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Sex Education: The Basic Issues I

by Dietrich von Hildebrand, Ph.D.

Description

In this excellent essay, originally published in 1969, Dr. von Hildebrand examines the damage done to the souls of children by sex education in the classroom. He discusses the natural bashfulness that surrounds the mystery of sex and the distortion of treating sex as a merely biological instinct.

Larger Work

Sex Education: The Basic Issues and Related Essays

Pages

5 - 14

Publisher & Date

The Veil of Innocence, Catasauqua, PA, January 31, 2001

But he that shall scandalize one of these little ones that believe in Me, it were better for him that a millstone should be hanged about his neck, and that he should be drowned in the depth of the sea. — Matthew 18:6

The nature of sex, itself, must first be grasped if we are to estimate the damage done to the souls of children by the so-called sex education in the classroom — damage not only from the moral point of view, but also from the one of human integrity and spiritual health.

An unprejudiced analysis of the phenomenon of sex clearly reveals its radical difference from other instincts. It has a kind of depth possessed by no other instinct — neither thirst nor hunger, nor the need to sleep, nor any desire for other bodily pleasures.

Sex Is Mysterious and Unique

Our personal life is affected in one way by the other instincts and in a completely different way by the charm of the other sex, by bodily sexual desire, and by sexual lust. These sexual entities have a mysterious character; they irradiate our psychical life with a quality which is simply not found in the desire to eat or in the pleasure which the satisfaction of this desire procures. Above all, the sexual ecstasy goes to the very depth of our bodily existence. In its overwhelming power, it is something extraordinary, something to whose depth only terrible bodily pains can be compared.

The unique profundity of sex in the bodily sphere is sufficiently shown by the simple fact that a man's attitude towards it is of incomparably greater moral significance than his attitude to the other bodily appetites. Surrender to sexual desire for its own sake defiles a man in a way that gluttony, for example, can never do. And the adequate response to this sphere, purity, ranks much higher than temperance.

But sex is important not only from a moral point of view. A man's attitude toward sex has significance, also, for his entire personality; it is, in fact, one of the chief characteristics of his personality. This central position of sex is due to two factors. The first is that here, body and soul meet in a unique fashion. The second is the peculiar intimacy of sex.

Apart from its depth, sex possesses a unique intimacy. Intimate things call for a veil; they appeal to bashfulness. But we should realize that bashfulness is not identical with shame. Shame is the right response to things that are ugly. We are ashamed of certain actions which are not only morally evil, but also specifically mean and petty. We shun the humiliation implied by an exposure of these faults before other people. The same applies to things which are specifically ridiculous. We are ashamed to exhibit them because we shy away from making ourselves ridiculous, and from being laughed at.

The healthy and decent person also desires privacy for certain things which are unaesthetic and unpleasant to others. Shame forbids him to do certain things in public. Only an animal-like coarseness or the pride and perversion of the cynics can eliminate this healthy shame and desire for privacy.

Holy Bashfulness

Quite opposed to this shame before negative things is the noble shame or, better, the holy bashfulness of humility. This moves a man to try to hide his virtues, and to shy away from being praised by others. The more humble and pious a person is, the more is this specifically developed in him. He then tries to cloak his merits with a veil. The existence of this noble shame shows how wrong it is to assume that something is to be considered as negative because a man shies away from exposing it in public, or from making it known in any way. In this case he is attempting to hide, not something negative, but rather something of outstanding value. The quality of being ashamed differs radically in both cases.

If there is a bashfulness with respect to virtues and other positive qualities, there is still a more specific bashfulness toward certain positive things because of their intimacy. Intimacy is a phenomenon sui generis, and a very important one. Men who have no sense for this phenomenon are coarse, superficial, and boring personalities.

Recently I heard of a television address in which a ludicrous and naive error was expounded. The speaker claimed that our shying away from exposing our nude body is only the result of our being accustomed to wearing clothing. If we had formed the habit, he said, of covering our ears, the uncovering of these would have the very same effect as exposing our nude body now has on us.

