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Eminence, the emeritis cardinal archbishop of HGN

Saturday, September 3, 2011

The Vatican Again and Sex Education

The Vatican does not like the new sex education rules for the New York City Public School System.  The Archdiocese of New York also does not like these sex education guidelines for for public schools in the City of New York.

It seems to me that the Roman Catholic Church, the Archdiocese of New York,  and  the Vatican, need to stay out of the business of sex education in the New York Public Schools.

The Roman Catholic Church has lost its credibility in the area of sexuality even as much as they try to show they are making efforts to rehabilitate their image on this issue. With the church’s recent history in the sexual abuse crisis, the church does and should not present itself as the only viable voice on sexuality. I mean, the audacity, when just this week Archbishop Finn of Kansas City, Missouri, is shown to be in non observance of the bishops’ own guidelines regarding priests accused of sexual impropriety with young people, you would think the church would come to these matters with a more deferential and respectful spirit. 

A while back, I began asking myself where a young person might turn for advice on matters of sexuality. Growing up my experience was to trust the church. I have found as I have matured and grown in the experience of my own sexuality that while there might be high ideals in the church’s teaching, the message the church offers is severely limited. I wish the church would realize that. There is much the church could offer in the area of building long, loving relationships. This is even compromised because the church is blind to those kinds of relationships between gay and lesbian couples.

I have to agree that young people need advice on sexually transmitted diseases and how to prevent them. I think young people deserve the full range of knowledge on matters of sexuality.  I agree that parents have a role to play. I suspect many times, while that role is important, it is also missing. Most state guidelines allow for offering instruction on the role abstinence can provide. I think this is good. I respect the New York School System for moving ahead even in the face of religious obstinacy and even bigotry to provide young people with a full range of information on matters of sexuality,