Catholic Family News

Interview: Randy Engel with John Vennari on Amoris Laetitia and “Sex Education”

If Amoris Laetitia is any indication, there appears to be no end in sight to the moral ruination and spiritual devastation sex initiation programs brings down upon Catholic families, children in particular, and the Catholic faith and Catholic civilization, in general.

J.V. Pope Francis’ pronouncement in Amoris Laetitia on “The Need for Sex Education,” appears in Chapter Seven, titled “Towards a Better Education of Children,” § 280-286.

We have a lot of information to cover in this interview, where do you want to begin?

R.E. I think a good place to start is with the opening sentence to Amoris Laetitia’sseven paragraphs on “The Need for Sex Education.” That modified singular infamous sentence that brought classroom sex instruction into Catholic schools is found in Gravissimum Educationis, the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council’s Declaration on Christian Education promulgated on October 28, 1965. Under § 1.The Meaning of the Universal Right to an Education we read:

‘Therefore, children and young people must be helped, with the aid of the latest advances in psychology and the arts and science of teaching, to develop harmoniously their physical, moral and intellectual endowments so that they may gradually acquire a mature sense of responsibility in striving endlessly to form their own lives properly and in pursuing true freedom as they surmount the vicissitudes of life with courage and constancy. Let them be given also, as they advance in years, a positive and prudent sexual education. Moreover, they should be so trained to take their part in social life that properly instructed in the necessary and opportune skills they can become actively involved in various community organizations, open to discourse with others and willing to do their best to promote the common good (emphasis added).”

This highlighted sentence turned out to be the ticking bomb which, shortly after the end of the Council, resulted in the end of doctrinal catechetics traditionally taught in Catholic elementary and secondary schools and their replacement with morally and spiritual fatal sexual catechetics with which I am sure most of our readers are well acquainted by now.

J.V. Do you believe this is what the Council Fathers intended?

R.E. No. But that is what happened.

J.V. It’s been more than fifty years since the end of the Second Vatican Council, perhaps it might be helpful if you review for our readers how it was that so-called sex education found its way into our parochial schools and Confraternity of Christian Doctrine (CCD) classes.

R.E. Sex initiation programs were introduced into the formal Catholic curricula through the back door via a systematic campaign of deceit and stealth which began at the Council itself.

When discussing any texts of the Council, we have to remember that no document was really ever finished or completed before the final ballot was cast by the Church Fathers. The Council’s document on Christian Education was no exception to this rule.

Work on Gravissimum Educationis began in June 1962 with the first draft prepared by the Education Preparatory Commission. It was rejected as being too legalistic and negative. Thus began a three-year heated battle between the Traditional and Modernists bishops and their “periti” over the future of Catholic education.

J.V. I presume that the original schema made no reference to “the need for sex education?”

R.E. Correct. Two years later, in April 1964, a new text of the educational schema was presented to the Council Fathers in the form of seventeen propositions on various principals of education. Once again, the new draft was rejected and sent back for a complete overhaul, as was the third draft of October 1964. Again, there was no reference to “the need for sex instruction.”

Finally, in early November 1964, a brand new 1,000-word text was presented for debate. One of the new key provisions was for the establishment of a Post-Conciliar Commission on Education which would “interpret” the provisions made in the final document on education. There were over fifty-eight oral interventions and written submissions on the schema. The American bishops were especially interested in state financial aid for parochial schools as a form of distributive justice.

J.V. Was the topic of classroom sex instruction debated at this time?

R.E. No. The issue of classroom sex instruction for minors was never debated at the Council. The debate on other issues concluded on November 19, 1964, at which time the Plenary Education Commission thanked the Council Fathers and promised to return with a satisfactory revised text. This task was not completed until the spring of 1965, but the final text was kept hidden from the bishops until the opening of the Council’s fourth session the following September. The only persons who were privy to the final text with its revisions and new amendments during this interim period were the members of the Educational Commission.

When the Church Fathers returned to the final sessions for a vote on the schema on Christian Education, many were dismayed by the new text. They complained that this was not a “revised” schema but a “totally new” document. There were three last minute amendments to the document before the entire schema was approved section by section by the Council Fathers on October 13, 1965 and then forwarded to the Secretary General for the presentation of the pope’s approval.

J.V. So when did the Council Fathers debate the issue of classroom sex instruction?

R.E. There was never any debate on the subject at the Council. However, one of the three last minute amendments I just mentioned which slipped through the crack without much notice was the short sentence calling for “a positive and prudent sexual education” for children and youth.

