Parents in the Arlington diocese are in revolt. The diocese is trying to implement “Good Touch, Bad Touch” which has all the same problems as Talking about Touching, the program that parents in the Boston archdiocese have been protesting. In fact, many of the same complaints against Talking about Touching are applied against the Arlington program.
“If clerical abuse was the problem to be addressed, I don’t understand why children are being made repositories for information that’s beyond their ability to comprehend,” said Virginia state Rep. Bob Marshall, a Catholic representing Loudon and Prince William counties in the 13th District.
“I realize the big problem the diocese has,” said Eleanor Kelly, a Catholic from Front Royal. “The insurance companies won’t insure you unless you show there are [preventive] programs.”
The diocese’s mistake, aside from scheduling the meeting in the first place, was holding it in Manassas, a center of orthodox Catholicism with families who know their faith and are fully involved in their faith lives, rather than some DC suburb where the beautiful people live.
The article says that at one point the parents began reciting the rosary to drown out the diocesan official who said that the diocese had no choice under the Dallas policy. But as Bishop Bruskewitz makes clear, the bishops’ conference has no authority to impose any program on a diocese, especially a program that violates the moral law or the canonical rights of parents and children.
But of course, what’s most important is not the innocence of children and the rights of parents, but that the public perceive that the diocese—meaning the bishop—is in compliance with the Charter.
Once again, we also have officials telling parents that they have to buy into the program if they want to be good Catholics.
“They don’t need to have their children do it, but they should not impose those beliefs on others,” she said. “I think some parents want to be the moral authority for everyone. We have good people who are extremely well-trained who can teach this program.” …
But parents objected that anyone wanting to read the materials had to come to diocesan offices where they would be supervised by a social worker while scanning the documents.
One of the big objections to these programs is that parents are viewed as the problem, an obstacle to be overcome. Even though there is an opt-out for parents who object, other kids who do go through the program will still be on the same playground as their children. It will still be in the schools. Time will still be lost in class. And which class most often is cut short for this program? Religion, of course. It shows the importance placed upon religious education.
And notice how the parents are treated with suspicion by the diocese. They must be kept under observation while they review the curriculum.
This is the Church? This is the body of Christ?