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Why are India's Catholic leaders recommending sex education?

By Phil Lawler (bio - articles - email) | Jan 16, 2013

By recommending sex-education programs as a response to the public outrage against rape, Indian Catholic leaders seem to be inviting trouble in two separate ways.

First, Church leaders are saying that a proper sort of sex education, emphasizing the gift of sexuality and the dignity of the human person, would guard against exploitation of women. Perhaps so, but what are the odds that a secular government, in a predominantly Hindu country, would devise a curriculum that advanced a Christian view of sexuality? Near zero, I suspect. By promoting an ideal that is politically unattainable, India’s Catholic leaders may be preparing the way for programs that will do even more damage to a healthy understanding of sexuality.

Second, Church spokesman are proclaiming that the Catholic schools already provide healthy sex-education courses. But the Church has consistently taught that parents, not schoolteachers, should be the primary educators, especially on such sensitive moral issues. The public statements by Indian Church officials raise questions as to whether the Catholic schools honor that teaching.

Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at See full bio.

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