LONDON, April 15, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The UK bishop who has oversight of the military chaplains and is the Catholic chaplain of the British Scouting movement, has welcomed a sex education program designed for scouts that gives information on how to obtain abortions and contraceptives for children under the legal age limit for sexual consent.
Bishop Richard Moth, the Catholic Bishopric of the Forces in Great Britain – also called the Military Ordinariate – issued a statement praising the document outlining the plan for “the recognition given in the document to the place of abstinence in combating the problems of STIs (sexually transmitted infections) and teenage pregnancy…”
The bishop said, “We also appreciate that Scouting recognizes the importance of the religious beliefs of young people and the wishes of their parents regarding the formation being offered.”
However, he also said that the Scout Association has agreed to distribute a document for Catholic Scouts called “Cherishing Human Sexuality,” produced by the National Catholic Scout Fellowship. This, he said, “sets out Catholic teaching in this area” by drawing on “Cherishing Life,” a 2004 document by the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales.
The Catholic Scout Fellowship’s document says that the government’s approach “has been both morally corrosive and practically ineffective.” The government’s condom and abortion-oriented focus, “suffers from the assumption that social and moral problems can be solved in a technical way without addressing questions of behaviour.
“Sex education should stress the importance of the virtue of chastity, and should promote the value of virginity before marriage and of constancy within marriage.”
John Smeaton, the director of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children, was considerably less sanguine about the Scout’s program than was Bishop Moth. He told LifeSiteNews.com, “We are in the process of looking carefully at what appears to be a completely horrendous program being promoted by the Scout Association.”
Smeaton has been an outspoken opponent of the various sex education programs funded by the government and enthusiastically approved by the Catholic Education service and the Catholic Bishops of England and Wales.
He said, “A parent said to me at a public meeting last week the bishops are doing nothing to protect my children.” SPUC will be examining the document and will likely issue a more complete statement soon, he added.
“We will have a great deal more to say about what appears to be at deeply disturbing development.”
Titled “My Body; My Choice,” after one of the most popular slogans of the pro-abortion movement, the Scout program includes contact information for abortionists, contraception providing groups and detailed information on how to use condoms. It was developed for the Scouts by Brook, one of the country’s leading pro-abortion “sexual health” organizations, which advises the government.
One section says, “Young people should be able to feel what a condom is like,” and says that they should know “how to put on a male condom correctly” and how to recognize if the condom is too old for use.
The program is optional and is available for local scouting groups for young people aged 14-18 years; about 40,000 Explorer Scouts fall into that age bracket.