Media Watch

Teens Say Morals and Religion the Key to Chastity

ASSOCIATED PRESS, Sept. 25 — A new survey commissioned by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy found that teenagers say morals, religion and parental influences played major roles in their decisions about sexual behavior, the wire service reported.

The survey of 502 teens found that half cited their parents as the people who most influenced their decisions about sex. Far fewer cited friends.

Thirty-nine percent of teen-agers said that “morals, values and/or religious beliefs” were the most important factor in their decisions about sex. Only 17% said fear of sexually transmitted diseases was more important.

In a separate review of research on teen-agers’ sexual behavior and religion, the campaign found that teens who attended services frequently were “less likely to have permissive attitudes about sex.” Girls’ behavior was more likely to correspond to their moral or religious beliefs than boys’.

Catholic and “fundamentalist Protestant” girls were particularly likely to be abstinent. Those who did have sex were less likely to use contraception.

The campaign deemed the research insufficient so far.

Catholic and Jewish Groups Sign Major Agreement in NJ

COURIER-POST, Sept. 21 — Catholic and Jewish leaders in Cherry Hill, N.J., signed an agreement that is only the second of its kind in the United States, the Cherry Hill daily reported.

Representatives of the Diocese of Camden, the Jewish Federation of Southern New Jersey, the Jewish Community Relations Council and the Tri-County Board of Rabbis signed the document during a ceremony at the local Jewish Community Center.

The agreement was crafted over a decade. It encourages cooperation between parallel charitable groups, and unity in fighting antiSemitism, anti-Catholicism, racism and religious intolerance, among other provisions. The Diocese of Rochester, N.Y. signed a similar agreement with the local Jewish community over five years ago.

“Only in America can we do what we have just done,” Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio told the Courier-Post.

Homosexual Ministry Conference Sparks Controversy

THE CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, Sept. 21 — Bishop William Curtin of the Diocese of Charlotte, N.C., came under fire for his decision to celebrate Mass for the eighth annual meeting of the National Association of Catholic Diocesan Lesbian and Gay Ministries, the Charlotte daily reported.

The group ministers to homosexuals and their families. Some local Catholics claimed the group is “notorious for its dissent from Church teaching on homosexuality,” but Bishop Curtin said the meeting would not endorse homosexual relationships or dissent from the Church.

The meeting featured a speech by Father Augustine DiNoia, director of the Pope John Paul II Cultural Center in Washington, and workshops on topics such as how parents can listen to their homosexual children and how homosexuals can accept God's love.

The Earth is Not Our Mother

“The main point of Christianity was this: that Nature is not our mother: Nature is our sister. We can be proud of her beauty, since we have the same father; but she has no authority over us; we have to admire, but not to imitate.”—G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy