Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Reverence and Respect for Human Life

I had an email from one of the organisers of the petition Against Government-Led Sex Education in Catholic Schools.
Being a convert to Catholicism from Judaism has been a very difficult, painful but also joyous experience. I think it will always remain painful because of my family's reaction. I literally had to leave everything and begin again. It was the Church's teaching on the sanctity of human life from birth to death which compelled me so greatly and this was through hearing a SPUC talk at school and watching the infamous 'Silent Scream'. (My parents, in their blissful ignorance sent me to the Domician Nuns, little did they know I would become a catholic years later!).
Hearing the Church's teaching on marriage and family, and the sheer respect and reverence in which they hold human life just blew me away. I vowed I would spend my life fighting for the unborn which I have tried to do. The point I am (clumsily) trying to make is that I truly believe all children deserve to learn the true Church teaching and by allowing sex education into schools, let alone our Catholic schools, will destroy their innocence but also be entirely contrary to catholic teaching.

I know this situation in the schools is an ongoing problem and I think one needs to face that sex education is answerable for so many of our problems today. It seems clear to me that if schools instruct children in sex education, they will become promiscuous, they will lose their modesty, a virtue which protects chastity. People are trying to proclaim this is medicine when it is really poison.

The petition was a cry for help, and indeed many people have signed and some with strong comments. Our hope is to present it to Archbishop Nicholls and hopefully attain a meeting with him.

We are keeping the petition running until 15th March. I am praying fervently you will decide to sign it and I will be very grateful if you would be willing to advertise this on your blog.
May God Bless you always!
Again and again I hear of converts who actually became Catholics because of  what the Church teaches about human sexuality and the sacredness of the human person, one of the obvious converts is Scott Hahn's wife. A friend of mine, a former Anglican now a Catholic priest, his wife discovered the faith through Natural Family Planning.
For me, when I was nineteen tear old Anglican, some Catholic friends at Christmas wanted to go around the pubs in Guildford carol singing, a sort of Catholic pub crawl, having decided we should raise money, there was discussion on what to do with it, a nun suggested it should be for campaigning against abortion. I hadn't thought of it as being an issue until that time. I was shocked, and suddenly realised that the Catholic attitude to human life and human dignity, to reproduction, to sexuality, to what it is to be a human being was dramatically different from anything else I had ever heard.

There is indeed a vast gulf between that which the Church teaches and which Mr Balls would have us teach, the two things are incompatable. We teach something which is hard but sublime, Mr Balls wants us to teach something easy and ultimately bestial.


Mary O'Regan said...

Great post!

Last year, I told my mother that the reason I practise my faith, go to the sacraments and do my mediocre best to follow the teachings of the church, is because she and my father read Humanae Vitae, were true to its precepts, and 'open to life'. It was their example that led me to look deeper into the Church's teachings on sexuality.

Elizabeth said...

But show me a Catholic School that is teaching true Magisterium Catholicism. I went to a Catholic Convent school from 5 - 18 and although I have nothing but praise for my primary school, It was only by the Grace of God and my Mother, that I did not lose my faith in the Secondary School. Every form of liberalism and it's up to your conscience was taught. No mention of the Church's teaching or the fact that the conscience should be informed, abortion was just another option for the female of the 70s, after all it wasn't a baby. I left school in 1973????????

Our Lady please protect our Catholic Children, shield them with your love from the evils of this world.

Michael Petek said...

Here's a letter I sent to the Catholic Times at the Weekend:

Dear Editor

I can assure Christopher Graffius that - save in the sense of 2 Thessalonians 2:7 - there is nothing mysterious about the Children, Schools and Families Bill and its eponymous Secretary of State (article, 7 March).

The Bill reads as though drafted to ensure that all schools regularly re-enact the classroom scene from The Wicker Man and organise compulsory field-trips to brothels.

It is not difficult to see why. Get the young habituated to a life of sexual immorality, and they will find it harder to become Christians as adults, or to live good lives if they were to become Christians. Stuff their faces with contraceptives, and Mr Balls' chums in the industry prosper like Job in chapter 42.

Mr Balls is a member of a government which couldn't tell the truth if it tried. He himself is telling only a half-truth when he says he wants to reduce teenage pregnancies. The other half is that his agenda is not so much about reducing the number of girls who get pregnant as about reducing the number who stay pregnant for as long as nine months if contraception fails and they conceive.

Mr Balls seems passionate about getting as many children as possible ready for sex and raring to go by the time they enter secondary school, though he couldn't care less about getting the boys ready for work, marketable for a family wage and therefore marriageable by the time they leave. Since he is out to destroy the family, why should he?

gemoftheocean said...

Don't forget Scott Hahn was a convert too - he'd been a presbyterian minister before he converted.

"oddly" enough it was Kimberley who first came around to the belief that the Catholics were right about Humanae Vitae. When she and Scott were both in tbe seminary together, it was she who took on the challenge of exploring the Catholic position on the topic - and it was she who convinced Scott to change his position. [It just took her longer to go through all the other topics though!]

On the side of the angels said...

Thankyou Father.

epsilon said...

I look forward to seeing your name on the petition, Father!

Colin said...

What a beautiful letter, Father. It would be great if we had some bishops like her (well, sort of, lol).

Mike said...

In case there is still anybody out there who thinks that the amendment supported by the CES is of any value whatsoever, the Government minister who led the Second Reading debate in the House of Lords has put the matter beyond any doubt.

