These past few months have been rather busy. I have found this committee to be quite interesting and stimulating.
The big news right now is that the national executive has decided to discontinue production of Be League. This online newsletter has been interesting and informative for the last few years but in discussion, it is quite a bit of work for the office staff and unreliable when receiving items to be posted on it. So Be League will end and On the Spot! will begin!
On the Spot! will be similar in that members will be invited to send in news items from their councils. This news outlet will feature council work and activities, not personal items. I encourage provincial councils to inform diocesan and parish councils to send in news about the good work councils are doing across the country and as the articles and pictures come in, they will be posted immediately on the website under On the Spot! I am excited to see timely items posted about the great things that are happening in the League! Please note that December will be the last issue of Be League.
The website  continues to be a source of resource items that members can use and I encourage provincial councils to keep their websites current. I hope all diocesan councils have websites or at least a link to their provincial website.
The issue of pornography has become prominent of late. There have been many media reports of human sex trafficking and child molestation linked to pornography. Our Pornography Hurts  campaign is alive and well and I strongly encourage councils to make a concerted effort to educate members about the harmful effects of pornography.
In the November 20, 2016, issue of The Catholic Register , Deborah Gyapong reported that a private member’s motion has been introduced for government study into the public impact of pornographic material that is readily available. “Conservative MP Arnold Viersen’s motion calls on the Standing Committee on Health to ‘examine the public health effects of the ease of access and viewing of online violent and degrading sexually explicit material on children, women and men’ and report to the House of Commons by July 2017.” Please monitor this motion. It is now reported that children as young as eight years old are viewing pornography on a regular basis.
• Pornography is proven to be addictive.
• Pornography affects the growing, maturing brains of young people and can form attitudes of sexual violence and disregard for women.
• It promotes further degrading images and attitudes toward sexual deviation.
• It degrades the respect within relationships i.e. marriage.
• Pornography is a multi-billion dollar industry.
An organization out of the United States, called Fight the New Drug  informs about the addictive nature of pornography. I would like to see all councils participate in some way, to get information out to members about the harmful effects of pornography and to contact members of parliament demanding new and much stiffer controls especially regarding the Internet. Download the Pornography Hurts postcard  from the national website and use it. In addition, I remind councils that other forms of awareness are available including billboards and bus ads. This has been an ongoing project for the diocesan council of Hamilton, Ontario for several years. Watch for more information over the next several months as this issue will be a focus of the committee.
“The memory of people is not a computer, but a heart. People, like Mary, keep things in their hearts.” Pope Francis, from A Year with Pope Francis, daily reflections from his writings.