Friday, June 05, 2009

This how our city educates our children about sex.


I tend to talk about sex in the confessional if it is appropriate and to young couples preparing for marriage. Yesterday I was visiting someone in the The Lanes, which is the older part of the city, it is a jumble of small esoteric shops. In order to get there I had to go past a branch of Ann Summers in the main shopping precinct, although I tend to keep my eyes cast down, in order to avoid bumping into someone I look-up and got glimpse of erotic lingerie. I walked on and noticed one of my former servers, he must be in his mid-teens, rather heavily kissing his girlfriend, they were too pre-occuppied to notice me. I went on and noticed one of our young mums distracting her six year old as they passed another shop which rather explicitly advertises "sex toys", not just in the shop window but on a board on the on the other side of the road. A little further on and I would have passed a couple of rather raunchy gay clubs, quite quiet during the day but very different at night, I don't go there at night.
Even our sweet shops on the seafront sell Brighton Rock in the form of genitalia.

Brighton is highly sexualised, you can't avoid it in Brighton. Trying to keep our children away from explicit sexual material is almost impossible. One of the reasons I advise people not to watch EWTN, except on line, is because I understand you can't get it by satellite except in a package with rather unpleasant material which should never be even glimpsed in a Catholic home.

Rather than burying their heads in the sand Catholic parents and Catholic schools really do need to take sex education seriously. If it is not done by parents and schools, it will done by our society and our children's peers, and done very badly, with disastrous results.

43 comments:

gemoftheocean said...

Well said, Father. Can't something be done about the sweet shops? The raunchy businesses are bad enough, I don't know enough about your zoning laws to know if they are corraled into one area, or can't operate or get a license within X feet of certain types of establishment. (I.E. over here often city ordinances prohibit a shop with raunchy vids. or the like within so many feet of a church or school.) But the sweet shops are someplace where people would normally take children. It's unfair to parents, and their children. Can they not be picketed?

One small silver lining in your report. At least the boy was kissing a girl, and not another boy!

And yes, if the catholic schools and parents DON'T talk about it, they will get it from "the culture" - wretched as it is. (And I'm not just condeming Brighton, there are places in the US and I'm sure all over where it's just as bad if not worse. I'd hate to live in San Francisco, or have to raise kids there.)

I.P. said...

Mrs Whitehouse , much derided in her time, was very right when she argued that like advertising any widespread depiction of any sexual behaviour would serve to normalise it.

Pornography was defended in the seventies and onwards as having no effect on behaviour.

Who has been proved right?

Catholic Mom of 10 said...

Well not quite sure about sex ed being done 'by the schools' since it's a parents 'inalienable' right. Do you support programs such as All That I Am Fr Ray? Because then the vulnerable kids get sex in the city as you describe & woopy do in their Catholic Primaries as well..complete with diagrams of sex organs & moving DVDs! YUK!

Have you a Primary School..ie are you Chaplain or governor or both?

The Oratory Fathers help educate the parents with talks from SPUC LIFE FLI former Head Teachers Priests etc..& we choose our own LIFE nurse who is specifically told what to say..no government grooming for the sex industry for our kids!

Catholic Mom of 10 said...

Karen..the less talk about it the better! Do you remember when there was no sex ed & teenage pregnancies were rare? The 'if we don't tell them' argument flouted by the CES & well-meaning adults is crap!

Ttony said...

Watch yourself, Father, or you'll start getting megaflak for proposing that children need to be educated about living in a highly sexualised society. And your e-mail will contain some choice attachments. And it will all be your fault.

Just guessing ...

Catholic Mom of 10 said...

How many kids you educated Ttony? Must get you off my mailing list that's for sure.Too right us parents are protecting our children from any men wanting to give them the kind of stuff some do!

Catholic Mom of 10 said...

One of my readers writes:

Oh dear oh dear. Fr Ray is not thinking straight. THis is knee-jerk stuff. Of course the situation is bad out there. But that doesn't mean that doing a nice clinicla "sex lesson" in school with whatever kinds of cast-iron guarantees can ever be regarded as good.

Fr Ray Blake said...

Jackie - please be polite, even if can't manage charity on this issue.
Ad hominem arguements do not further anyone's cause.

Patricius said...

