At World Youth Day, Vatican releases teen sex-ed program that leaves out parents and mortal sin

At World Youth Day, Vatican releases teen sex-ed program that leaves out parents and mortal sin

Pete Baklinski

ANALYSIS

ROME, July 27, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) — “More souls go to hell because of sins of the flesh than for any other reason,” Our Lady of Fatima warned the three young seers in 1917. But this message, unfortunately, is entirely absent from the Vatican’s newly released sex-ed program for teens. Instead, sexual sins are not mentioned at all. The 6th and 9th commandments are ignored while sexually explicit images and immoral videos are used as springboards for discussion.

The program titled “The Meeting Point: Course of Affective Sexual Education for Young People” was released last week by the Pontifical Council for the Family to be presented this week to young people at World Youth Day in Poland.

While the program has been in the process of development by married couples in Spain for a number of years, it appears to have received impetus to be completed by Pope Francis’ April Exhortation on marriage and the family, Amoris Laetitia. In the exhortation, the Pope speaks about the “need for sex education” to be addressed by “educational institutions,” a move that alarmed global life-and-family leaders since the Catholic Church has always recognized and taught — often in the face of opposition from world powers — that sex education is the “basic right and duty of parents.”

The Vatican’s sex-ed is broken down into six units that are to be taught over a period of four years (grades 9-12) to male and female students in mixed classes.

The new program being put forward by the Pontifical Council for the Family appears to be a departure from what the Church’s magisterium has long taught on sex education. For example:

Pope Pius XI, in his 1929 encyclical on Christian education, Divini Illius Magistri, speaks about sex instruction in a private setting by parents, not in classrooms, stating that if “some private instruction is found necessary and opportune, from those who hold from God the commission to teach and have the grace of state, every precaution must be taken. Such precautions are well known in traditional Christian education. … Hence it is of the highest importance that a good father, while discussing with his son a matter so delicate, should be well on his guard not to descend to details.” He adds: “Speaking generally, during the period of childhood, it suffices to employ those remedies which produce the double effect of opening the door to the virtue of purity and closing the door upon vice.”
Pope Pius XII, in his 1951 address to fathers of families, warns against propaganda, even from “Catholic sources,” which “exaggerates out of all proportion the importance and significance of the sexual element. … Their manner of explaining sexual life is such that it acquires in the mind and conscience of the average reader the idea and value of an end in itself, making him lose sight of the true primordial purpose of matrimony, which is the procreation and upbringing of children, and the grave duty of married couples as regards this purpose—something which the literature of which We are speaking leaves too much in the background.”
Pope St. John Paul II, in his 1981 apostolic exhortation Familiaris Consortio, calls sex education a “basic right and duty of parents” which “must always be carried out under their attentive guidance, whether at home or in educational centers chosen and controlled by them.” He adds: “Christian parents, discerning the signs of God’s Will, will devote special attention and care to educate in virginity or celibacy as the supreme form of that self-giving that constitutes the very meaning of human sexuality.”
The Sacred Congregation for Catholic Education, in its 1983 Educational Guidelines in Human Love, writes that the “fact remains ever valid that in regard to the more intimate aspects [of sexual education], whether biological or affective, an individual education should be bestowed, preferably within the sphere of the family.”

While the new Vatican program has many positive qualities, its defects cannot be underestimated. These include:

Handing the sexual formation of children over to educators while leaving parents out of the equation.

Failing to name and condemn sexual behaviors, such as fornication, prostitution, adultery, contracepted-sex, homosexual activity, and masturbation, as objectively sinful actions that destroy charity in the heart and turn one away from God.

Failing to warn youths about the possibility of eternal separation from God (damnation) for committing grave sexual sins. Hell is not mentioned once.

Failing to distinguish between mortal and venial sin.

Failing to speak about the 6th and 9th commandment, or any other commandment.

Failing to teach about the sacrament of confession as a way of restoring relationship with God after committing grave sin.

Not mentioning a healthy sense of shame when it comes to the body and sexuality.

