Vatican’s new sex-ed program conflicts with previous teaching
August 2, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) — The new sex education program the Pontifical Council for the Family released at World Youth Day blatantly contradicts a 1995 document it promulgated that teaches parents should be their children’s sex educators and no erotic material should be presented to young people.
The Pontifical Council for the Family’s The Meeting Point: Course of Affective Sexual Education for Young People program excludes parents from their children’s sex education, uses sexually explicit and sexually suggestive images, and fails to warn teens about the possibility of eternal separation from God for committing grave sexual sins.
The program also teaches boys and girls together in the same class, recommends sexually explicit media, uses confusing and ill-defined language, and does not treat Church teaching on human sexuality as something to be integrated into its doctrinal and moral teachings.
But the 1995 document The Truth and Meaning of Human Sexuality, which the Pontifical Council for the Family released to guide parents in educating their children, reaffirms the Church’s longstanding position that sex education is “a basic right and duty of parents” that “must always be carried out under their attentive guidance whether at home or in educational centres chosen and controlled by them.”
“Other educators can assist in this task” of teaching children about chastity, “but they can only take the place of parents for serious reasons of physical or moral incapacity,” the document teaches.
According to The Truth and Meaning of Human Sexuality, “As husband and wife who have become ‘one flesh’ through the bond of marriage, they share the duty to educate their children through willing collaboration nourished by vigorous mutual dialogue that ‘has a new specific source in the sacrament of marriage, which consecrates them for the strictly Christian education of their children: that is to say, it calls upon them to share in the very authority and love of God the Father and Christ the shepherd, and in the motherly love of the Church, and it enriches them with wisdom, counsel, fortitude and all the other gifts of the Holy Spirit in order to help the children in their growth as human beings and as Christians.’”
“Experience shows that this dialogue [about sexuality and sexual development] works out better when the parent who communicates the biological, emotional, moral and spiritual information is of the same sex as the child or young person,” the Pontifical Council for the Family continued. “Being aware of the role, emotions and problems of their own sex, mothers have a special bond with their daughters, and fathers with their sons. This natural bond should be respected,” and single parents should act with great sensitivity and “may choose to entrust communicating the most intimate details to a trustworthy person of the same sex as the child.”
Only one document can be true
“No material of an erotic nature should be presented to children or young people of any age, individually or in a group,” the 1995 document instructs. “This principle of decency must safeguard the virtue of Christian chastity.”
The Truth and Meaning of Human Sexuality also stipulates that “only information proportionate to each phase of their individual development should be presented to children and young people,” and “No one should ever be invited, let alone obliged, to act in any way that could objectively offend against modesty or which could subjectively offend against his or her own delicacy or sense of privacy.”
It lists “every ‘dramatized’ representation, mime or ‘role playing’ that depict genital or erotic matters,” “making drawings, charts or models etc. of this nature,” “seeking personal information about sexual questions or asking that family information be divulged,” and “oral or written exams about genital or erotic questions” as “methods that abuse sex education”
The Meeting Point’s standard, cookie-cutter curriculum fails to recognize that teens of the same age may be at different places in their psychosexual development and thus have need for different instruction.
The program also asks co-ed classes to “point out where sexuality is located in boys and girls” on drawings.
It has co-ed classes discuss and debate their understanding of phrases like “What does the word sex suggest to you?” But before sharing, the sexes should be separated, the curriculum teaches, so that “the boys can talk about hooking up, one-night stands, maybe making reference to their genital organs” and “the girls can talk more about maternity, pregnancy, [and] falling in love.”
The Truth and Meaning of Human Sexuality and The Meeting Point cannot peacefully coexist. Only one of them can be true, and only the Pontifical Council for the Family can clarify which one it recommends as a resource.