I am not sure that "educates" is quite the right word, Father, because it seems to me that there is something going on in our culture generally, and not just in "hot spots" like Brighton, more akin to brainwashing. The Jonathan Ross/Russell Brand business last year was indicative of widespread attitudes. On the other hand "educates" points up the fact that what children learn in contemporary society is never wholly circumscribed by parents or even schools however vigilant.

James Preece said...

"Ad hominem arguements do not further anyone's cause."

I would be very interested to see somebody quote the Ad Hominem attack Jackie is alleged to have made.

First she points out the Church's teaching about the parents inalienable rights, then she explains how things are done in her school.

Then she makes a historical argument pointing out that historically there is no correlation showing increased sex education leads to lower teenage pregancy rates.

I suppose her line "How many kids you educated Ttony?" could be construed as Ad Hominem, but it seems more like a reasonable appeal to her own experience in this matter.

Finally she quotes one of her readers who suggests that you are not thinking straight.

None of that was Ad Hominem. If she had said "Ttony only thinks that because he's stupid" or "Fr Ray only says that because he is a man" then fair play, but she didn't.

Finally, I don't think Jackie is against educating kids with the truths about human sexuality. Jackie is against what "Sex Education TM" has come to mean, e.g. flashing up penises to rooms full of nine year olds and saying nothing about chastity.

What Jackie and myself would really like is a clarification from yourself about the kind of sex education you had in mind.

Because the kind of sex education being forced on schools right now is unacceptable.

Fr Ray Blake said...

I obviously disagree with you James.

Jonathan said...

Father
we have watched EWTN for years via Eutelsat using the Hotbird Satellite at 13 degrees east. This is freely available if you have a digital receiver and dish (a bit bigger than for Sky). There is no package to pay for. EWTN charges nothing and runs on donations. I would encourage all Catholic homes to watch EWTN and you can use security pin codes in order to prevent anyone adding stations that are not appropriate - I would imagine that this option is also avaialble on Sky so parents control what can be accessed. EWTN is one of the major means of Catholic evangelisation in the world we should do all we can to encourage it and not put anyone off.

Ma Tucker said...

Fr. Ray
I think there is a difference between being exposed to things in the public domain and being taught things in school. From the child's perspective school has an element of valid authority that the outside world does not. Therefore, it is important that things are done correctly and at the correct time by schools and parents regardless of what the outside world pumps out. We are called to do the right thing no matter what. In doing do so we follow God's Will. He will deal with the rest and we should not worry about it any further. That is what our faith teaches is it not?

My sister had children in a Catholic school. The children were being taught from books that contained sickening levels of violence, even for an adult. The children were encouraged to discuss euthanasia and "come to their own conclusions" about it. These children are 11 years old. My sister had a meeting with the headmaster on the issue. He told her that she can't hide away from the world. The children need to be able to handle the culture in which they live. They are going to be exposed more and more to this and they have to be prepared for it.

It seems to me that we can brutalise our children so that they can fit into a brutalised culture or we can endeavour to do what we know to be right in all circumstances, irrespective of external forces.

Fr Ray, in my son's old Catholic school the parents were invited in to view the sex-ed material that was to be delivered to their 12 year old children. One of the parents rang me in shock. She recounted that the school put on a film showing live sex scenes and a live birth. Nothing was left to the imagination nor was their any context of Catholic marriage or commitment in a loving relationship. This is corruption plain and simple. Parents expect their children to be exposed to muck in the world. They don't expect them to be fed muck in schools as well. It is far more destructive coming from the schools.

George said...

Barring any 'insults' being thrown around and I do not believe there have been, I'm in agreement with Catholic Mom of 10 and James Preece.

As a dad of 6 children we have been coming up against and fighting the 'explicit sex education' stuff in our Catholic Schools for over twenty years.

There is only one place for teaching a child about 'sex' and the natural changes in the body as they grow. The proper place is in the family home by one or other or both parents. Every child develops at their own speed and asks questions appropriate for their level of understanding. Boys will ask differrent questions to girls.

You cannot take a mixed class of boys and girls in year 5, 6, 9 or whatever, stick teh dreaded 'school nurse' in front of them and give them a bland, matter of fact 'lesson' in the mechanics of sex! Usually backed up by pornographically explicit booklets, leaflets, film slides, or worse - animated cartoons and actual film footage of sex!!!!