Teaching boys and girls together in the same class.

Having boys and girls share together in class their understanding of phrases such as: “What does the word sex suggest to you?”

Asking a mixed class to “point out where sexuality is located in boys and girls.”

Speaking about the “process of arousal.”

Using sexually explicit and suggestive images in activity workbooks (here, here, and here).

Recommending various sexually explicit movies as springboards for discussion (see below for links).

Failing to speak about abortion as gravely wrong, but only that it causes “strong psychological damage.”

Confusing youths by using phrases such as “sexual relationship” to indicate not the sexual act, but a relationship focused on the whole person.

Speaking of “heterosexuality” as something to be “discover[ed].”

Using gay icon Elton John (while not mentioning his activism) as an example of a gifted and famous person.

Endorsing the “dating” paradigm as a step towards marriage.

Not stressing celibacy as the supreme form of self-giving that constitutes the very meaning of human sexuality.

Failing to mention Christ’s teaching on marriage.

Treating sexuality as a separate subject instead of as something integrated into the doctrinal and moral teachings of the Church.

* * *:

Of urgent concern with the program is the number of films recommended by the program as a springboard for discussion that cannot be construed as anything but sexually immoral. For example:

Unit 4 recommends the 2013 R-rated film “To the Wonder” to discuss the “call to the donation of oneself.” Focus on the Family describes the sexual content in this way [WARNING–EXPLICIT]: “So while love is the primary focus of To the Wonder, sex becomes an integral part of its expression. Both Neil and Jane, and Neil and Marina, engage in explicitly rendered intercourse. Nudity stops just short of full; motions and sounds are passionate, erotic, titillating and extended—the blending of bodies to suggest complete intimacy. There’s the visual suggestion that Neil and Marina have sex in the coach compartment on a train. An (almost) oral sex scene is used to express distance and dissatisfaction.”

Unit 6 recommends the 2010 R-rated film “Love & other Drugs” to “reflect[] on the part of the formula with which a man and a woman express their mutual consent to contract marriage.” Focus on the Family describes the sexual content in this way [WARNING–EXPLICIT]: “For a good chunk of the film, Jamie and Maggie seem to be in a constant state of lovemaking. They smash into cabinets, writhe on the floor, pant and moan, engage in oral sex and loudly express their orgasmic responses. Audiences see both of them completely naked. (Only their pubic regions escape the frame.) It’s pretty explicit stuff…Later, after Maggie and Jamie tape one of their sexual escapades, Josh finds it and watches it. It’s implied that he masturbates while doing so. And he spends the rest of the film making crude comments about his brother’s anatomy.”

Unit 2 recommends the 2013 film “Stockholm” to raise the question, “Is it really worth it to give myself to the first person that approaches me?” Hollywood Reporter describes the film as a “cat-and-mouse” game where the man “expertly dresses up his desire for sex with her as real feeling” while “quizzes him about his real motives for his interest in her.” After the “commitment of sex has happened,” which appears to be graphically depicted based on previews, the couple starts to find out “who they really are and that they’re seeking entirely different things.”

The film selection reveals a startling lack of moral compass in the program creators, something that should alarm any parent thinking of allowing their child to be formed by this program.

One pro-family campaigner against Planned Parenthood’s explicit version of sex-ed gave this comment, under condition of anonymity, about the Vatican’s sex-ed program: “I had a hard time deciding if the authors were trying to cleverly disguise a bad program or if they were just thoroughly incompetent. They tried to interweave modern day movies to support the vague concepts they were trying to get across, but, how they did that was not very effective. Why the erotic pictures that bordered on porn? I thought the whole thing would be confusing to youth and frankly a large waste of time.”

In one activity, youths are asked to look at a picture of an older couple who are sitting in front of an image of a “young man and woman, joining their half-naked bodies in a hug.” They are asked: “Which of the two couples is having a sexual relationship?” The teaching guide states: “The objective is for the young person to feel ‘provoked’ in front of these two images, or even confused by the title of the topic and the image presented.” And that is the essential problem with this program: Young people will simply be confused by the conflicting messages, the explicit images and films, and the lack of moral directives.

