OTTAWA, February 2, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Ottawa’s Catholic archbishop has added his voice to the thousands of Ontario parents protesting the Wynne government’s plans to impose a new explicit sex education curriculum.
Archbishop Terrence Prendergast is urging parents and concerned citizens to contact the government. “Tell them your concerns about this seizure of parental authority,” he says.
In an address January 31 at the 10th anniversary gala for Maryvale Academy, a private Catholic school in Ottawa, the archbishop warned that the government “appears willing to usurp” parental rights in imposing the new curriculum. Parents, he said, are the ones who are “best qualified” to offer children formation in this sensitive area.
The government has thus far withheld the curriculum from the public even though it is scheduled for implementation in the fall. It is modeled on a program the government pulled in 2010 due to parental backlash. That program would have seen children taught about homosexual relationships and the alleged fluidity of gender in grade 3, masturbation in grade 6, and oral and anal sex in grade 7.
“We know that the proposed program threatens the fundamental right of parents to educate their children in the moral dimension of sexual behaviour,” Prendergast said, according to his prepared text. “Mandatory instruction in the classroom will prevent parents from protecting their children from material they could judge age-inappropriate or immoral.”
“Parents are best qualified and have the greatest interest in working with their own children to handle this serious topic at an age and developmentally sensitive time,” he continued. “More notably, parents have the fundamental right to do so―a right the Province appears willing to usurp without due consideration.”
Archbishop Prendergast also joined the criticism of the Wynne government’s much-touted “consultation” on the curriculum, which has been pilloried for involving a few handpicked parents who must answer vague questions about sex education without being given a copy of the proposed curriculum.
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Additionally, the archbishop said, the program looks to directly violate Catholic teaching, while at the same time, the Wynne government has said Catholic schools must teach it.
“As currently proposed, Queen’s Park will not allow Catholic educational institutions to use our own programs for teaching the moral dimensions of sexuality,” he said. “Instead, the Provincial Government will force them to adopt its curriculum.”
“If experience is any guide, and from early indications, the government’s program contains material that contradicts Catholic moral principles,” he continued. “Furthermore, the government will decide how and when to teach this material. This decision will have no regard for an individual child’s readiness for that discussion or her parents’ wishes.”
“I strongly urge all of you who are parents to inform yourselves about this imminent curriculum,” he added. “Please contact the Honourable Liz Sandals, Minister of Education, the Premier, and your local MPP. Tell them your concerns about this seizure of parental authority.”
For a full listing of LifeSiteNews's coverage of the Wynne government's sex ed plans, click here.
Education Minister Liz Sandals
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