This is tantamount to child abuse.

Parents are the primary educators of their children not the nanny state! If there is a useful role for the schools in this matter then it is this - Catholic Schools should help any parent/s who may have problems with discussing intimate sexual matters with their children, so that they can then take this to their children. In ALL cases whatever the Catholic School teaches MUST be in full conformance to the Magisterium of the Catholic Church and NOT to secular values.

And what has 40 years of sex education actually done for this country - JUST LOOK AT THE STATISTICS. The UK leads the western world in rising teenage pregnancy rates and rampant spread of sexually transmitted diseases. Of course with this comes the horror of abortion, the contraceptive mentality, a culture of promiscuity and not just family breakdown but the inability to create happy, functionsal families.

To say that we need more sex education because of teenage pregnancy is like saying the fire is out of control let's pour more petrol on the fire!

As a governor in our local Catholic secondary school I oppose and stand firm against sex ed in the classroom. It does no good whatsoever merely seeding curiosity in young minds. We've all seen the wonderful headlines in the UK papers '13-year old dad' etc....

Our children are being sold short! We can do so much better for them by involving people such as Family Life International, SPUC etc... in our schools. People who value the inherent dignity of every child and don't see them merely as 'the next generation of consumers'.

Ben Trovato said...

Fr Ray,

Maybe you don't know how tough it is for us parents trying to raise chaste kids when the schools are full of sex ed that is verging on pornographic, and certainly devoid of anything like 'judgemental values' (ie teaching kids about right and wrong).

I raised this and other issues with my former bishop and he said the schools couldn't teach Catholic teaching as so many parents weren't living it, and it might cause some kids distress.

But if it can't be done properly in the schools (and it almost certainly can't) then it shouldn't be done at all.

That's why Jackie, James and I - and countless other parents - resist school-based sex ed and avail ourselves of our right as the primary educators to educate our kids in the true meaning of human love and sexuality: as the Church teaches we should.

Volpius Leonius said...

So the answer is for Catholics to get on the board of their local council and remove the permission for these kinds of shops to operate is it not?

Fr Ray Blake said...

I did say, and some of you might have noticed it
"Catholic parents and Catholic schools really do need to take sex education seriously. If it is not done by parents and schools, it will done by our society and our children's peers, and done very badly, with disastrous results."

It is important that sex education is done well!
It is important that it is done from a proper Catholic perspective!
It is important that Catholic parents ensure whatever is done in our schools is centred on chasity and marriage and that they receive the backing of the Bishops.

Fr Ray Blake said...

Do have a look at Jackie's blog, http://catholicmomof10militant.blogspot.com/2009/06/fr-ray-blake-asks-jackie-to-be-polite.html
she hasn't yet posted my comment.


If you are from Jackie's blog do read my post before attacking me!

George said...

Fr Ray writes: "It is important that Catholic parents ensure whatever is done in our schools is centred on chastity and marriage and that they receive the backing of the Bishops".

Fr Ray, as Catholic parents we've been doing all this for over twenty years because we were and continue to remain, concerned about our children's moral formation.

When we went to the Bishop and explained what's going on in our schools, we drew a complete blank.

Catholic parents trapped in the contraceptive mentality and culture see nothing wrong with sex-ed and there lies a major problem. Many teachers in Catholic schools either don't practice their religion, have been poorly formed in their Faith or simply are not Catholic and this is another problem.

They all 'poo-poo' and frown on 'chastity education' laughing and say 'that's an unfair and impossible 'ideal' to place before kids these days', and of course the government continues to pump out ever more extreme programmes that not only push condoms and hence the culture of promiscuity but also now teach that homosex is equal to heterosexual relations and nothing about sex being for the expression of unity and love between a husband and wife within marriage and for creating new life!

It's a constant battle and it wears you down when even 'your own' are against you.

However, the bottom line is that God has given parents the 'job' of bringing up their children and each and every mother and father in time will answer to Him when asked 'What did you do with the Soul/s I entrusted to you?'.

No good saying, 'well I left it to the Catholic schools'.

pontesisto said...

