Sunday 24 January 2010

Faith schools must teach homosexuality* is normal and harmless, Telegraph reports

I hope the interview with Ed Balls (pictured), the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families, in yesterday's Telegraph, will persuade Catholic church leaders in England and Wales that they are wrong about British government policy on sex and relationships education policy.

The Telegraph interview says:
" ... Does he agree with Nick Clegg that faith schools should be forced to teach that homosexuality is normal and harmless? The answer is yes. 'If their faith has a view in scripture, they can inform pupils of that. What they must not do is teach discrimination. They must be absolutely clear about the importance of civil partnerships [and that] bullying of homosexuals is wrong ... '".
Now Archbishop Nichols reportedly says that British government policy means that Catholic schools have "retained their rights through the governing body that their sex and relationships education is delivered according to Catholic ethos and teaching".

So does that mean, in the light of Ed Balls's reported statement above, that Catholic schools can teach paragraphs 2357 - 2359 of Catechism the Catholic Church?  These state:
2357 Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity,140 tradition has always declared that "homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered."141 They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.

2358 The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God's will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord's Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.

2359 Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection.
And when teaching children about "the importance of civil partnerships", is it the British Government's policy that Catholic church schools can do so in accordance with Catholic teaching on the subject which has been so well explained by Fr Boyle in his blog, Caritas in Veritate?

I am afraid it does not mean that. As I have mentioned before the government has accepted all the major recommendations of the 2007/2008 report by the Teenage Pregnancy Independent Advisory Group (TPIAG). The report's major recommendations include that:
"The Government's current review of SRE should ...
  • ... [s]tate clearly that all schools including faith schools must teach all aspects of SRE within the context of relationships in an anti-discriminatory way; contraception, abortion and homosexuality are all legal in this country and therefore all children and young people should be able to learn the correct facts
  • ... [m]ake explicit links to young people's advisory services and provision of contraception and sexual health services and demonstrate this by teaching young people how to access services"
How tragic that the TPIAG says in its latest report that:
"TPIAG commends the Government for its decision to make PSHE education, including SRE, statutory at all key stages .... We are very pleased that Church of England and Catholic Church are also supporting this move." [my emphasis]
Please pray that church leaders in England and Wales reverse their position.  As I said yesterday, they risk throwing our children to the wolves.  A tragic error was made by Catholic church leaders and other Christian leaders in the 1960s in failing to organize a great campaign amongst Christians to oppose the passage of the Abortion Act 1967 which has now cost over 7 million unborn lives and the welfare of countless mothers.  There's a risk of a worse error being made  by the Catholic church and Anglican authorities this year - in  effectively seeking to undermine the pro-life campaign on the Children Schools and Families bill by giving general support to Government policy on sex and relationships education.  This policy is clearly designed, as the TPIAG makes clear above, to promote access to secret abortions through the state school system, including faith schools.

*In Evangelium Vitae paragraph 97, Pope John Paul II taught 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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