This man is obviously a eunuch. Indeed, he manifests not the slightest understanding for the quality of sexual attraction which the female body has for a man, and the male body for a woman. He believes that this attraction is due only to the fact that we are not used to seeing certain parts of the body. Nor is he only a eunuch; he is also a totally insensitive man. He has no idea of the phenomenon and quality of intimacy. It is true enough that our being accustomed to certain things blunts our understanding of their quality and specific charm. But this in no way proves that the quality in question is a mere effect of surprise. Neither the aspect of intimacy nor the specific attractiveness of the body is a result of the habit of covering certain parts of the body. Rather, intimate things objectively call for a veil. Thus, the clothing exists because of the demands of intimacy, and not intimacy because of the fact of clothing.

The Special Quality of Intimate Things

This man forgets that intimate things have a specific quality and character to which we can become blind through habit, but that other things lacking this quality will never acquire it merely by reason of our not being accustomed to seeing them. In reality, intimacy is a quality of certain objects and attitudes, and it belongs objectively to them. Now the very epitome of intimacy is sex. Every disclosure of sex is the revelation of something intimate and personal; it is the initiation of another into our secret. For, in a certain sense, sex is the secret of the individual. It is for this reason that the domain of sex calls also for bashfulness in its most characteristic sense.

Because of all these characteristics, sex is able to become an expression of spousal love and to constitute an ultimate personal union. Not only is it able to do so, but it is meant to do so. It is destined to become incorporated into this love, and to serve the mutual self-donation to which spousal love aspires.

Indeed, in order to understand the true nature of sex, and its meaning and value, we must start with the great and glorious reality of the love between man and woman, the love of which the Canticle of Canticles says, If a man should give all the substance of his house for love, he would despise it as nothing.

Sex Is Ordered to Spousal Love

Sex is so deeply linked and ordered to this love, which we want to term spousal love (in contradistinction to parental, filial, or friendship love), that as soon as we isolate sex from this love, we become blind to its true nature. We will fail miserably to understand the nature of sex if we separate it from its intrinsic relation to spousal love with its specific note of being in love. Sex is not the forma of spousal love — as many believe who are under the influence of Freudian mythology. This love is the forma of sex. It is this love which gives us the key to the genuine nature of sex.

The true character of sex is thrown into relief as soon as someone falls in love in the true and authentic sense of the word. In aspiring to bodily union with the beloved, he clearly grasps the unique intimacy of this sphere. By the very fact that he desires, above all, to reach an ultimate union with the beloved through the marital act, he acknowledges univocally the intimacy and depth of the sphere of sex. And he grasps the exclusivity of this mutual self-donation, as well as its binding, irrevocable character.

In order to display its full meaning, however, sex presupposes not only spousal love, but also the clear and outspoken will to constitute an irrevocable union with the beloved; that is to say, the consensus, the act in which marriage constitutes itself.

The very soul of the sexual act is the personal union which it effects with the beloved. The marital act is an expression of this union or, better, it is the act which accomplishes the fulfillment of this ultimate union.

This should be clear to everyone who has ever experienced a real spousal love. But, even if a man has not yet experienced a great and deep love, he may nevertheless be aware of the depth and mystery of both sex and spousal love; and thus, he may have the true and authentic view of sex. I still remember a conversation that took place about fifty years ago with a young man who was studying with me at the University of Munich. We were speaking about premarital intercourse; I shall never forget his words in rejecting it violently, "Do you think that I am such a fool as to ruin the great and blissful experience of my wedding night, when the mystery of femininity is disclosed to me for the first time in the woman I love? Do you think that I am not aware that I would destroy the plenitude and bliss of this experience with the one I truly love by toying with it now and treating it as if it were a plaything?"

He was not a religious man; he did not look at the sphere of sex primarily from a moral point of view. What he said was simply the outgrowth of his understanding of the mystery of sex. He had grasped its true meaning as an expression of ultimate love and its capacity for being a source of deep happiness.