It seems to me that sex education is not a desperate attempt to stem the rise in sexual immorality as some claim, but rather, a willing assistant and probably even, catalyst to its success.

We were given “Humanae Vitae”, but how many Catholics have read it? How many attempt to live by it? The time has come for zero tolerance from faithful Catholics and all Christians of good will.

Our children (if they make it to birth) are being brutalized by the most disgusting and prurient material under the guise of “Sex Ed.”.

We’ve lost over forty years of traditional values which must be revisited. In the meantime, thinking the solution to sexual delinquency is soft (and not-so-soft) porn. in the classroom is folly. Even the most recalcitrant child will treat a teacher’s words with some form of respect: what passes as sex education in schools is filth, which only prepares a child for a life of immorality and sexual libertinism.

We must stop treating those who seek to protect their children from this culturally enforced abuse as fools who tilt at windmills, for the problem is truly gigantic and faithful straight talking is the only answer.

Furthermore, we must not stop here. The mass media, and even our politicians, have become dangerous sources of wickedness. The time has come for a pan-Christian voice, at Westminster level, to stem this tide of secular deviance, with an unashamed agenda to fight the filth on the T.V., as well that spoon-fed to children in schools. We must hope, pray and be active!

Are Christians up to it?

Ben Trovato said...

Dear Fr Ray

I hope you do not think I was attacking you; it was the idea of school-based sex ed I was attacking (and I think the same was true of most other contributors).

As you will have realised you have touched a very raw nerve here for parents, whose kids are at the front line in the war between the ever-more aggressive secular culture and our Catholic values.

And alas, as I think my last post indicated, we can't even rely on our Catholic schools, the bishops, and still less the CES, to fight our corner...

This is a source of enormous frustration and a profound sense of betrayal. So perhaps it is not surprising if occasionally there is more heat than light when the subject is raised.

Laurence England said...

Society is going to educate children through the media, through TV, radio and an entire culture which raises sex and sexuality onto the high altar of secularism.

I agree with Fr Ray - Protect children by getting there first and giving them the view of sex and human relationships espoused by Holy Mother Church. I think that is all Fr Ray was saying.

Volpius Leonius said...

Any education of children by schools on this kind of thing is a waste of time unless it is reinforced at home anyway, first you need to educate the adults!

A responsible parent would not allow their children to be exposed to that kind of thing. But it takes a strong person to resist the social pressure put on people do give in in order to belong.

But when was the last time you heard a priest warning parents to keep their children from tv, or the internet, or the dens of depravity that are our city centres and bad friends who are antichrists?

The clergy need to strengthen the people by providing a counter pressure to that which society exerts to drag us into worldly behaviour, and this will require priests to start saying "There is the Wolf!". It will require priests to hate sin as God hates sin and to recognise the workers of iniquity who prey on the weak.

Its time for this peace treaty that has been made with evil to stop, we are getting massacred here.

Catholic Father of 3 said...

Fr Ray, I am sorry to see that you are being attacked by fundamentalists lacking in charity. The truth is that sex eductation in schools does work. There are sex education programmes in Italian schools and their teenage pregnancy rates are almost non existant. We are doing something wrong in this country and burying our heads in the sand is the last thing we need.

Fr Ray Blake said...

James, JMP and Mary, you are probably right but let's be charitable.

pontesisto said...

There have been some very strong points raised here and such an honest dialogue can only be a good thing. However, let's not forget that we are on the same side.

Perhaps the answer lies in first principles. If only Christians could be rallied to boycott those institutions that promote filth in the first place, be they the media, or others, then the free market would have to kick in, forcing those bodies to rethink whether they could afford to insult Christians and Christian standards. It would be a difficult project to manage, but well worth the effort. Indeed, it could be true ecumenism. Rather than some dodgy hymn-prayer “sandwich” with the Methodists once a month, all Christian traditions could unite in defence of the fundamentals of the Faith. It’s not so long ago that furriers the length and breadth of the country were closing down following concerted protests by anti-fur protesters. How long might some of the shops referred to in Fr. Ray’s post last if customers had to run the gauntlet of Christian protesters? Even with our government’s new raft of draconian laws, we still have a right to protest. It’s a start, and it’s something.

