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Vatican newspaper criticizes school sex-education programs

Catholic World News - August 31, 2011

L’Osservatore Romano has published an article criticizing New York’s new mandatory sex education program.

“The new course is part of an initiative launched by Mayor Bloomberg to improve the lives of black and Latino teenagers, saving them from a misery to which they seem destined,” writes Lucetta Scaraffia. “Once again, we see the repetition of a model already tried by many other countries: the State decides to include compulsory sexual education in schools, and the Catholic Church opposes it, earning the image of an obscurantist force, cruel because of it indifference to the consequences its refusal could have among young people, that is, unwanted pregnancies and disease.”

She continues:

It is not clear why public institutions in the West continue to have such magical trust in the effectiveness of sex education. After years of courses, focused, of course, on contraceptive methods, we see that – for example in the UK – boys and girls continue to have early sexual intercourse without any kind of protection, and the number of pregnancies and abortions among adolescents has multiplied. By now, it is clear that to avoid these tragedies it is not enough to explain to them how they can use contraceptives, and where to easily find them, but that the problem is further upstream, in education and in the family.

At heart, Italy – where there is no compulsory sex education in schools – is one of the countries which is better off from this point of view: here young people have a lower risk of disease and early pregnancy. This is thanks to the family, to the loving vigilance of parents over their children, to the fact that kids are not left to themselves with a box of contraceptives as the only defense against their passions and mistakes. And, in part, it is also thanks to the Catholic Church, who continues to teach that sexual relations are much more than some kind of pleasurable exercise to be practiced in an unbridled and risk-free way.

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  • Posted by: Gil125 - Aug. 31, 2011 3:21 PM ET USA

    "This is thanks to the family, to the loving vigilance of parents over their children, to the fact that kids are not left to themselves with a box of contraceptives as the only defense against their passions and mistakes." Well put. And so different from the usual mealy-mouthed utterances from so much of the hierarchy.

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