The fact that sexual desire often arises without being embedded in spousal love, and that sex, even when thus isolated from love, can also exert a tremendous fascination, is no argument against its intrinsic relation to spousal love and to marriage. It is a consequence of Original Sin that this sphere of sex may become a pure actualization of concupiscence, in which case it presents a completely different aspect. The possibility of abuse and perversion of something in no way alters its true meaning and essence. Thus, it is no proof against the mission of our intellect to grasp the truth that many are attracted by intellectual activity as a mere display of their intellectual dexterity and, consequently, as a satisfaction of pride. Similarly, the tendency of isolating sex is no objection against its authentic destiny and meaning.

Thus far we have discussed the true nature of sex, its depth, its intimacy, its basic connection with spousal love. The unique union with mutual self-donation, the marital act brings about, in one word, the mystery of sex. Against this background, the horror of the so-called sex education in the classroom discloses itself in its full impact.

Two Fundamental Errors of Our Epoch

We may well ask how it is possible that such a nonsensical ideal, which radically contradicts all common sense, and which has never occurred before, had suddenly popped up. How to explain the seemingly universal enthusiasm — certainly not on the part of parents, but on the part of educators and school administrators — for sex education? To answer this, we must look at the two fundamental errors which have gained currency in our present epoch. The first is the fetishization of science; the second is the reporter mentality — which insists upon the total disclosure of literally everything.

I have stressed time and again the fetishization of science. I now want to draw your attention to a special aspect of this fetishization: to make out of science a religion, to strive to give to science the role of the absolute denominator of our lives — a role which, for the faithful Catholic, can be granted only to the God-Man, Christ.

If you read the lives of saints or of great Catholic personalities endowed with an exemplary faith, you clearly see that they did everything in the light and in the name of Christ. They saw everything in the light of Christ; all true natural goods, as well as all evils, were seen in His light. They understood that Christ is the key to every problem, the only way to grasp everything in its deepest meaning.

But, today, the so-called progressive Catholics believe that it is science, and especially natural science, which opens our eyes to the true and authentic reality and reveals to us the deeper, objective nature and reality. Thus, according to them, we should approach every situation of life in the light of scientific knowledge. Our language should be more and more adapted to the aspect of reality which science discloses to us; natural words should be replaced by scientific terms or, rather, by a scientific jargon.

Revelation Assures Absolute Truth

To grasp the confusion in this approach, we only need realize that science, by its very nature, can never grant us an absolutely certain knowledge, but only a highly probable one. It develops constantly, former results are replaced by new ones. The Newtonian physics, which to a Kant seemed the epitome of certainty, is today replaced by other theories. Scientific knowledge is never absolute knowledge.

On the contrary, religion — that is, the truth conveyed to us by revelation — is by its very essence absolute if the revelation is authentic. If the revelation is not God's word but simply a construction of the human mind, a mere myth, then we cannot say that it contains merely relative truth. Rather, it contains no truth at all.

To make of natural science an absolute is a most unscientific and dilettante claim. For, as we have just noted, science never offers us absolute metaphysical certainty. But this is not all. Science fails to be absolute also because it deals only with a certain layer of reality, and not even with the deepest and most important one.

Natural science can, by its very essence, tell us something only about the world of matter, either dead matter or living matter; but in this latter sphere, it can grant us information about the physiological aspect only. It can never inform us about the nature of the person, man's freedom of will, good and evil, beauty and ugliness, the nature of communion with other persons, love and happiness, our destiny, the meaning of our life, or the human aspect and the spiritual content of the world surrounding us.

The true and authentic scientist is fully aware of the limitations of his topic of research. And thus, however brilliant and outstanding he may be in his own field, he never claims to know more about ethical, esthetical, or metaphysical realities — in one word, about all spiritual realities — than any other person knows through common sense.

When we realize the nature of true natural science, we clearly see how greatly mistaken are all attempts to consider this layer of reality which science investigates as more realistic, more authentic, and more serious than all those other domains which cannot be subjected to the methods of natural science. Such a view is even an outspoken sign of mediocrity.