Remove the cause of the perceived “need” and you remove any possible argument for the spurious “remedy”. We ignored Mrs. Whitehouse and lost the battle; let’s not lose the war.

Joe said...

Dear Fr Ray

I think it is helpful that you have posted an indication of the wider context in which our school age children live. I think it is also important to recognise that it is legitimate for Catholic schools to have a role in the education of children in sexuality.

1. In terms of Catholic teaching on the role of schools in relation to the responsibility of parents for the education of their children, schools should act as supporters of parents in their role as primary educators of their children - the principle of subsidiarity applies, because schools can provide the skills and expert knowledge that parents may not have across all subjects, and so the parents ask schools to help them in fulfilling what remains their responsibility. So far as I can gather from reading the Church's documents on this principle, it applies to all subject areas and, pace Jackie Parkes, it equally applies in the field of human sexuality.

2. The practical models adopted to implement this collaboration between schools and parents can be different. It can take the form of the school preparing parents to provide education in human sexuality to their children - perhaps Jackie Parkes' preferred model. But it could also take the form of in-school provision, without prejudicing the Church's view with regard to the primary role of parents. And, of course, some parents may feel able to make full provision themselves, others appreciating support from the school.

3. Clearly, the PRACTICE might not match the principle - it is very easy for in-school provision to take away parental role, and this is true for any subject area, not just that of human sexuality. This raises the question of the legitimacy of a statutory definition of curriculum content for any subject area, not just that of human sexuality ... And is a legitimate area of concern.

4. But I do think it is legitimate for Catholic schools to have a role in education in human sexuality.

5. What I have wondered about for some time is the separation between teaching the "scientific" aspects of human sexuality in science lessons - apart from the moral or spiritual aspects which may be taught in RE. It seems to me that, if the integration of the physical aspects of human sexuality with the human/spiritual aspects (in a philosophical sense of integration, not just a practical one) is to be achieved, they must be taught together. And this can only be done by a science teacher who is, in this respect at least, also a faithful Catholic RE teacher [or a faithful Catholic RE teacher who is in this respect also a well qualified science teacher]. And it involves teaching about marriage, and the purposes of marriage ...

Volpius Leonius said...

"There are sex education programmes in Italian schools and their teenage pregnancy rates are almost non existant."

That has nothing to do with the sex education in the schools.

That is a result of both Italian women having more self respect in general, it still been considered a infamia to behave like a puttana and there been a far greater number of complete family units due to rarity of divorce in Italy compared to the UK.(The divorce rate for Italian couples in 2000 was only 13.7 per 100 marriages in 2000, similar to that of Ireland, but far below that of Belgium, 59.9 per 100, and Britain, 50.5 per 100.)

Volpius Leonius said...

Even if Christians boycotted those things pontesisto the heathens are plentiful enough to keep them going without us.

The only real way to avoid these things while still enjoying the benefits of living in a community is to create our own communities and provide for our own needs.

Sadly this requires a greater amount of unity among the brethren than seems to exist.

James Preece said...

To repeat myself...

"What Jackie and myself would really like is a clarification from yourself about the kind of sex education you had in mind."

Catholic Mom of 10 said...

Eric Hester writes this:

It is always sad to see two good people disagreeing with each other in public and I should like to make the peace between the wonderful Jackie Parkes and the wonderful Fr Ray Blake.


First, very tentatively I am going to agree with Fr Blake, Jackie: your rough -and -tumble, shooting-from-the-hope manner is most effective; it was thus that you had a heroic victory and stopped a pro-abortion speaker being invited to a Catholic school. However, it is not always the right way to deal with people who are friends. Also, speaking as one who is tenacious of parents’ rights, there is nothing to object to per se, in what Fr Blake says in the “offending” blog: “Rather than burying their heads in the sand Catholic parents and Catholic schools really do need to take sex education seriously. If it is not done by parents and schools, it will be done by our society and our children’s peers, and done very seriously with disastrous results.” Yes, Fr Blake is right that parents have the duty to educate their children on sexual matters and Catholic schools do have a supporting part at the secondary level. Of course, there is more to be said but Fr Blake is a busy priest who manages to write a blog and what he says is a valid point as far as it goes.


