevailed during the so-called “sexual revolution” of the 1960’s and the widespread acceptance of contraception) reflected in a system civil laws which upheld the vital importance of both divine and natural law in the protection and preservation of the common good.


Pornography, however, has now become part of the American atmosphere. It seems to penetrate every strata of our society, and resistance to it, even in its most perverse and disturbing forms, is now receding with astonishing rapidity. No one can deny that we have even seen it’s horrific, pervasive effects in the shocking moral corruption of many members of the clergy


We have now reached a new low point in our downhill slide into spiritual and moral degeneracy. The kind of sexual perversion exemplified by Fifty Shades of Grey is now becoming mainstream. There is a spiritual dynamic in play in the process by which people, societies and cultures are gradually led down to moral ruin. The acceptance of pornography leads to addiction. Sexual addiction is followed by obsession. Obsession leads inevitably to perversion. The kind of perverse images of sexual violence presented by the likes of Fifty Shades of Grey is creeping into acceptability and easy, ever more widespread accessibility. Our Lord Jesus Christ said. “Truly, truly I say to  you, everyone who commits sin is a slave of sin.” (John 8:34). It should come as no surprise to anyone that pornography has become, spiritually speaking, America’s most deadly and pandemic addiction. It is truly Satan’s most deadly and effective weapon in the battle for souls.


Our morally schizophrenic society, which rightly decries the physical and sexual abuse of women, now at the same time makes it into a celebration in cinema. I find it particularly astonishing and troubling that the largest number of devotees to Fifty Shades of Grey (especially in regard to books sales) are women. The phenomenon of “mommy porn,” as it is now called, is hugely indicative of the depth of moral corruption which has inundated our culture like a giant tsunami. Even a generation ago, would anyone have believed that millions of women could be induced to revel in their own degradation?


The late Father John A. Hardon, S.J., who was possibly the greatest dogmatic theologian this country has ever produced, whose cause for canonization has now been introduced in Rome, wrote these prophetic words about the spiritual battle of our time shortly before his death in December of 2000:


“Only heroic families will survive this war. Only heroic bishops, only heroic priests will survive this global conflict between the powers of darkness and the powers of light. Only heroic religious will be able to last. Only heroic men, women and children will remain Catholics and Christians and faithful followers of Christ. Where can we get the light and strength we need to remain spiritually alive in the modern world? The sources are available. They are constant, humble prayer and frequent reception of the sacraments and devotion to Jesus Christ present in the Holy Eucharist. Either we have recourse to the sources of divine grace available through prayer and the sacraments, or we shall become casualties in the ongoing war between the followers of Satan and the followers of Jesus Christ.”

About Fr. Bill Casey

Father Bill Casey is a native of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and a 1979 graduate of Temple University. After graduating from college, he served as an officer in the U.S. Army. Upon leaving the Army, he entered the Congregation of the Fathers of Mercy. He studied Philosophy at Christendom College and Theology at Holy Apostles Seminary and was ordained to the priesthood in 1991. From 1997-2009, Fr. Casey served as the Superior General of the Congregation. Father attributes his call to the priesthood to the Mercy of God, his love for the study of Sacred Scripture, and his strong devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Father Casey is a nationally renowned speaker and a frequent guest on EWTN.