An Absurd Notion of Reality

The mentality described above is connected with the superstition that the lower something ranks metaphysically, the more certain is its existence, and the more ascertained is it in its reality. It follows from this that the true realist has to make of the metaphysically-lower the basic reality, which sheds light on all the rest. For him, if one speaks of an instinct, he will agree that this is something indubitable; but as soon as you speak of a spiritual act, for instance a conviction, an act of knowledge, or a value response of love or gratitude, he will think that this is something more or less nebulous and uncertain. He will be prone to reduce it to a mere function of an instinct or even of a chemical process in our brain.

This entire approach of considering something to be more ascertained in its reality, the lower it ranks metaphysically, this looking at the universe a la baisse, has no foundation whatsoever. It is a mere superstition. On the contrary, in what concerns many domains of life, the metaphysically higher is the key for the true understanding of the lower. The meaning of certain instincts, therefore, can be understood only in the light of higher-ranking acts of the person.

In truth, all the deeper experiences of our human life, the meaning and value of all things, disclose themselves in an incomparably deeper way through Christ. When in the light of Christ, we discover our life on earth to be a status viae, a pilgrimage, when we understand that it is our eternal life which matters above all — then the true and deeper meaning of this life and all great goods in it disclose themselves. In Christ and through Christ, our daily life reveals its true meaning and face.

Persons who claim to be Catholics, nay, even priests and prelates, want to replace the light of Christ by the nebulousness of the scientific approach. Putting the universe topsy-turvy and believing that the lower reality is the key for the higher (instead of the reverse) dramatically manifests the complete confusion to which they have fallen prey.

For a short period of his life, the poet Strindberg fell prey to this scientific superstition, and in his novels he began to call water H20, and so on. But he soon understood how ridiculous and stupid this was, and how his diction — far from being more true — was stripped of all poetic charm and realistic liveliness.

The Latest Scientific Superstition

Now sex education is the latest and the worst example of this scientific superstition. Already, the term sex education is a nonsensical one. First of all, teaching in the classroom, that is, instruction, is confused with education.

Secondly, sex is an object neither of instruction and teaching, nor of learning, except in the case of a psychiatrist or gynecologist. This becomes obvious as soon as we realize how ludicrous it would be to say, "I minored in algebra and I majored in sex!" Of course, it is fortunate for certain students that sex education is now alleged to be, like chemistry and history, the object of serious research and instruction. We may predict that many rebellious students who now want the Ph.D. abolished will suddenly change their minds if a doctoral program in sex education becomes available. We may even hear alarmist talk about the great graduate school explosion in this regard.

To develop the right attitude and vision in the human person toward this sphere of sex, there exists only one possibility; namely, information about the mystery of sex must be disclosed in great reverence and in a strict duo-personal dialogue, of the father or the mother with their child. Absolutely excluded is the pseudo-scientific teaching about sex in a classroom — that is, in a neutralizing and publicity-saturated atmosphere.

Apart from the irreverent disclosure to the child of this sphere in its deep mystery, the parents are yet responsible for sex education in the true sense of education: They must protect the child from all neutralizing discussions of this field, from all the innumerable pernicious and impure influences of the pornographic age in which we live. The parents should strengthen in their child reverence, the will to purity, and even the love for purity. They must train the child to abstain from unbridled yielding to any desires — which training is part of Christian education in general.

We have seen that sex is in no way a mere biological instinct. We have seen its character of depth and intimacy. We have seen that it is destined to be the expression of true spousal love and the fulfillment of an ultimate union of the lovers in the sacred bond of marriage. We have also seen that the true nature and meaning of sex can be understood only in its function of serving an ultimate, mutual, irrevocable self-donation.