Then, to Fr Blake, I should like to put something, if I might, of Jackie’s point of view. To many of us, this lady is a heroine who has ten children and still makes time to write a blog. How she does this, I do not know. Therefore, her strength is her heroic Catholicity, and her standing up for the Catholic family when so many people – including it appears to us, some Catholic bishops – have let us down. Therefore, her daily blog is an inspiration but not one where we look for subtle, sophisticated and balanced articles. You have to take Jackie as she is, and she is marvellous.


Another point is this, if I can put it gently. Some of us who are lay Catholics and members of families – in my case I am head of a family (my wife has kindly given me her gracious permission to put this) of four children all married and we have seven grandchildren with another on the way – feel let down by many of our bishops and even some of our priests. Let me say this very gently: over abortion, sex abuse, the promotion of homosexuality and compulsory government sex education, the bishops try to say the right things but they do not seem to feel the horror of these things the way that Catholic parents do. The reaction of Catholic parents to sex abuse, is not to think of committees and commissions, and write reports but, frankly, to punch these people in the jaw at the very least. This is why the bishops occasionally make the most crass statement about abuse and why they seem not to care about abortion except as an academic thing. Some priests – not in Brighton, I feel sure - give bland homilies every Sunday as if we lived in a perfect society, and they never so much as mention the full attack on the family that goes on every day.

So, if I were still a head master, I should call Jackie and Fr Blake into my study and make them shake hands. Do we not all agree that the worst option is political compulsory sex education which this sinking government is trying to do? Do we not all agree that if everyone keeps to the wonderful authoritative statement of the Pontifical Council for the Family, The Truth and Meaning of Human Sexuality, then all will be well?
Rest on Jackie's blog..

Catholic Mom of 10 said...

Fr Ray,

I have only said no to sex education as does Rome for Primary School children..nothing more or less.

I have always explained that we provide our own Catholic nurse & a program for parents provided by the governors, priests, chaplains & trustees.

I actually feel like Mary Whitehouse here.

However I have just visited Mons Graham Leonard & been very edified. You are a priest..& I have great respect for you.

I also have great respect for Eric Hester & if he asks me to do something I will listen.

Mind you I have great spiritual directors also.

Well I'm shattered but perhaps we could shake hands?

Laurence England said...

I suppose the big question is how many Catholic School teachers are Catholic. And even if they're Catholic, are they so informed about the Faith as to approach such subjects with the required level of knowledge of, or a desire to adhere to and teach the Magisterium.

What seems like some to be an obvious truth to teach, say regarding the Sanctity of Marriage will, with the rise of secularism and liberal catholicism, seem difficult to teach, especially with the Government's new creed of condoms all round and gay sex for all.

Perhaps the Catholic view of sex education should be taught by hardcore - but soft on the inside - Nuns and Brothers, rather than leaving it to worldly, nominal or non-Catholics who leave the Catholic faith out to dry on a regular basis?

Catholic Mom of 10 said...

Without dragging it all up I just love 'Father of 3!!' calling me I suppose a 'fundamentalist lacking in charity ' & ' burying our heads in the sand!'. Absolutely hilarious since we are leading the way in providing education according to the magisterium, by top British, pro-life, pro-family speakers & running courses & talks for parents giving them the necessary help, tools & support. Burying 'whose' head in the sand I have to say father of 3? BTW when you have no 4 you become even more enlightened! Oh Fr Ray..please don't say that was uncharitable!

Catholic Mom of 10 said...

Oh James Preece is spot on which is great him starting out right with his growing family.

Catholic Mom of 10 said...

Fr Ray..couldn't post your earlier comment coz was on my I Phone in Oxfordshire!

Fr Ray Blake said...

Jackie, of course we are friends. I very much admire your defence of the faith.
The problem is that so many of our Catholic schools, and other institutions, as you and I have said endlessly, have "distanced" themselves from Catholic teaching.

What seems clear here is that many Catholic parents simply do not trust the institutions that bear the name Catholic.

Expressions like "Catholic ethos" are meaningless, if our schools are not producing Catholic fruit, there is something wrong with the root.
If they are not forming young men and women committed to the Gospel's expectation of chastity outside of marriage and fidelity and openness to life within it, then something is very seriously wrong.
Sex education I believe should start with training in self-control, in caring for and respecting others, in repairing broken or damaged relationship, in fidelity, in the proper roles of mother and father. I do believe it should in start in Primary Schools, but by teaching children to value the family and marriage. In Primary Schools laying the foundations are important, the biology can wait until the child's parents decide it is ready for it.