Since there had been no discussion on the subject of classroom sex instruction, I suspect that most of the Church Fathers interpreted this sentence to mean parentalinstruction in sexual matters. The fact that the final document cited Pope Pius XI’s Divini Illius Magistri thirteen times perhaps gave many of them a false sense of security, since the 1929 encyclical letter specifically prohibited and condemned classroom sex education, so-called.

According to Reverend Mark J. Hurley who served on the Council’s Commission on Education and is considered the Council’s foremost authority on Gravissimum Educationis, the “curt” sentence on sex education found in the document “in no way contradicted” Pius XI’s prohibition against classroom sex instruction but actuallyreinforced the prohibition by stating that some private parental instruction in sexual matters was indeed necessary.

J.V. But Reverend Hurley, who was later appointed Bishop of Santa Rosa, was wrong?

R.E. Dead wrong!

For the record, the last time that the American bishops condemned classroom sex instruction was on November 17, 1950, when the National Catholic Welfare Council issued “The Child: Citizens of Two Worlds” in which the hierarchy reminded parents of their special competence and duty in regard to the provision of sex instruction to their children. The paragraph ended with the solemn warning, “We protest in the strongest possible terms against the introduction of sex instruction into the schools.”

Three years after the closing of the Second Vatican Council and one year after the creation of AmChurch’s new Modernist bicameral bureaucracy, the National Conference of Catholic Bishops/United States Catholic Conference (NCC/USCC), the American bishops made sex instruction “a grave obligation” and called for “systematic” provisions for classroom sex instruction in the diocesan curriculum due to “the new circumstances of modern culture and communications.” This section of the November 15, 1968, Pastoral letter, Human Life In Our Day, was backed up by the Vatican and the battle with Catholic parents over classroom sex education began in earnest.

J.V. Is this when you entered the “sex education” fight?

R.E. Yes. That was almost fifty years ago. I think it rather prophetic that the first real prolife battle was not against abortion but against sex initiation programs which were deliberately mislabeled “Family Life Education.” I think it was also prophetic that the main promoters of sex instruction for Catholic school children, although we pro-lifers did not know it at the time, were primarily homosexuals including the new General Secretary of the USCC, Bishop Joseph Bernardin, his Assistant General Secretary, Father, later Bishop, James Rausch, and the head of the USCC’s Family Life Office, Msgr., later, Bishop James T. McHugh, who was a promoter of a number of pro-abortion and pro-homosexual groups including the Sex Information and Education Council of the United States (SIECUS) and the American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors, and Therapists (AASECT).

J.V. In Amoris Laetitia, Pope Francis wonders if Catholic “educational institutions have taken up this “challenge” of “sex education?”

R.E. Yes. Unfortunately, they have, with a vengeance. Francis’ use of the word “challenge” to describe the need to perpetuate, what every Catholic who has studied the origins and objectives of “sex education” knows is a deliberate and diabolical assault upon the innocence of our children, I find beyond the pale. This is particularly true given the fact that since the turn of the 20th century, leaders of the movement to institutionalize classroom sex instruction for children and youth have been fairly open about the ultimate purpose of such instruction.

J.V. Can you cite a few names?

R.E. Well, on March 20, 1969, shortly after the NCCB/USCC mandated explicit sex programs for Catholic elementary and secondary school children, Dr. Richard Day, a former National Medical Director for Planned Parenthood-World Population told members of the Pittsburgh Pediatrics Society that the purpose of sex education was “to get kids interested in making the connection between sex and the need for contraception early in their lives, even before they became [sexually] active.”

Four years later, on May 3, 1973, just months after the Supreme Court Roe Vs Wade decision legalizing abortion in the United States, Planned Parenthood’s National President, Dr. Alan F. Guttmacher, in an interview with the Washington, D.C. Evening Star and Daily News claimed that the only avenue Planned Parenthood had to win the abortion rights battle was “sex education.” “I think we’re going to establish the individual’s complete control over conception, and that will win the battle for abortion if we act wisely,” Guttmacher explained. But the American bishops weren’t listening and neither was the Vatican.

J.V. And I gather that “sex education” is also meant to guarantee a litany of other vices and perversions in young people that go beyond abortion?

R.E. There is not a vice or sexual perversion that has escaped the purview or the affirmation of the architects of classroom sex instruction including contraception, sterilization, population control, divorce, adultery, trial marriage, eugenic breeding, infanticide, artificial insemination, transgender “therapy,” surrogate “motherhood,” suicide, euthanasia, pornography, masturbation, sodomy, pedophilia, pederasty, incest, bestiality, sadomasochism, prostitution, and so on.

J.V. It is rather ironic that Francis uses what I call “God language” in connection with classroom sex instruction, is it not?

