You have not enabled cookies! This site requires cookies to operate properly. Please enable cookies, and refresh your browser for full functionality.

VATICAN, December 14, 2011 ( – A ringing endorsement of parents’ “absolute right and Divine duty to educate their children about human sexuality” was presented in the November 23 edition of the weekly Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano.

Writer Edmund Adamus, the Director of the Department for Pastoral Affairs of the Diocese of Westminster in London, England warns: “For countless decades, Catholic parents have appropriated the habit of delegating their un-renounceable and irreplaceable educative role in this arena to the Catholic school, and then largely forgetting about it.”

However, Adamus points out, “If we acknowledge (as the Vatican teaches) that each child has a right to be morally formed individually, this makes group or classroom presentations in respect of some aspects of human sexuality problematic.”  Catholic teachers who are “conscientious,” he adds, “know that those best placed to deliver this kind of one-to-one formation, are in fact parents.”

Adamus’ article in the Vatican paper promotes a book which serves as a guide to parents in this all-important education of their children. As I Have Loved You, by Dr. Gerrard O’Shea, writes Adamus, is “an excellent example of how to translate the principles laid out” in Church teaching on human sexuality, “into simple, practical activities that parents untrained in theology can both understand and impart to their sons and daughters in the home and at the age that, out of love for their children, they know best.”

Parents have taken to O’Shea’s resource guide with great interest, overcoming fear and trepidation about the subject. As I Have Loved You offers “clear guidelines honouring the unique needs of children” making for a “thoroughly practical resource that brings confidence and inspiration,” says Adamus.

And while many a teacher and diocesan official may scoff at parents’ abilities in imparting such education to their children, parents once equipped with the resource seem to disagree.  O’Shea recalls, “I continue to receive requests for training sessions in many parts of Australia, and to date, I haven’t had one single parent give me any negative feedback. The closest I have come to it was with a Diocesan official who said that they agreed that the approach advocated by ‘As I Have Loved You’ would be good, but doubted that parents could do it. The audience of parents at the time was not impressed with this ‘put-down’ and said so!”