- VOICE OF THE FAMILY - Maria Madise - NOV, 2021 -
Across the world parents are engaged in battles with local and national governments over their right to decide how their children are taught about sexuality.
In Ontario, Canada’s most populous province, there was huge public concern over the graphic nature of a sex education programme which became mandatory for all schools.
In 2018, premier of the Ontario province, and conservative leader, Doug Ford, repealed the programme – which included lessons on “gender identity, same-sex marriage …” and other scandalously inappropriate subject matter.
Remarkably, though, Catholic headteachers in Ontario opposed its repeal.
In contrast, parents in Colorado received full backing from Catholic Archbishop Samuel Aquila, of Denver, in their opposition to a new law banning schools from taking a more traditional approach to sex education.
But these national and regional battles are set to pale in significance when compared to a Vatican’s initiative to secularise Catholic education the world over.
The initiative is entitled the Global Education Pact.
The Pact is noticeably short on detail so it is necessary to join the dots in order to see what it will mean for authentic Catholic teaching and families.
1. The education that the Pact will promote will be centred on man, not Christ.
At the launch of the Global Education Pact in Rome, in October last year, Pope Francis read a list of its defining principles.
The first declared “human persons” at the centre of this initiative … “To make human persons in their value and dignity the centre of every educational programme…”
Although Francis made a reference to social doctrine being inspired by “the Word of God and Christian humanism”, the pontiff did not mention Christ.
However, “Fraternity”, a principle of Freemasonry, the movement which has sparked multiple social revolutions against the Church and Catholic nations down the years, received several mentions.
2. It provides a structure for promoting sex education
Throughout his pontificate Pope Francis has been an open proponent of sex education. In his 2016 apostolic exhortation, Amoris laetitia, for example, he emphasised “the need for sex education” in educational institutions.
During a flight to Rome from Panama, January 2019, Pope Francis told reporters that bishops did not know what to do about the clerical sex abuse scandal. He said: “We felt the responsibility to give […] catechesis on this problem to the bishops’ conferences” and went on to say: “I believe that we must provide sex education in schools”.
3. The Global Education Pact will “reflect” United Nation’s goals
UNESCO Director-General, Audrey Azoulay, participated at the relaunch of the Global Education Pact in Rome last month and expressed her gratitude to Pope Francis for his commitment to the role the United Nations’ organization can play in his mission.
Azoulay said that UNESCO (the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) was “delighted” to be part of the pontiff’s Global Education Pact because “its goals reflect our own”.
Unfortunately, UNESCO has a long track record in promoting birth control and anti-life, anti-family sex education.
In January 2018, despite the objections of UN member states, UNESCO published technical guidance on “Comprehensive Sexuality Education” that aims to promote a global standard for governments, educators, and sexual and reproductive health advocates.
The guidelines recommend that children as young as five identify “trusted adults” other than their parents to “help them understand themselves, their feelings and their bodies”.
It proposes to teach children that gender is a social construct and to “appreciate their own gender identity and demonstrate respect for the gender identity of others”.
UNESCO guidelines also suggest telling children about various types of “non-traditional families” and emphasises the LGBTI “rights”.
With 216,000 schools, attended by over 60 million pupils and 1,750 universities, with over 11 million students it is easy to understand why the globalist powers wish to gain access to the Church’s education system.
An education system devoid of a Christian ethos has always been the preferred means of the enemies of Christ for spreading secular political ideologies.
For them, all education is political. Throughout history, the Church has steadfastly resisted their attempts to win her over.
But with Pope Francis’s global education initiative church officials now appear to be poised to trade true knowledge of the living God for the empty promise of dialogue and fraternity with the world.
Worryingly, this high-level acceptance of secular “doctrine” to be incorporated into Catholic education is not new and appears to have wide support from senior churchmen.
On 24 October 2015, at the Ordinary Synod on the Family in Rome, 94% of the bishops and cardinals attending voted to approve a paragraph in the final report which rejects the right of parents to choose to be the sole educators of their children in sexual matters.
In paragraph 58 of the document, in direct contradiction to the teaching of the Catholic Church, we read:
“The family, while maintaining its primary space in education (cf. Gravissimum Educationis, 3), cannot be the only place for teaching sexuality.”
The direction taken by the Vatican has grave implications at the local level
In September 2020, Relationships Education was made compulsory in all primary schools in England and Relationships and Sex Education compulsory in all secondary schools in England, including Catholic schools.
Parents of secondary school children lost the right to withdraw their children from sex education under the UK government’s new rules.
Though parents can still “request” withdrawal, the final decision is now to be taken by the headteacher. Even that limited right will not apply for children over the age of 14.
Further, parents have no right at all to withdraw their children from the new “Relationships Education” which all primary schools have to introduce for children from the age of five.
The government programme will also ensure that young people learn “how to get further advice, including how and where to access confidential sexual and reproductive health advice and treatment”.
“Reproductive health”, of course, is code for, amongst other things, abortion and contraception.
Incredibly, the Catholic Education Service (CES), an agency of the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales welcomed the guidelines, saying: “The proposals announced by the Government are compatible with the Catholic model curriculum.”
Adding insult to injury, the CES’s endorsement runs contrary to the majority of academic research which has found that providing “confidential” access to contraception for minors does NOT reduce rates of teenage pregnancy or abortion.
Research published in the Journal of Health Economics by Dr Liam Wright of Sheffield University and Professor David Paton of Nottingham University Business School (both UK) found that local authorities who cut back on services like sex education programmes and birth control clinics for teens – actually saw bigger reductions in teenage pregnancy rates than in areas that hadn’t cut back services.
In addition, research from Britain and the United States has found that providing minors with easier access to the morning-after pill has actually contributed to higher rates of sexually transmitted infections.
One argument put forward by proponents of the English sex education guidelines is that the new approach will help reduce sexual abuse.
But this flies in the face of strong evidence too.
Prof David Paton cites case reviews in the past 10 years that indicate the provision by schools of contraception and abortion advice to underage girls without parental knowledge has actually contributed to a number of child sexual abuse scandals.
Consider the case of “Child F”, a vulnerable 15-year-old with special needs from Hampshire (England) who was being sexually abused at school. As the school judged her to be engaging in “consensual” sexual activity, her parents were not informed and, as a result, she continued to suffer abuse for years.
VOTF’s new Manifesto points out the grave dangers inherent in sex education programmes and every bishop in the world needs to know about it.
Voice of the Family is committed to continuing to develop a programme of action to free Catholic families around the world from the clutches of anti-life, anti-family sex education programmes.
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