A Distortion of Sex

Against this background, we can clearly see that this so-called sex education — in which sex is presented as a merely biological instinct, and in which anatomical and physiological processes are emphasized at the expense of a spiritual interpretation is in reality a distortion of sex, a falsification of its true and deep character. It is a misinformation to which the children are exposed. It is simply a lie to describe sex as if it belonged to the same merely biological sphere as digestion. Such sex education is a gross swindle, a case of blind people speaking about colors.

What would we say about a musicologist who spoke exclusively about vibrations or about the mere technological aspects of radio, instead of about the music of Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, or Wagner? Of what real interest are words about vibrations in contrast to the great and luminous reality of beauty which music can embody? We would consider such a musicologist as either an idiot or a swindler when he claims that he is telling us something about music.

Sex education which concentrates almost exclusively on bodily processes is, therefore, misinformation, a lie. It utterly fails to say anything about the true nature of sex. What is more, the classroom publicity of such education is absolutely incompatible with the disclosure of a sphere which, as we said before, is in some way the secret of every individual.

And here we touch on another unfortunate trend of our present epoch, a trend which is especially developed in the U.S.A. I mean the raving for publicity, the reporter mentality, the fact that a man feels deprived of his rights if anything (whether in politics or in the life of a private person) is not instantly and totally communicated to everyone. Sometimes this reporter mentality operates under the banner of the goddess Science, as happens in the indiscreet polls of the Kinsey Report.

Because the so-called sex education in the classroom deals with sex as a merely neutral topic of information, such as spelling, it distorts the true nature of sex, not only by virtue of its falsified content, but also through the publicity which is fatal to the real, reverent grasping of the nature of sex. The scientific superstition here joins forces with the loss of all discretio (the sense for the intimacy and privacy which certain topics require) and together they produce this abomination called sex education.

Prudery Didn't Deprive Sex of Mystery

Compared with this systematic destruction of the only human, healthy, and adequate relation to sex, the Victorian prudery seems rather harmless. Certainly this hush-hush attitude was unhealthy, based as it was on a puritanical seeing in sex something dirty. But the ignoring of sex, the behaving as if it did not exist, did not falsify the nature of sex nearly as much as this scientific neutralization of sex. Sex has two aspects: one positive and one negative. On the positive side is the unique charm of sex, its intimacy, its deep connection with spousal love, and its granting to the spouses an unmatched union in an irrevocable self-donation. On the negative side is the evil of sex when it is detached from real love and from the irrevocable self-donation, an intoxicating charm which draws man down to the animal level, a desecration of the great gift of sex — in short, a mystery of iniquity.

The puritanical attitude, which failed to see the positive, God-willed aspect of sex and saw only the negative one, was certainly a deplorable error. But to make of sex a merely neutral biological instinct, to place it on the same level with digestion, is incomparably worse. For what we then have is not a deformation caused by a unilateral consideration, but rather a complete radical misunderstanding of its mysterious character. This is a stupid error, and one incomparably more disastrous in its consequences. The puritanical attitude, perhaps, created unhealthy repressions and encouraged scrupulousness. But it did not kill the possibility of discovering the positive aspect of sex. It did not deprive sex of its character of a mystery; it did not humdrumize it. Even in the unfortunate atmosphere created by this attitude, the lover could fully experience the noble, authentic charm of this sphere; he could still understand the destination of sex to be the ultimate mutual self-donation of the spouses in marriage. The unhealthy secrecy, therefore, did not destroy the true character of sex as a mystery.

Amorality Worse than Immorality

It is sometimes argued by proponents of formal sex education that if the children don't hear about sex in school they will, in any case, hear about it on the street. Now this argument could be advanced only to prove the necessity that parents inform their children, in a reverent and bashful way, about sex — and always in a duo-personal situation. But this could never be an argument in defense of the classroom sex education, for this latter is incomparably more harmful than picking up information on the street.

Sex information in the classroom constitutes an authoritative misrepresentation of sex, thanks to its making of sex a mere biological instinct, and thanks to its neutralizing sex and placing it in a laboratory atmosphere. On the contrary, any information given to a youth by his companion on the street has rather the character of telling him a secret; in no way does it pretend to be authoritative, adequate information. It does not destroy the mystery of sex in the same way as does classroom instruction. Street instruction may be coarse and dirty but, as horrible as it is, it does not deprive sex of its character as does the neutralizing classroom information.