If parents want to send their children to our schools then they must accept our Catholic values.

If the government wants us to be "partners" in educating children, it too has to accept us teaching truly Catholic values, if for any reason they are not able to do this, then we should close our schools!

James Preece said...

"Sex education I believe should start with training in self-control, in caring for and respecting others, in repairing broken or damaged relationship, in fidelity, in the proper roles of mother and father. I do believe it should in start in Primary Schools, but by teaching children to value the family and marriage. In Primary Schools laying the foundations are important, the biology can wait until the child's parents decide it is ready for it."

In that case, I can't honestly say we have anything to disagree about.

The problem is that in the wild, the phrase "sex education" doesn't mean any of what you just said, it means "education about sex" and nothing else.

The "All That I Am" materials which have been approved by Archbishop Nichols include getting nine year olds to colour in and label diagrams of adult genitalia. What possible justification is there in teaching nine year olds the difference between the urethra and the scrotum? How can that information possibly help them understand the meaning of human sexuality?

It can't, but it can do a very good job of reducing sexual activity to a mere bodily function with no more real signifince than going to the toilet - which is convenient, because that's exactly what our culture would like our children to believe.

Elizabeth said...

As a Catholic Mum of six I would like to add my comments on this crucial issue, which is another ploy of satan to destroy our children, the family and the Catholic Church.
How can we agree with Catholic schools teaching sex education, when firstly the majority of teachers in Catholic secondary schools are not catholic and others only in name.
The Catholic Church requires that its teachers instruct in specific values, but unfortunately many teachers are themselves at odds with the teachings of the Church. In 1995 the Linacre Centre held a conference on Humanae Vitae, they found that the majority of Catholic School teachers were openly antagonistic towards its teachings. In fact only 5% of teachers (of child bearing age) in Catholic Schools accepted the teachings of Humanae Vitae. Yet so many uninformed people are wanting these teachers to instruct our children in chastity and fidelity to the teachings of our Mother the Church. Their loyalty lies with the secular society with all its self orientated, pleasure-seeking mores of sexuality, especially in their rejection of what the Church teaches as the purpose of sexuality.

The infamous argument for sex education is that as parents are reluctant to discuss sexual matters with their children it is the duty of the school to do it otherwise irresponsible sources like TV, Media, Internet, Sex shops, Glossy magazines etc will happily step in with their own agenda. Well, a government research paper carried out for the Health Education Authority as far back as 1994 'Parents, schools and sex education' found that 81% of parents felt perfectly confident about providing sex education for their children and were quite willing to initiate sexual topics they felt were important.

"Sexuality can never be merely something commonplace, it must always be fully personal and an enrichment of the whole person in body, emotions, and soul, manifesting the drawing of the person to the total giving of self in marital love, it is obvious that the self giving of the parents to eachother is the foundation of sex education. They have the right and duty to give this formation" H V Sattler (1983) The Role of the Christian Family (Franciscan Herald Press)

Elizabeth said...

You are absolutely right James, the idea is to de-sensitise our children into believing indulging in sexual activity is the same as going to the toilet or blowing your nose. Just another bodily funtion.

Elizabeth said...

Just one more thought about this issue of sex education in schools. Do you think we may have a shortage of gynaecologists in the NHS and so preparing are children from nursery age will ensure a good turnout by the time they are in their twenties???? LOL
Shame they don't spend as much time studying the heart, we could do with some cardiologists in this country with the huge rise in heart problems????

Alex Benziger.G said...

Fr,
All science education have a practical class. Therefore sex education is there, must be a practical class also.The practical class is not available then the children are doing in the street.
Father, No sex education is necessary as like our great grand forefathers.

Fletcher said...

Father,
If people want to watch EWTN other than on line, they can do what I did when I had it installed 7 years ago - DELETE ALL THE RUBBISH!! At the same time I had my set de-tuned from all the terrestrial channels, so I either watch EWTN, or nothing! It's the best day's work I ever did