MANASSAS, Va., August 25, 2016 (CardinalNewmanSociety) — In a report released today, The Cardinal Newman Society is warning Catholic parents and educators that a new sex education program being promoted by the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for the Family “compromises the innocence and integrity of young people” as it is currently written and should not be implemented in Catholic schools.
“Catholic parents and educators should not assume that this program in its current form is suitable for a faithful Catholic education simply because of its association with the Pontifical Council for the Family,” The Cardinal Newman Society said in its report “Meeting Point Sex Ed Program Not Ready for Catholic Schools.”
While the Newman Society does not formally review educational materials, “we have taken a close look at this program because of its high profile, parent concerns about its suitability for Catholic families, and our mission to promote and protect faithful Catholic education.”
“With admiration for the work of the Pontifical Council for the Family and confidence in the Church’s authority on faith and morals,” the report continues, “we find that The Meeting Point in its present form represents a significant break from the traditional approach to Catholic instruction and learning about human sexuality.”
The Meeting Point: Course of Affective Sexual Education for Young People was released online by the Pontifical Council for the Family in July 2016 during the World Youth Day celebrations. The program was developed by “a group of married couples in Spain” with the support of the Spanish Bishops’ Conference. It is intended as a resource for use in Catholic high schools, parishes, and homes. The Pontifical Council is requesting that feedback and suggestions be submitted through the program’s website.
As the Newman Society noted, thus far no Vatican official has directed implementation of The Meeting Point, and neither have the U.S. bishops proposed adoption of the program.
The program uses morally offensive images and other inappropriate content without adequate emphasis on Catholic moral teaching from sources such as the Ten Commandments, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Church documents and Sacred Scripture. The materials released thus far also do not lend adequate support to parents as primary educators of their children, especially in matters of sexuality.
In order to “protect the purity of young men and women and the integrity of faithful Catholic education in school and at home,” The Cardinal Newman Society suggests substantial improvement of the program “under the guidance of Catholic parents and experts in theology, catechesis, pedagogy and developmental psychology.”
And while noting a number of serious concerns about the program in its report, the Newman Society states: “We nevertheless look with hope to many fruitful efforts in the Church to respond to a hyper-sexualized culture that is often greatly at odds with Catholic morality and respect for the human person.”
The Newman Society’s full report, “Meeting Point Sex Ed Program Not Ready for Catholic Schools,” can be found online here.