The Pontifical Council for the Family’s July 2016 release of “The Meeting Point
: project for affective and sexual formation”, timed to coincide with World Youth Day, has aroused the apprehension of many Catholics.
The US-based Catholic Media Coalition has called on the Catholic faithful to protest this “sensual, graphic sex education program” and invites them to write the Vatican Council at firstname.lastname@example.org , respectfully voicing their concerns.
There are some disturbing elements in the program. For one, it contains sexually explicit pictures, for example, a group of campers in which one fellow has his hands on the buttocks of a young woman; a smiling couple standing in front of a statue depicting lovemaking; and an image of fruit depicted as breasts in an advertisement. It contains vulgar stories as “discussion prompts,” one concerning a guy hoping to “get laid” as a “trophy” for his hours of studiousness that week.
While the intention of these images may be to use “real life” examples from which to launch thoughtful responses, critics see such an approach as capitulating to the very errors they condemn.
Dr.Wanda Poltawska from the Pontifical Council For the Family, writing in the Linacre Quarterly (“Church and Human Sexuality, November 1985) said: “All attempts to describe the sexual act fail to transmit essential content: all descriptions, drawings, photographs become pornography, since they cannot render the great interior dimension but show only one dimension, thereby degrading this sublime act. … It is mystery, and that is precisely what the children must be told: these matters are so great that they are indescribable…silence in sexual matters … may give more real wisdom than irresponsible talking.”
Pope John Paul II, in his encyclical Familiaris Consortio (Art. 36, 1981) wrote that: “The parents’ vocation in the education of their children through marital grace is indeed original and primary with regard to the educational role of others on account of the uniqueness of the loving relationship between parents and children: and it is irreplaceable and inalienable, and therefore incapable of being entirely delegated to others or usurped by others.”
The present Pontifical Council for the Family’s program flies in the face of this, reversing decades of Church thought against such programs. “[I]f representatives of the Church, who should be the great protectors of the sacred rights of the individual and of the family, act in a totalitarian way (and thereby exhibit the worst type of clericalism), it is simply treason,” Doctors Dietrich von Hildebrand and William Marra wrote in Sex Education the Basic Issues and Related Essays, Veil of Innocence
, 2001, p.14]. Such behavior is “a denial of the spirit of the Church and of the spirit of Christ. It is a complete abdication in front of the spirit of the world.”
Veil of Innocence, an organization that is strongly opposed to classroom sexual education, has prepared the following statement: “Parents, together with our priests, religious, and educators, hold that classroom sex education is an assault on the family. Knowing full well that every public disclosure of sex is an intrusion into the private life of the child, we come together to affirm we will not accept classroom sex education, called by any number of pseudo names.
Contrary to the Pope Pius XI’s 1929 Encyclical, Divini illius magistri, and the Pontifical Council of the Family’s document called Truth and Meaning of Human Sexuality: Guidelines Within the Family, The Pontifical Council for the Family has betrayed families and the Magisterium of the Catholic Church with its recent publication and promotion of an extremely impure classroom sex education program called, The Meeting Point: Course of Affective Sexual Education for Young People. We protest in the strongest terms and we are determined to expose its danger. We call upon the Pontifical Council of the Family and Pope Francis to withdraw this program at once, and to reaffirm Pope Pius XI’s ban on classroom sex education.”
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