The Relazione Finale undermines Catholic teaching on the rights and duties of parents as the primary educators
257 Synod Fathers voted on Saturday to approve a paragraph in the Relazione Finale of the Ordinary Synod on the Family which rejects the right of parents to choose to be the sole educators of their children in sexual matters.
The sentence, in paragraph 58 of the document, reads:
“The family, while maintaining its primary space in education (cf. Gravissimum Educationis, 3), cannot be the only place for teaching sexuality.”
This is directly contrary to the teaching of the Catholic Church which is that the family can be the only place for teaching sexuality if that is the choice that the parents make.
In Familiaris Consortio Pope John Paul II taught:
“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 centres chosen and controlled by them. In this regard, the Church reaffirms the law of subsidiarity, which the school is bound to observe when it cooperates in sex education, by entering into the same spirit that animates the parents.” (No. 37)
In other words, parents can choose to educate their children in sexual matters entirely at home, or they can involve places of education if they so choose. It is absolutely wrong to assert that the family “cannot be the only place for teaching sexuality.”
The Relazione Finale reflects the agenda of the international institutions
There is an unequivocal determination on the part of leading UN officials, and amongst many of the world’s most powerful politicians, to prevent parents from exercising their inalienable right to control their children’s education and formation.
A few months after Barack Obama first became the US president it was confirmed that his administration would be promoting legalised abortion throughout the world, targeting adolescents, without reference to parents, in a worldwide abortion drive.
Despite the fact that Article 26 (3) of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights says “Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children” powerful bodies such as the UN’s Compliance Committee for the Convention on the Rights of the Child are putting pressure on developing nations, particularly African nations, to give children from 12 years old access to contraception and abortion. They do so by resorting to the false argument that a child’s right to health requires states to legalise access to contraception and abortion, for children as young as 12, and without the knowledge of parents.
In addition UNESCO and the World Health Organisation, together with powerful western nations and non-governmental organisations, are promoting anti-life and pornographic sex education programmes which seek to eliminate the role of parents as the primary educators and protectors of their children.
The freedom of parents to fulfil their role as the primary educators of their children in sexual matters is under severe threat worldwide due to sex education pushed by UN agencies, IPPF and other bodies. In 2011, at the Commission on the Status of Women at the UN in New York, the International Planned Parenthood Federation, the Population Council and other pro-abortion groups held a meeting to launch worldwide a massive programme of so-called comprehensive sex education entitled: “It’s All One Curriculum“.
The Relazione Finale reflects the current practice of the many bishops who already undermine parental rights
The appalling record of the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales provides a particularly disturbing example of the way in which the rights of parents and children are being attacked from the within the Church.
In England and Wales young people may have access to contraception and abortion in Catholic schools without the knowledge of their parents, but with the cooperation of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales. In addition, teachers in British primary schools are being trained by “Stonewall”, a militant homosexual “rights” group which has a policy that children must be taught that they might grow up to “marry” a person of either sex. Training by Stonewall for teachers is also happening in Catholic primary schools with the co-operation of the local Catholic authorities.
Cardinal Vincent Nichols, the Archbishop of Westminster, who played a leading role during the Ordinary Synod, has collaborated with the UK government for years to implement damaging sex education programmes in Catholic schools. During the period when Nichols was Archbishop of Birmingham, the Diocesan Department of Religious Education, received funding from the government’s pro-abortion, pro-contraception Teenage Pregnancy Unit towards the creation an explicit sex education programme for primary school children. The program, called ‘All that I Am,’ is aimed at children below the age of 11 and includes computer-generated images of naked men and women.
Archbishop Nichols also lent support to legislation that included a clause that would have made sex and relationships education compulsory from 5 to 16 years; government-backed resources for teaching primary school children, include explicit images of male and female sex organs, lessons on menstruation in mixed classes (boys and girls) and graphic details of sexual intercourse. The bill would have led to pressure on schools to link sex and relationships education to contraception and abortion services. Fortunately, following a campaign launched by the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children and other pro-life pro-family organisations, the above clause was dropped from the legislation.
The episode was however one of the many tragic episodes in which bishops have not only abandoned their flock to the wolves, but have in fact joined with the wolves.
The Catholic laity must demand that our rights as parents, and the rights of our children, be upheld and defended by the bishops. The 257 bishops who voted to reject the full rights of parents over their childrens’ education in sexuality must be held to account.