In the end, the Vatican’s sex-ed program might at best be described as a mixed bag and at worst as a misguided effort that falls very much short of the mark. While the casual reader can point to various texts that suggest that the program is aimed at promoting modesty, abstinence, and saving sexual relations for marriage, there is nevertheless something quite disturbing happening between the lines.

Because of the program’s failure to honor the God-given role of parents as primary educator, its utter failure to name and condemn various sexual sins, and its use of sexual explicit materials and films, the program not only fails to achieve its goal, but it could arguably have the opposite effect of awakening in youths disordered sexual desire and giving them the impetus to act out sexual fantasies. The program attempts to instruct young people about the importance of modesty, chastity, and intimacy and does so by violating the very values it is trying to instill. In this way it is self-defeating. In short, the program could lead youths not closer to God, but further away from him.

One might go as far as conjecturing that had the sainted Maria Goretti been formed by the Vatican’s sex-ed program, it is unlikely that she would have had any heroic words of virtue to say to her sexual attacker. She would not have been formed to say: “No! It is a sin! God does not want it!” She would not have learned that what her attacker wanted was an offense against God. Nor would have Saint Dominic Savio, in the same vein, been able to say: “Death rather than sin,” because he would not have learned about the horror of sin. A program in sexual morality that fails to teach young people to live the Gospel without compromise is unworthy of being taught.

Pete Baklinski has a B.A. in Liberal Arts and a Masters in Theology with a Specialization on Marriage and the Family (STM). He is married to Erin. Together they have six children.

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3 comments on “At World Youth Day, Vatican releases teen sex-ed program that leaves out parents and mortal sin

  1. Pope St. John Paul II, in his 1981 apostolic exhortation Familiaris Consortio, calls sex education a “basic right and duty of parents” which “must always be carried out under their attentive guidance, whether at home or in educational centers chosen and controlled by them.”

    Yeah, the fake saint. He advocated sex-ed before V-II, maybe in Love and Responsibility.” He’s a phony when he says that parents should control it. Classroom sex-ed exploded under his watch. The Vatican got so many complaint letters that some cardinal had to respond. I recall it in The Wanderer: the cardinal told them to obey their bishops. Wojtyla presided over the reign of queer priests and bishops, for example, fag Bernardin. I’ll bet in his particular judgment, he’s still hearing from lost souls who were victims of that notorious faggot, accusing him of failing to remove the man.

    I’m hoping that the Mothers’ Watch website can be restored soon so you can again read from the US sex-ed program
    Growing in Love, approved by the USCCCP, that teaches anal and oral and auto sex-stimulation to sixth-graders – 12-year-olds! Any bishop who allows this program will burn in Hell along with the pope who did nothing to impede their notorious crimes against the purity of children.

  2. Vatican sex ed ‘surrenders’ to sexual revolution: Life and family leaders react

    Pete Baklinski

    July 29, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) — Three international life-and-family leaders who have defended Catholic teaching on marriage, sexuality, and life for decades have called the Vatican’s newly released sex-ed program for teens “thoroughly immoral,” “entirely inappropriate,” and “quite tragic.”

    “I find it monstrous that an official arm of the Church would not only create a sexual education program for teens but one that bypasses parents as the primary educator of their children,” said Dr. Thomas Ward, Founder and President of the National Association of Catholic Families as well as a Corresponding Member of the Pontifical Academy for Life.

    The program, titled “The Meeting Point: Course of Affective Sexual Education for Young People,” was released last week by the Pontifical Council for the Family to be presented this week to young people at World Youth Day in Poland.

    While the program has been in the process of development by married couples in Spain for a number of years, it received impetus to be completed by Pope Francis’ April apostolic exhortation on marriage and the family, Amoris Laetitia. In the exhortation, the Pope speaks about the “need for sex education” to be addressed by “educational institutions,” a move that alarmed global life-and-family leaders since the Catholic Church has always recognized and taught — often in the face of opposition from world powers — that sex education is the “basic right and duty of parents.”

