Thursday 16 May 2013

The scandal of Stonewall in a Catholic primary school is the tip of the iceberg

Stonewall's poster for schools
The Telegraph, The Evening Standard, the Protect the Pope blog and other media have reported on the scandal of a Catholic primary school in Wimbledon which invited Stonewall, the UK's main homosexual lobby, to train its teachers how to deal with 'homophobic bullying'. Antonia Tully, the coordinator of SPUC's Safe at School campaign, was quoted in the reports, saying:
“Many parents will be very concerned that a gay rights organisation is considered to be an appropriate source of advice on how to deal with children using inappropriate language in the playground.

If a primary school takes on Stonewall’s agenda, young children will be exposed to homosexual issues, which they are too young to understand properly. Parents expect a school to provide an education, not subject their children to gay propaganda.”
The Catholic Herald reports that an unnamed source close to the school:
"said the training day had the blessing of the Archdiocese of Southwark. The archdiocese was not available for comment."
The paper also reports that:
"Wes Streeting, Head of Education at Stonewall, said that about half a dozen Catholic primary schools had been given the accolade of “Stonewall School Champion”, including St Mary’s. He added:
'Thousands of primary schools have received Stonewall’s primary school resources through local authorities, including Catholic primary schools.'
The resources used to guide Stonewall’s work with some Catholic primary schools include a “best practice” guide which advises teachers on how to promote equality in the classroom.

The guide provides case studies of different primary schools, describing how some put up Stonewall posters with the slogan “Different Families, Same Love” with cartoons of same-sex parents.

In another case study a primary school compared books from the 1960s and 1970s that portrayed conventional families with a modern children’s picture book called Prince and Prince."
The Edge on the Net website reports that [my emphasis in bold]:
"As part of their "Different Families, Same Love," program, Stonewall provided the teachers with education at a training day last September. The education teaches that same-sex couple households are equal to heterosexual households. Children are advised not to use the word "gay" in a negative way, as it might upset kids with gay parents."
Pink News (and other sources) quotes Sarah Couch, the school's headmistress, saying:
"...we log all incidents of homophobic language use..."
The school's approach sounds like Communist East Germany's notorious system of encouraging citizens to inform the Stasi secret police of any comments against the state ideology. In fact, the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) sex education programme, "It's All One Curriculum", recommends just such a Stasi-like system:
“Indicate a person or organization to go to or call if someone’s sexual rights are being ignored." (p.21) "[I]dentify trusted individuals (or organizations) who can help respond to incidents of discrimination" (p.32) “[J]oin organizations or groups that fight for sexual and reproductive rights using various tactics. Examples “watch groups"."
Pink News also quotes Wes Streeting of Stonewall (my emphasis in bold):
“Our work with St Mary’s is part of an ongoing programme to help staff challenge homophobia, which helps meet Ofsted guidelines and the Catholic Education Service’s advice that Catholic schools tackle homophobic bullying."
Fr Timothy Finigan, a leading priest of Southwark archdiocese, has blogged that:
"I know of at least one other Catholic school in the Diocese where posters saying "Some people are gay. Get over it." were posted on classroom notice-boards."
I hope that Peter Smith, the Catholic archbishop of Southwark, will issue a prompt statement denying that the archdiocese approves of Stonewall's presence in any of its schools and assuring parents that measures will be taken to block Stonewall and its material.

Sadly, groups inimical to pro-life and pro-family Catholic principles have been welcomed into Catholic schools in England and Wales for many years, courtesy of the Catholic authorities. Connexions, a government service which facilitates secret abortions on schoolgirls without parental knowledge or consent, has been welcomed into Catholic schools courtesy of the Catholic Education Service, an agency of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales. And most recently, Catholic primary schools in Tower Hamlets have been trained how to use the sexually-explicit teaching materials supplied by the Christopher Winter project.

The scandal in Wimbledon is but the tip of an iceberg which threatens to sink a whole generation of schoolchildren. The late Pope John Paul II, the great pro-life champion, taught in paragraph 97 of his 1995 encyclical Evangelium Vitae 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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