Sunday 21 June 2009

The right and duty of parents to protect their children's morality

An excellent letter has been published in this weekend's Catholic Herald, from Edmund Adamus, director of pastoral affairs of the archdiocese of Westminster. The substance of the letter reads:
"[The] legal right [of parents] to withdraw their children from sex education classes where content [i]s at odds with their moral convictions ... is protected under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and defended vigorously in Church teaching.

The similarities are striking between the stealthy undermining of parental authority by the state today (particularly the authority of Christian parents) and the aggressive subversion of the same in National Socialist Germany in the 1930s. In paragraph 39 of the encyclical Mit Brennender Sorge ("With Burning Sorrow") - which left Hitler so beside himself that for three days he did not want to see anyone - Pius XI [JS: pictured] reminds German Catholic parents that "their rights and duties as educators, conferred on them by God, are at present the stake of a campaign pregnant with consequences."

Those rights include what John Paul II called "an unrenounceable duty" of parents to protect their children's morality. In jurisprudence this is a fiduciary principle, which means one must exercise this duty beyond the bare minimum.
Mr Adamus's letter articulates for me why I and other parents are right to object to the cooperation of Catholic Education Service (CES) with the government's plan for compulsory sex education.

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