I was buoyed by this title in a recent issue of The Wanderer—U.S. Bishops Reverse Mandatory Safety-Sex-Ed Policy”—but then realized it wasn’t what I thought.
What I thought was that they were going to reverse their ridiculous mandate that every diocese require children to be indoctrinated in a “safe environment sex education” program. (I’ve blogged on my objections before), but upon reading the article I see the change is more subtle.
In a little-noticed, single paragraph released May 15 on its web site, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops reversed the policy adopted by numerous dioceses across America that had subjected Catholic schoolchildren to mandatory “sex-abuse-education” classes.
“New regulations issued May 15 by the U.S. bishops allow parents to remove their children from diocesan-sponsored training programs in child sex-abuse prevention,” said the announcement from the U.S. bishops’ Catholic News Service (CNS).
Gee, thanks for giving me what is already my right. No diocese or parish or Catholic school has the right to demand that I submit my child to any program involving sexuality. Pope John Paul II underlined that right in his 1981 encyclical Familiaris Consortio:
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. 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. [emphasis added]
But is it sex education?