By Terry Vanderheyden
MINNEAPOLIS/ST. PAUL, Minnesota, February 28, 2006 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The Archdioces of St. Paul and Minneapolis is the latest to incorporate a controversial child education program that many parents argue is too sexually explicit for their children.
Talking about Touching, the program in question, is one recently approved by Archbishop Harry Flynn for parochial schools in the diocese, yet many parents don’t want schools corrupting their pre-kindergarten to grade 8 kids with discussions about sexuality.
The curriculum is part of a “safe environment” program aimed ostensibly at preventing the sexual abuse of children, mandated for all U.S. diocese’ by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops.
St. Paul attorney and member of Catholic Parents Online, John Trojack, described the program as sex education, because it talks about “private body parts or the sexual organs and the proper or improper touching of the same,” as reported by the Minneapolis Star/Tribune. He argued that the program violates official Church teaching that calls on parents to be the primary educators of their children.
Talking about Touching “follows secular guidelines in exposing children 18 months or older to sexually explicit descriptions of private body parts and descriptions of sexual situations,” Trojack wrote. Children, during their “years of innocence (until puberty) . . . must never be disturbed by unnecessary information about sex,” Trojack stated, quoting from Pope John Paul II’s 1981 apostolic exhortation, Familiaris Consortio.
The Talking about Touching curriculum was produced by the Washington State group Committee for Children. The Committee was originally called Judicial Advocates for Women and was formed in the 1970’s “to work for the repeal of the prostitution laws and an end to the stigma associated with sexual work.”
One concerned parent’s group, led by John Murphy, has organized to oppose the program. He said the good news is that the Archbishop is allowing pastors to petition him for an alternate program if desired. The group has suggested an alternate program created by the Diocese of Harrisburg, PA, called the Formation in Christian Chastity. (See details: https://www.hbgdiocese.org/education_index.htm)
Murphy is also encouraging parents to write a respectful letter to Archbishop Flynn to let him know their displeasure with the program. He also encourages parents to contact their pastors about the alternate program.
Archbishop Flynn is one of four US Catholic bishops praised by the homosexual activist Rainbow Sash Movement in 2004 for welcoming RSM members to receive communion. The other three very liberal bishops praised by RSM in its press release were Cardinal Roger Mahony (Los Angeles, CA), Bishop Mathew Clark (Rochester, NY) and Bishop Thomas J. Gumbleton (Detroit).
Office of the Archbishop:
Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis
226 Summit Avenue
Saint Paul, MN 55102
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See related LifeSiteNews.com coverage:
Parents Continue to Object to Diocesan Child Protection Programs
U.S. Government Funded Programs Teach Masturbation to Five-Year-Olds
Focus on the Family Warns of Stealth Tactics to Spread Sexual Liberalism in Christianity
Catholic parents unsuccessful in persuading Flynn to stop homosexual propaganda campaigns in Catholic parishes and schools