Baroness Morgan of Drefelin: My Lords, one would normally expect all elements of the national curriculum to be fully inspected by Ofsted. As part of the national curriculum, that would be the case for PSHE as well. I am getting a very slow nod coming from the source of my inspiration over there, but that is what I would expect.
I reassure my noble friend Lady Blackstone and the noble Baroness, Lady Walmsley, that the effect of the government amendment which was accepted in the

8 Mar 2010 : Column 126

other place is slight in practice. It simply puts beyond doubt something that we believe was already clear. All schools will still be under a duty to comply with the principles regarding accuracy, balance and diversity, as I have just described. Faith schools will still-as now-be able to teach pupils about the stance of their church, so Catholic schools, for example, will be free to communicate the Catholic Church's views about the use of contraception, but they will be required to teach that contraception exists, is available, and to say that the church's point of view is not the only one. I also welcome the recognition by the noble Baroness, Lady Walmsley, that the age of withdrawal is a step in the right direction.

She also said this:
What we propose achieves the right balance. It does not, for instance, require Catholic schools to teach young people where to access an abortion, but it requires them to teach young people where they can access health information and advice.
Can anybody explain the difference between “where to access an abortion” and “where they can access health information and advice”?

And notice the comment about a “step in the right direction”. As usual these things start off slowly but are designed to gather speed as time goes by. The aim, obviously, is to gradually remove the parental right of withdrawal altogether.

Unknown said...

Why is there so much debate about this? The beauty of this (admittedly new-found) faith of mine is that we are told quite clearly what our responsibilities and duties are in all aspects of our lives, and parenting is no exception.

This is what Pope John Paul II said on this subject in his Apostolic Exhortation titled Familiaris consortio. This document was issued on Nov. 21, 1981 and was addressed to the bishops, clergy and the faithful of the whole Catholic Church:

The right and duty of parents regarding education: 36. The task of giving education is rooted in the primary vocation of married couples to participate in God's creative activity: By begetting in love and for love a new person who has within himself or herself the vocation for growth and development, parents by that very fact take the task of helping that person effectively to live a fully human life. As the Second Vatican Council recalled, 'Since parents have conferred life on their children, they have a most solemn obligation to educate their offspring. Hence, parents must be acknowledged as the first and foremost educators of their children. Their role as educators is so decisive that scarcely anything can compensate for their failure in it. For it devolves on parents to create a family atmosphere so animated with love and reverence for God and others that a well-rounded personal and social development will be fostered among the children. Hence, the family is the first school of those social virtues which every society needs....
Sex education, which is a basic right and duty of parents, must always be carried out under their attentive guidance whether at home or in educational centers chosen and controlled by them.' *

(* The emphasis is mine.)

So where exactly is the confusion? It is absolutely clear from Church teaching that it is parents who are wholly and solely responsible for educating our children in these matters. Not the schools, not the state, but parents.

Thank you Father for publishing this wonderful letter. This lady obviously sees straight through all the wishy-washy liberalism that seems to abound when the issue of sex raises its ugly head. Let us all follow her example.

I too, sincerely hope that you will sign this petition.

Carole in Wales said...

Beautifully written letter. As a convert to Catholicism, I can honestly say that when it comes to politics, life is the primary issue. It is the right that should be safeguarded above all others.

I grew up in a home that believed abortion was every woman's personal choice. I watched Roe v. Wade and applauded when the Supreme Court gave doctors permission to perform abortions. I have watched the culture in American become despondent about life. And of course, I had my own conversion. Life is our God-given right.

Our faith (and the evangelical faiths) believe in the right to life. You see that the tide is turning there. Even the homeschool community, in its early days, made the decision to support life.

We must make the same choices in this country as well. It is time to stand up and be counted. Well done. And Father, I hope that you to will be signing this petition. We must stand behind the teaching of our church even if we stand alone.

santoeusebio said...

Many thanks to Mike for referring us to the debate in the House of Lords on 10th March.

I have now been able to reply to the letter I had from Bishop McMahon. It is too long to be accommodated in a comment but basically I wrote:

1. I referred him to the letter from my Conservative MP who says this should be a matter to be agreed between schools and parents i.e. subsidiarity should rule.

2. The CES instead of opposing the bill have comprised.

3. I referred him to the speech by David Alton in the House of Lords debate.

4. I referred to Ed Balls statement about how children must be taught how to access abortion.

5. I said Oona Stannard in last week's Catholic Herald was being evasive.

6. Finally I said I felt it was not for the bishops to be agreeing to this corruption of the young. "Feed my sheep".

Nicolas Bellord

georgem said...

You'd think even this utilitarian government would twig the cause and effect of more than 6 million abortions and the demographic time bomb.

George said...

Ahhhh - Haaaaa!!!!

No 1608. Fr Raymond Blake - 'The Apostles were sent to teach the nations, when they are silent they deny their mission'.

Found this on the petition signatures, I really do hope that's you Fr Ray and not someone else making up names.

Thank You - It gives us Catholic parents greater hope when our good Priests are with us, better still LEADING US!!!!

God Bless you.

epsilon said...

Father, what do you know about created4life.org ?

They say:
The Created4Life Display Table has been developed in Britain for the past four years through frequent visits to town centres and also to university campuses.
[to run a table] you will need to be…
Convinced that all human life is precious, from the day of conception
Compassionate and Concerned
Caring – caring enough to do something to help
Courageous – not worrying what other people think
Committed so that you don’t give up

Fr Ray Blake said...

No I haven't.

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