Secondly, this street instruction creates rather a guilty conscience. And it is good that this is so when sex is deprived of its deep and noble character and when, severed from love and marriage, it appeals to a brutal sexual instinct. Let us not forget that amorality is still more destructive for the entire person than immorality.

A Caricature of Sex

Classroom sex education implies, as we have seen, the communication of a caricature of sex as well as the destruction of reverence and modesty in young people by the neutralizing publicity of the classroom. We must now insist that it will also have the worst moral consequences.

Those who write texts for sex education courses, and the priests and nuns (among others) who teach the courses, may assume that in destroying the character of mystery attached to the sexual sphere, in stripping it of its character of intimacy, they will protect the children from impurity. They believe that in destroying the unique charm of sex, there will be less danger of its tempting man.

Although it is sometimes very difficult to escape the suspicion that unconscious influences of sexual repressions are operative in those priests and nuns who rave for these sex education programs, let us in charity assume that such is not the case, and that their belief that destroying the mystery of sex will aid purity is, itself, held purely and in good faith. Nevertheless, this belief is sheer nonsense.

Destroying the mysterious character of sex, presenting it as a merely biological affair, instead of in its God-given ultimate connection with spousal love, far from diminishing man's appetite for a brutal sexual satisfaction, will only foster his yielding to it.

What these misguided teachers actually will kill is not the temptation to impurity, but the sense for the depth and the mystery of sex, and its deep intertwinement with spousal love. They will kill the true, authentic, God-willed attraction and charm of sex, but not the bodily desire for it. On the contrary, they will pave the way for an isolation of sex, for the desecration of this mystery, for the horror of impurity. They will kill holy bashfulness, decency, and modesty. They want the children to be informed about every possible perversion. Can we imagine a more stupid idea! Have they forgotten that St. Paul said there are things which should not even be mentioned among us?

But, as we said before, this classroom sex education is not only an abomination because of its inevitable moral consequences; it is also a perversion from a human point of view. It distorts the role which sex should play in man's life, and it renders impossible the great happiness which sex can bestow on the married couple as expression of their love and as a fulfillment of their union, their mutual self-donation.

A Crime Against the Soul

This sex education is a crime committed against the soul of any youth. By enforcing a laboratory view on his mind, it condemns him to an endless boredom. It manifests what Gabriel Marcel calls l'homme contre l'humain: Man waging war on what is human. And this is done by priests and nuns who let themselves be impressed by Dr. Mary Calderone!

Still another consideration must now be discussed. We must distinguish between sex in the strict sense of the term, which refers to sexual intercourse and to all the processes, bodily and spiritual, linked to intercourse, and sex in the wider sense. This latter is a factor which gives to the entire rhythm of life a certain glow and splendor, and grants to men a kind of awakedness and charm. There exist men who lack any temperamental sensitivity to sex, who are blind to the mystery of this sphere, notwithstanding that they may often engage in sexual intercourse. Such men are in danger of falling prey to a humdrum quality, a utilitarian note, an antipoetic mentality.

Directly opposite this humdrum mentality is the attitude of the man who is pure and chaste. He in no way lacks this temperamental splendor, this sensitivity, but he sees clearly the mystery of sex and its character of a fruit we should abstain from eating, until God Himself sanctions it. In the pure person, spirituality is so strongly marked that this sphere is actualized only with great reverence and chaste tenderness, or it remains sealed for the sake of the Kingdom of God, as is the case with the consecrated virgin.

What matters in this context, however, is that the temperamental sensitivity to the sphere of sex has a function in man which surpasses by far the sphere of sexuality in the strict sense of the term. The man who has this sensitivity will be more awakened than others. The will grasp many aspects of nature which the humdrum man will fail to register, for example, the enchanting note of Spring, so full of promise, and the poetic charm of so many situations.

