Ontario Council of Catholic Bishops Statement on YNN

March 23, 1999

To: All Chairs and Directors of Education of Catholic School Boards

Dear Colleagues:

Re: Youth News Network

It is clear that there is a campaign afoot to introduce Youth News Network, or its equivalent, into the schools of the province. Indeed we understand that at least one secular secondary school has entered into an agreement to participate in such a program.

In various communications in the past we have indicated the dangers for Catholic schools in participation of this kind. Students become a captive audience and are liable to be influenced in ways which may not fit in with the culture of Catholic education. Such influence may come not only from the advertising to which they are subjected but also from the choice of "news " to be reported and in the manner in which it is reported.

Parents entrust the formation of young people to us. We do not have a right to turn it over, even in part, to a third party. Many of our students are still at an age when parental guidance is needed. We need to support that concept very strongly.

For all of these reasons, if your board should be considering the introduction of such a program, we would request that you consult with your diocesan bishop before making a decision.

Yours in Christ,

Most Rev. J. Doyle, Bishop of Peterborough
Chair of the Education Commission

Most Rev. J. Sherlock, Bishop of London
Chair of the Social Affairs Commission