Saturday, 20 March 2010

Another excellent article on government sex ed by Fr Cleevely

On 12 March I recommended to readers an excellent article on the Children, Schools and Families bill by Fr Philip Cleevely of the Birmingham Oratory (pictured). This weekend Fr Cleevely has followed up with a similarly excellent article on the same subject. Below are some key points from it, though do read it in full. This second article is a very good antidote to the recent article in The Times by Bishop Malcolm McMahon, chairman of the Catholic Education Service (CES).

Fr Cleevely writes:
  • "Any similarities between the Bill's approach to PSHE [personal, social and health education] and some fundamental teachings of the Church are illusory. Under the surface momentous threats to Catholic education remain."
  • "In PSHE, the two most influential buzz-words are 'diversity' and 'social cohesion'."
  • "'Respecting human diversity', for example, means opposing prejudice towards minorities; in PSHE, the most important minority is of course the 'gay community'. Thus the Bill insists Catholic schools must teach that civil partnerships are 'stable relationships' analagous to marriage."*
  • "Bullying, often wheeled out in this debate, is a smokescreen. Of course the Church opposes bullying. And of course she opposes 'homophobia' - if this means hating people identified as 'gay'. But 'homophobia', in our society, means a lot more than that."
  • "'Social cohesion' in PSHE means signing up to the Government's demoralised, fatalistic agenda of using 'facts' (abortion) and 'responsibility' (contraception) to reduce teenage ('unwanted') pregnancies. Education in chastity thus goes out the window."
  • "For the Church to fall in with the State's agenda under cover of bogus 'theological' justifications would be disastrously misconceived. Catholics promoting 'diversity' and 'social cohesion' in our schools must think again."
*(The reason why the Catholic Church's teaching on homosexuality is so important for the pro-life cause can be found in Pope John Paul II's Evangelium Vitae. In paragraph 97, Pope John Paul teaches that it is an illusion to think that we can build a true culture of human life if we do not offer adolescents and young adults an authentic education in sexuality, and in love, and the whole of life according to their true meaning and in their close interconnection.)

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