Blog/CYM Blog Reminder: Teens Need Basics by Angela Hamrick In my last blog, I mentioned that I was somewhat surprised by two things in a session I got to facilitate for our diocesan youth conference. I wrote about “mean teens” last time and now, I want to talk about the need to address our Catholic understanding on sexuality and relationships. It could be because I’ve read and heard (over and over) our Catholic teaching, but I was surprised at some of the blatant misunderstandings teens had on topics like premarital sex, pornography, and homosexuality. I don’t know where they were getting their info (and as one friend asked, maybe that’s what we should have asked them—although their question submissions were anonymous), but clearly, they were not being formed and informed by those with a clear understanding of our Catholic beliefs. Perhaps they are hearing from misinformed friends or from media, but their lack of what I would consider basic Catholic teaching was an eye-opener for me. For this session, teens were able to submit questions anonymously online for our panelists. The tenor of this year’s session compared to last year’s was distinctly different—perhaps more aggressively open in topics and confusion. As my panelists rightly voiced, there is a lot of confusion around sexuality today—especially with so many gender questions. Our Catholic teens are just as confused as the average secular teen. Thus, the gauntlet is given. We have an opportunity to speak truth.\ We need not be afraid of talking with our teens about these topics. There are plenty of good resources and Life Nights to address these “hot topics.” There are educated and qualified people who can assist us with presenting the Catholic teaching. Sure, it can be uncomfortable, but that shouldn’t be our excuse. Sure, the world’s ideas seem to be ever-shifting, but the truth never changes. Our young people desperately need and deserve to hear the truth spoken with love and clarity.