AMERICA/ARGENTINA - Bishops backed by various lay groups call for a public debate on law to make sexual education compulsory in schools

Tuesday, 22 November 2005

Buenos Aires (Fides Service) - In the framework of a national debate on a government campaign to render sexual education compulsory in public and private schools and in the face of a possible rapid approval of a law without the knowledge of the people, the Catholic Bishops of Argentina issued a statement addressed calling on legislators to act “with authentic spirit of democracy and subject the law to ample debate before approval, including consultation of the parties involved, parents and institutions and organisation involved in education”.
Some days ago Archbishop Héctor Aguer of La Plata denounced this type of “sexual education” as “legalised corruption” and “an intolerable invasion of the rights of parents to educate their children”. The Archbishop said the question “is very sensitive and serious”, because instead of being taught self control and led to understand sexuality as something which gives full meaning to love and transmits life and therefore importance of the family formed though marriage, young people are incited to “fornication, promiscuity and all that dissolves the person and the family and society”. And to make things worse “all this is shielded by law”.
Representatives of 96 Latin American and European NGOs have voiced rejection of the law and commitment to “defend the right of parents to choose how children are educated”, saying they will take these concerns to international legal bodies. The Corporation of Catholic Lawyers and pro-life organisations support the Bishops’ request not to approve the law without consulting the people. Institutions involved in education issued a statement “with regard to a proposed law on sexual education” affirming: “sexual education is a fundamental right and duty of parents and must be decided by them at home and in schools”. The statement says the law proposes a limited vision of the human person and human sexuality and “ignores the moral affective and spiritual values at the basis of love such as fidelity, cooperation and respect ". (RG) (Agenzia Fides 22/11/2005, righe 29, parole 396)