R.E. Frankly, when it comes to so-called “sex education,” the pope is woefully ignorant because:

  • “Sex Education” is not about God or the Natural Law. It is about sexual idolatry.
  • It is not about virtue. It’s about vice.
  • It is not about morality. It’s about immorality.
  • It is not about chastity and modesty. It’s about the cannibalism of innocence and purity.
  • It is not about the facts if life, but rather about death and killing.
  • It is not about fecundity. It’s about sterility.
  • It is not about love. It’s about achieving genital stimulation and release.
  • It is not about respect and honor. It’s about dishonor and infidelity.
  • It is not about family life, but about the destruction of the family and the undermining of parental authority.

In short, “sex education” is anti-educational, anti-child and anti-family. It is a form of sexual conditioning and “reconstructive psychotherapy” designed to deform youthful consciences and turn young people into sexual robots and polymorphous perverts. It is a legalized form of child seduction and molestation.

J.V. I noticed that in Francis’ commentary on “the need for sex education,” he makes no reference to parents as the primary educators of their children especially in the intimate and person sphere of human sexuality.

R.E. Yes. This was a glaring and telltale omission in the pope’s commentary on the subject because the Church has always held that imparting sexual knowledge, both indirect and direct, at the right time, at the right place, and in the proper manner to the questioning child and the older adolescent is the right and responsibility of parents. Parents are by nature free of concupiscence when dealing with their children in the sexual sphere. By the grace of their vocation they have the correct disposition and knowledge to protect their children from the dangers of a premature awakening of sexual interests. And by their example of chaste love and sense of modesty and decency, good and holy parents reinforce the innate sense of modesty and purity in their own children. Further, formation in modesty and privacy are invaluable in developing the child’s power to discern what is normal versus abnormal behavioral interactions between him and older children and adults.

Unfortunately, there can be no mistake that Francis perceives that proper sexual instruction of children is to take part outside the home and is connected principally to institutionalized sexual instruction in the classroom apart from the parents and home life. Even though such group sex instruction demeans the sanctity of the sexual sphere and can never be a substitute nor an aid to private, one-to-one instruction of father to son and mother to daughter.

J.V. Nor did I see any reference to the latency period in the normal development of the child.

R.E. You are very astute John. Nowhere does Francis acknowledge “the latency period” in the young child’s development, nor does he address the ramifications of the destruction of the latency period by premature sexual seduction under the guise of a “sexual education.”

You will recall that in August 2012, I wrote a series of articles on “sex education” forCFN titled “Sex Abuse in Catholic Schools – The Evolution of Sex Instruction in Catholic Schools from Becoming a Person to Theology of the Body.”

One of the subtitles found in the series was “Sex is not Child’s Play.” I think this caption says it all. Children are non-miniature adults. They are not “sexual beings” as SIECUS would describe them.

From Genesis, 1:26–3:24, we know the tragic results of the loss of innocence of our first parents after being tempted by the serpent, but Francis does not appear to understand the tragic consequences of the loss of innocence of children of all ages, especially children who are exposed to the corrupting influence of kindergarten-12th grade sex instruction programs.

J.V. As a parent, I know that the latency period is very real. It is not a figment of one’s imagination as every parent knows.

R.E. That’s so very true, John. And you are not alone in recognizing this fact. That children undergo a period of innocence and latency with regard to sexual matters is an accepted feature of childhood in virtually all cultures. God made childhood a very special time for children. Between the ages of five or six and the start of puberty, the young child is also recognized as being educationally ideal. The age of seven has long been recognized as the age of reason and discretion whereby the child can be the recipient of the Sacraments of Penance and Holy Communion. It is a time when the child is most open to religious instruction and formation and the things that pertain to God and His divine domain of angels and saints. So it is that Mother Nature, the Vicar-General of God, assures the asexual nature of the child during latency in order to release the child’s energies in the direction of fulfilling his natural curiosity and instinct for knowledge apart from the sexual sphere. For the unsullied child, his first associations with sexual matters are correctly tied to marriage, family, and babies. That is why one of the primary tasks of “sex education” is to “correct” this “error” by divorcing procreation from sex and sex from procreation in the young person’s mind.

J.V. What about the aberration of the “sexually precocious” child whose latency period has been interrupted or utterly destroyed by early sex initiation programs?

R.E. Such a child who has been the benighted “beneficiary” of sex instruction, for all practical and spiritual purposes, has been rendered “uneducable” by such instruction. He will experience a decreased capacity for academic and spiritual pursuits. In addition, he will most likely exhibit an emotional retardation in connection with the development of compassionate feelings, empathy, and love.

