Pornhub Offers Italians Free Premium Service During Coronavirus Quarantine

LAS VEGAS, NV - JANUARY 18: A sign at the Pornhub (pornography) booth is displayed at the 2017 AVN Adult Entertainment Expo at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino on January 18, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Ethan Miller/Getty Images

ROME — The online pornography giant Pornhub has offered Italians free access to its premium service during the coronavirus crisis, just as the Catholic Church has cancelled all Masses and limited access to confession and other sacraments.

Pornhub is taking advantage of a state-imposed quarantine that obliges all citizens to stay at home unless they have a demonstrable need to leave their premises. According to government decree, the only four motives that justify being out and about are health reasons, demonstrable work requirements in an sector of public well-being, return to one’s residence, or situations of exceptional need.

People are allowed to leave their homes in order to go to the doctor, to but food, or to walk the dog, but not to visit children, siblings, parents, or grandparents. The only establishments open are pharmacies, grocery stores, gas stations, and certain churches.

As a special offer, Pornhub is using the lockdown to offer its premium package during the month of March without requiring the entry of credit card information.

“Pornhub has decided to donate its Modelhub March revenue to help Italy overcome the emergency,” the company stated. “To keep you company at home during these weeks, you’ll be able to access Pornhub Premium for free for the whole month, with no need for a credit card.”

A number of social media users highlighted the irony of Pornhub’s offer just as the Catholic Church seemed to be pulling away from the faithful by cancelling Masses and closing churches.

As veteran Vatican journalist John L. Allen noted Saturday, “many priests in Rome have proven reluctant to respond to requests for private Masses or delivery of the Eucharist, citing health concerns and inviting people to practice ‘spiritual communion.’”

“In fairness, many are in a high risk category because they’re elderly, or they live with elderly confreres, but nonetheless it’s striking,” Allen wrote.

Or as Claire Giangrave wrote for Religion News Service (RNS) after spending a day fruitlessly looking for priests on the streets of Rome this week, “no silence is more striking than that of the Italian Roman Catholic clergy.”

“Masses have been banned in the entire country, baptismal fonts are drained and even confessionals were empty in the numerous churches I visited,” she wrote.

On Friday, the Rome diocese relented from its earlier decision to close all the city’s churches, declaring that parish and mission churches should be reopened.

According to press reports, the pope decided to reverse the decision he had approved on Thursday “after he was inundated by cardinals and bishops telling him of their strong opposition to the move.”

The prelates complained to the pope before they knew that he had personally approved the decision, reports state.

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