Catholic Social Teaching: The Family is the First School, Parents the First Teachers
final end is God, and inculcation of the virtue of justice and charity demand a theistic philosophy of education. Secular theories of education--such as the influential progressivist, pragmatist, empiricist theories of education advanced by John Dewey (1859-1952)--are unacceptable.
In the area of sex education, the parental role is particularly to be well-guarded. Sex education is to be presented "in an orderly and progressive manner," one that takes into account the age and maturity of the child.
Additionally, sex education is to include "the human and moral values connected" to human sexuality. This means that disordered, immoral expressions of human sexuality--homosexuality, contraception, premarital sex, transgenderism and so forth--will not be taught as authentically human and moral life choices, but as aberrations.
The objective moral law as it relates to human sexuality ought not to be neglected. "Parents have the obligation to inquire about the methods used for sexual education in educational institutions in order to verify that such an important and delicate topic is dealt with properly." (Compendium, No. 243)
Children, of course, have the full dignity that is theirs as human persons. That dignity is to be respected and any rights that flow from that dignity protected. For this reason, "the rights of children must be legally protected within juridical systems."
One of the most fundamental rights of a child, his "first right," is to "be born in a real family." (Compendium, No. 244) With the development of genetic technology and with the recognition of homosexual civil unions and same-sex marriage, this right must be enforced. Children have a right to be conceived, born, and raised in families that are normal, not families that are based upon disordered and inauthentic human values.
Because of their relative weakness and inability to defend themselves, children are too often the victims of great injustice. Their rights are not infringed merely by inadequate access to food, medical care, and education. Their rights are all-too-often violated by such scourges as child labor, child trafficking, pedophilia, child pornography, and child marriage. These wrongs call forth from the Church a most strident demand:
"It is essential to engage in a battle, at the national and international levels, against the violations of the dignity of boys and girls caused by sexual exploitation, by those caught up in pedophilia, and by every kind of violence directed against these most defenseless of human creatures. These are criminal acts that must be effectively fought with adequate preventive and penal measures by the determined action of the different authorities involved." (Compendium, No. 245)
Andrew M. Greenwell is an attorney licensed to practice law in Texas, practicing in Corpus Christi, Texas. He is married with three children. He maintains a blog entirely devoted to the natural law called Lex Christianorum. You can contact Andrew at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- - -
Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: family, homeschool, parental choice, domestic church, education, social justice, social teaching, Andrew M. Greenwell, Esq.
Rate This Article
Leave a Comment
More Living Faith News
- Pope Francis says atheists can do good and go to heaven too!
- According to map, China leads world in atheism
- Receiving the Eucharist: I Have Decided to Kneel For Jesus
- Exorcism or not, it's still a miracle
- The Holy Spirit: Sanctifier and Giver of Life, Love and Truth
- Pope Francis tweets his prayers following devastation in Moore
- The Paraclete: The Counselor Who Helps Us Fulfill Our Calling
- Pope Francis calls for change within the Church
- Atheists to have their books placed atop Gideon Bibles
- Fr. Paul Schenck: Finding Living Faith on Catechetical Sunday
- The Movie Yellow: Incest as 'Normal' and Cassavates's Slides Into the World of Woes
- The Chicago School Teachers Strike Reveals the Need For School Choice
- The Sexual Barbarians and the Dissolution of Culture
- The Happy Priest Challenges Us to Ask: Who is Jesus to Me?
- Michael Coren on Canadian Public Schools: Teachers, leave those kids alone
- We Cannot Ignore Our Consciences: Cardinal Dolan On Religious Liberty
- In the Face of Danger, Successor of Peter Travels to Lebanon as a Messenger of Peace
- Reflections on the Dignity and Vocation of Women: Who or What?