Here again we see the grave error of the attitude, mentioned at the start, of looking at the world a la baisse. Those who do so try to reduce all the poetic aspects of life, as well as the charm of sensitivity in a person, to a mere by-product of sex. They say, "All this is nothing but sex, the product of our hormones." and so on. They make of glands and hormones (which have a purely serving function) the one decisive reality and the cause of everything else. All the rest is, in their eyes, nothing but a mirage produced by these purely physical factors; the poetic aspect of the world described above is but an illusion, or a sublimated sex instinct. In reality, however, this view is as nonsensical as if we said that all that we see with our eyes is nothing but the product of our retina or of certain nerves.

In truth, although certain glands and hormones are presupposed for discovering certain objective aspects of the world, they do not cause these aspects, these poetic messages, but they are required to enable us to grasp the aspects. The important function of sex in this perception of the poetic is completely misunderstood as soon as we try to see it as disguised sexual desire, such as unconsciously pervades many spheres.

Now sex in this wider sense is not only no topic for teaching, but it will be ruined and killed if young people are made to be artificially conscious of it, to look at it in a self-examining way, and to fall prey to the error of registering it as a mere disguised, brutal sexuality.

If sex education in public elementary and high schools were to become obligatory for all children, this fact would militate against the sacred rights of the family. As Pope Leo XIII pointed out, the rights of the family have a primacy with respect to State laws. The family is an older and nobler community. Every infringement on the sacred rights of the family is the expression of a totalitarian and thoroughly undemocratic mentality.

A Denial of the Spirit of Christ

But it is still much worse if Catholic schools enforce on all children, and against the will of many parents, the practice of sex education in the classroom. That the State falls prey to totalitarianism implies a yielding to the dangerous trend of the raison d'etat, a trend which lies in the nature of the Leviathan. But if representatives of the Church, who should be the great protectors of the sacred rights of the individual and of the family, act in a totalitarian way (and thereby exhibit the worst type of clericalism), it is simply treason, a denial of the spirit of the Church and of the spirit of Christ. It is a complete abdication in front of the spirit of the world.

Our clear duty as Catholics is to resist this totalitarian enslavement and, above all, to protect the souls of our children from the damage which threatens them. If the response to the triumph of impurity, the shamelessness, and the barbaric murder of modesty in our epoch is to introduce in Catholic schools this alleged sex education, then let us protest with every available means. Let us fight relentlessly all the Catholic schools which introduce such practices. Not one penny should be given to a pastor who tolerates or endorses this abomination.

I am no friend of picketing, and I thoroughly dislike this kind of demonstration. But when so grave a question as the souls of our children is at stake, then demonstrations are legitimate and even necessary. We must ceaselessly inundate the bishops with protests, so that if — which, may God forbid! — we do not succeed in opening their eyes to the abomination of sex education, they will at least yield to the pressure exerted by truly Catholic parents. I mean those parents who are the glory and strength of the Church, who believe firmly the Credo of Pope Paul VI, who believe in the infallibility of the Church in matters of faith and morals, and who, unlike the small but noisy group of avant-gardists, accept obediently and lovingly the teaching of Humanae Vitae. It is these quiet millions whose parental rights are being usurped. It is their children whose souls are endangered.

The Holy Duty of Bishops

In disclaiming any personal responsibility for the sex education program in his diocese, one bishop said, "We who live in the state of celibacy are no experts in the field of sex, and thus we can take no position toward sex education."

This is an attitude which we cannot accept and will not accept. It is the holy duty of bishops to forbid at least the totalitarian overruling of the sacred rights of the parents, even if they do not understand the horrible damage done to the souls of the children from a moral and a human point of view.

Let all bishops, the timid, the retiring, the insecure with respect to things sexual, be at once confirmed and admonished by these words of the Lord, But he that shall scandalize one of these little ones that believe in Me, it were better for him that a millstone should be hanged about his neck, and that he should be drowned in the depth of the sea.

© Veil of Innocence

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