    Ward called it “disingenuous” for anyone to think that the program will not be used as an excuse by various powers and authorities to “ignore and even dismiss the concerns of objecting parents who are trying to protect their children.”

    “It could be the purest program in the world, but the fact that this is happening while pushing parents aside opens a Pandora’s box to sex education of all sorts. By pushing parents aside the creators of the program have effectively removed the safeguard that has been put in place by God to protect children from corrupting influences,” he told LifeSiteNews.

    The curriculum has been primarily created to be used in a classroom setting by educators.

    Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, the pontifical council’s president, stated in a presentation on the sex-ed program that the “uniqueness of the project” consists in that it “combines attention to teachers and to the young person or adolescent.”

    Monsignor Carlos Simon Vazquez, the council’s undersecretary, went even further in his introduction to the program, calling its emphasis on aiding the “educator or the teacher” an “outstanding development.”

    “In fact, an entire inner pedagogical articulation is impregnated by the teacher-pupil dialogue, presented as one of the assets of this project that can be implemented at different stages of the life of the young,” he wrote.

    The monsignor pays lip service to the role of parents, stating that the course can also be used by families, making homes “enriched” by this project.

    In the 518 pages of the program, parental involvement happens on one occasion, namely, when students are told to “ask your parents and grandparents to show you photographs of when they were children and young adults, and look at the changes together. It can be a really nice experience.”

    Classroom teachers, however, are tasked with — more than 40 times — explaining, describing, discussing, supervising, moderating debate, and reviewing materials with the students.

    At one point, the manual instructs teachers to elicit from students answers to questions that would be similar to the advice that parents would give their children when speaking about chastity. “Here is where we try to get [the students] to say the same things that their parents would say themselves: be careful in your relationship, value your body, avoid temptation and you will evade danger,” the program states.

    At another place, the manual instructs teachers to bring into the classroom a “biology teacher” who can help the youths identify “primary and secondary sex characteristics, observing the difference between male and female.”

    Ward called the program “thoroughly immoral,” adding that it amounted to a “complete rupture from the teaching of the Church throughout the ages about the parent as primary educator.”

    “Parents are the primary educators of their children, especially when it comes to passing on sexual morals and values. They, and they alone, know when their child is ready for such information,” he said, adding that the “right information at the wrong time could cause catastrophic damage to a child.”

    “I say that if this program has handed the sexual formation of young people over to the so-called experts and has not involved parents in any meaningful way, then it has usurped their duty and rights over their children. Once the parents are removed, who will protect the children?”

    In 1937 Pope Pius XI wrote the encyclical Mit Brennender Sorge in which he denounced the National Socialist government in Germany. He urged Catholic parents, whose parental rights were being undermined by Nazi policy, to not give up their moral duty to instruct their children.

    “Parents…have a primary right to the education of the children God has given them in the spirit of their Faith, and according to its prescriptions. Laws and measures which in school [situations] fail to respect this freedom of the parents go against natural law and are immoral,” the pope wrote.

    The pope at that time warned parents of the consequences of relinquishing their God-given duty.

    “Yet do not forget this: none can free you from the responsibility God has placed on you over your children. None of your oppressors, who pretend to relieve you of your duties can answer for you to the eternal Judge, when he will ask: ‘Where are those I confided to you?’ May every one of you be able to answer: ‘Of them whom thou hast given me, I have not lost any one.’”

    Reflecting on the above passage, Dr. Ward commented that not even a Pontifical Council can relieve parents of their duty as primary educator of their children in sexual matters or answer for them on their behalf when parents face the “eternal Judge.”

    “This is why this topic is so important,” he said. “While it is the case that we are talking about sexual education, it is even more the case that we are talking about the salvation of souls.”

    John Smeaton, Chief Executive of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children and co-founder of Voice of the Family, told LifeSiteNews that the Vatican program threatens children.

