The Catholic Church is not against responsible sex education. As part of courses for future spouses, classes are also conducted on topics related to sex life and responsible parenthood – indicates the spokesman of the Polish Bishops’ Conference, Fr. Paweł Rytel-Andrianik, who comments on the discussion in the media. He also reminds that there is already a “Preparation for marriage and family life” program in schools.
The spokesman of the Episcopate also emphasizes that, according to the teachings of the Catholic Church and other religions, sex life is reserved for spouses. „There is no room for compromise in this matter, the sixth commandment says clearly: +You shall not commit adultery+, therefore all attempts to circumvent this principle are unacceptable for Catholics” – he adds.
The spokesman of the Polish Bishops’ Conference refers to the exhortation of Pope Francis “Amoris Laetitia”, in which the Pope reminds: “The Second Vatican Council spoke of the need for +a positive and prudent sex education+ to be imparted to children and adolescents +as they grow older+, with +due weight being given to the advances in the psychological, pedogogical and didactic sciences+. (…) A sexual education that fosters a healthy sense of modesty has immense value, however much some people nowadays consider modesty a relic of a bygone era. Modesty is a natural means whereby we defend our personal privacy and prevent ourselves from being turned into objects to be used” (Amoris laetitia, nn. 280, 282).
Referring to this statement, the spokesman of the Polish Episcopate emphasizes that it is necessary to distinguish between sex education, which treats another person as an object of use, and sex education, which, as Pope Francis writes, cares for healthy modesty and protects children and young people from sexual abuse. „Such classes have been conducted for many years, education in the direction of protection against the so-called +bad touch+ is necessary and there is no discussion here” – he says.
Fr. Rytel-Andrianik also points out that: “Faithfulness to a spouse is good for the happiness of the family. This follows from the Decalogue and is confirmed by Judeo-Christian tradition and life. The children are then brought up in families and mature there emotionally, while the knowledge is passed on by their parents in a situation they recognise as appropriate”.
The spokesman of the Polish Episcopate pointed out that when information appeared in the first half of 2019 that some local governments plan to finance sex education, in August 2019 the Permanent Council of the Polish Bishops’ Conference once again recalled the constitutional rights of parents in a special message in which we read: “Education and upbringing or shaping attitudes are treated in the Polish legal system as the competence of parents, and the role of the school in this respect is only auxiliary. The Constitution guarantees parents the right to raise children in accordance with their own beliefs (Art. 48 (1) and 53 (1)), while Educational Law clearly confirms that the school supports the educational role of the family (Art. 1, par. 2)”.
Fr. Rytel-Andrianik reminds that in these matters repeatedly expressed himself St. John Paul II, as a man accompanying young people, but also a professor, lecturer at the Catholic University of Lublin. „He wrote about it, among others in +Theology of the Body+. It is also worth recalling his encyclical +Evangelium Vitae+ and the encyclical of St. Paul VI +Humane Vitae+. In the teaching of the Church, which derives from Scripture and Tradition, there are life attitudes for Catholics, but sexuality understood as part of marriage is a universal value in society, regardless of religion” – says the spokesman of the Episcopate.
Press Office of the Polish Bishops’ Conference