After thirteen years of classroom sex instruction which breaks down sexual inhibitions and feelings of revulsion for sexual perversions including masturbation, homosexuality, and pornography to which children and youth are systematically exposed, Catholic school children are so damaged, that barring a miracle of grace, they cannot but find themselves unfit to lead a truly holy Catholic life as adults, be they single, married or religious.

Such sexual instruction also produces a rupture in the fabric of the family and between the child and his parents. The loss of sexual innocence leaves an indelible mark on both body and soul even where the child is too young to understand the nature and ramifications of the crime carried out against his person in the classroom with at least (in the child’s mind) the tacit approval of his parents who are supposed to protect him against such misadventures.

J.V. What are the dangers to children who are exposed to sexual indoctrination at a later age, let’s say the early teens when they have just entered puberty?

R.E. Once again, Nature did not intend that very young adolescents enter into sexual activities and relationships reserved for adults within the bonds of Matrimony.

The disruption of the normal developmental and sexual maturation of a young person entering puberty by explicit classroom sex instruction represents a new and different level of danger to the child. Adolescents are a particularly vulnerable population because their rapid physical development is not matched by a comparable psychological and emotional growth and stability that marks the mature female in her late teens and the mature male in his early to mid-twenties.

The period known as adolescence is normally marked by a radical restructuring of the young person’s physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual life, and is designed to produce a mature human being capable of leading a true moral, spiritual and intellectual life. Not surprisingly, classroom sexual instruction interferes with this normal development, especially with the normal psycho-sexual maturation process. Sexual activity including coitus and the solitary vice and other perversions engaged in by young adolescents, short circuits the development of cognitive skills necessary for sound and appropriate moral behavior, exposes youth to grave spiritual dangers, and undermines their future as Catholic marriage partners and parents.

It follows then, that it is in the best interest of the adolescent that his youthful energies be directed away from the sexual sphere and redirected towards academic excellence and/or vocational training and artistic/sports pursuits as well as an active participation in familial enterprises and the development of the spiritual life.

J.V. Prior to the advent of classroom sex instruction classes following the Second Vatican Council, this approach you just mentioned was followed by Holy Mother Church, was it not?

R.E. Absolutely. In times past, Church and State both made their contribution in support of this important developmental task of youth by supporting the indissolubility of (heterosexual) marriage and the integrity and authority of the family; by enforcing laws which prohibit and/or discourage vice (including homosexuality) and promote virtue; by prohibiting the production and distribution of pornography and sexually explicit programming by the public media; by the vigorous enforcement of age of consent laws which mete out severe penalties for statutory rape of male and female minors; and by upholding the rights and responsibilities of parents to direct the education of their children, including instruction in sexual matters as their children advance in age and understanding.

But this is no longer true especially under the pontificate of Francis I. Although to be fair I should add, he is not alone. Not one of the post-conciliar popes to date, including Pope John Paul II, have effectively acted to restore Pope Pius XI’s ban on sex programs for children and youth, and made a determined effort to restore traditional doctrinal catechetics to their rightful place in the Catholic school curriculum.

Sadly, if Amoris Laetitia is any indication, there appears to be no end in sight to the moral ruination and spiritual devastation sex initiation programs brings down upon Catholic families, children in particular, and the Catholic faith and Catholic civilization, in general.

Francis says he loves children and he loves the family. I do not believe this to be true. No human being who makes these claims would deliberately put the eternal souls of countless children and youth in mortal danger by exposing them to the pernicious and deadly effects of classroom sex instruction.

Given this current state of affairs in the Church, individual home schooling and cluster schools generated and controlled by parents are the only means of keeping our Catholic children, healthy, happy, and most of all holy.

J.V. Do you have any final remarks on Amoris Laetitia?

R.E. Francis’ exhortation on marriage and the family is so riddled with deadly theological and heretical land mines as to be unredeemable. The only solution – burn it!

Our Lady of Fatima, come to our aid.

SCANDAL: At World Youth Day, Vatican releases teen sex-ed program that leaves out parents and mortal sin – Click Here

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John Vennari

John Vennari was the editor of Catholic Family News from 1994 until his death by cancer on April 4, 2017. His single mission was to teach people how to recognize and resist the pernicious errors of Modernism, especially since Vatican II. In connection with this mission, he was a zealous apostle of Our Lady of Fatima, collaborating closely with Fr. Nicholas Gruner (1942-2015).

John Vennari

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John Vennari was the editor of Catholic Family News from 1994 until his death by cancer on April 4, 2017. His single mission was to teach people how to recognize and resist the pernicious errors of Modernism, especially since Vatican II. In connection with this mission, he was a zealous apostle of Our Lady of Fatima, collaborating closely with Fr. Nicholas Gruner (1942-2015).