    “In the Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia Pope Francis included a section titled the ‘need for sex education.’ Pro-life and pro-family leaders warned at the time that the wording of the pope’s appeal, and his failure to uphold the rights of parents in this section, risked playing into the hands of powerful international agencies that were pushing damaging sex education programmes. Now, three months later, we see the pope’s own Pontifical Council for the Family releasing a programme filled with problems.”

    Smeaton shared Ward’s concern that the program has violated the right of Catholic parents over the education of their children.

    “By encouraging teachers and other educators to expose children to such a programme the Vatican is violating the rights of Catholic parents to be the primary educators of their children in sexual matters. It is entirely inappropriate for children to be exposed to explicit sexual imagery, such as that contained in this course, and to be encouraged to discuss sexual matters in a classroom environment.”

    Smeaton said that parents should not underestimate the program’s threat to children.

    “Parents must not be under any illusion: the pontificate of Pope Francis marks the surrender of the Vatican authorities to the worldwide sexual revolution and directly threatens their own children,” he said.

    Christine Vollmer, a founding member of the Vatican’s Pontifical Academy for Life as well as the founder of the Latin American Alliance for Life, called it “problematic” that the program bypasses parents.

    “It is quite tragic that the Pontifical Council for the Family should by-pass the parents when this has been the problem that has brought on the adolescent sex problems that we are suffering,” she told LifeSiteNews.

    She noted that while the program has used some good philosophical bases it has also “fallen into the trap of thinking that using material of a rather crude and ‘sexy’ variety will awaken the interest of adolescents.”

    “Sadly, these will have either the effect of arousal or of turning off the kids, and many parents will feel disappointed or even betrayed by this surprising error in the program,” she added.

    Public sex education for youths has been decried by a number of renowned Catholic thinkers over the decades.

    Famed Catholic thinker Dietrich von Hildebrand, called by John Paul II “one of the great ethicists of the twentieth century” and by Pope Benedict XVI one of the “most prominent” figures in the intellectual history of the Church in the last century, held that any form of classroom sex education damaged children.

    “The nature of sex, itself, must first be grasped if we are to estimate the damage done to the souls of children by the so-called sex education in the classroom — damage not only from the moral point of view, but also from the one of human integrity and spiritual health,” he wrote in an essay published in 1969, eight years before his death.

    Protecting the “holy bashfulness” of young people while passing on the “moral significance” and “mysterious character” of sex can only be done by parents, he writes.

    “To develop the right attitude and vision in the human person toward this sphere of sex, there exists only one possibility; namely, information about the mystery of sex must be disclosed in great reverence and in a strict duo-personal dialogue, of the father or the mother with their child. Absolutely excluded is the pseudo-scientific teaching about sex in a classroom — that is, in a neutralizing and publicity-saturated atmosphere,” he wrote.

    Parents are “responsible for sex education in the true sense of education,” he wrote, adding that they “must protect the child from all neutralizing discussions of this field.”

    The Catholic thinker ended his essay quoting the words of Jesus found in the Gospel of Matthew: “But he that shall scandalize one of these little ones that believe in Me, it were better for him that a millstone should be hanged about his neck, and that he should be drowned in the depth of the sea.”

    • Monsignor Carlos Simon Vazquez, the council’s undersecretary, went even further in his introduction to the program, calling its emphasis on aiding the “educator or the teacher” an “outstanding development.”

      “In fact, an entire inner pedagogical articulation is impregnated by the teacher-pupil dialogue, presented as one of the assets of this project that can be implemented at different stages of the life of the young,” he wrote.

      Impregnated! Yeah, I’ll bet. As for “aiding the educator,” this is not new. All the sex indoc programs have teacher manuals to “aid” them in steering the discussion where parents wouldn’t suspect based on the children’s texts.

      Yes, classroom sex-ed is evil and isn’t Catholic, and stands condemned by Pope Pius XI. But today, as Cardinal Law once told me, “We have John Paul II now.” Yep, the saint from Hell presided over all this rot, and Bergoglio is merely staying the course.

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