Catholic Union calls parents to campaign on teen magazines

 Rather than wring our hands about the pressures on young people to be sexually active - parents can do something - that's the view of the Catholic Union of Great Britain, who are currently monitoring teenage magazines. This week, they asked parents, teachers, clergy and youth leaders to join their campaign, and contact them if they come across unsuitable material in magazines aimed at teenagers. The Union, together with other organisations on the House of Lord and Commons Family and Child Protection Group, are currently collecting information through the Teenage Magazine Arbitration Panel. Mrs Angela Gracey, vice chair of the committee said that recently, a number of objections were registered against 'MORE' magazine. The committee wrote to the publishers expressing their concerns, and Mrs Gracey said 'MORE' had responded by saying the magazine was aimed at 18-20 year olds, and therefore could not harm younger people. She said: "They said the magazine's content was extremely sexually explicit, and that was acceptable, because for 19-20 year olds, sex is an integral part of a relationship." Mrs Gracey said: "Parents and teachers know very well that any magazine aimed at 18 year olds will be read by those who are much younger. There are real dangers for young people in early sexual activity. Rather than wring our hands about the pressures on the young today to be sexually active, we must act responsibly." The Catholic Union was set up by Cardinal Manning more than a hundred years ago to give a united voice to lay Catholics in public life on social issues. Mrs Gracey said: "The Panel was established after parliamentary concern has been expressed about the crude, lurid and explicit content of some of these magazines. Young people deserve the support and help of those who are concerned for their welfare. Please join your voice to the growing number of organisations which seek effective action on these magazines." For more information contact the Catholic Union at 63 Jeddo Road, London W12 9EE.

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