Friday 30th September 2016

Home » Our Catholic Faith » Currently Reading:

Catholic Replies

February 20, 2014 Our Catholic Faith No Comments

Q. How would you talk to children in grades four to six about such things as adultery, premarital sex, contraception, homosexuality, and similar topics? Is there a resource for catechists and parents of children in middle school and high school that would provide short answers to these and other hot-button issues? — S.H., Massachusetts.
A. Catechists of young people face a dilemma when talking about sexuality. Do they ignore or gloss over this difficult topic, or do they give the children a truthful explanation that is appropriate for their age? The first point that must be emphasized, regardless of the age group, is that our sexuality is a gift from God that He expects us to use according to His plan. That plan is spelled out in the first book of the Bible where God created Adam and Eve, told them to “be fertile and multiply” (Gen. 1:28), and instituted marriage by saying, “That is why a man leaves his father and mother and clings to his wife, and the two of them become one body” (Gen. 2:24).
According to the plan of God, then, any use of our sexual faculties outside of a lifelong, faithful, and fruitful marriage of one man and one woman is wrong. It’s not a question of how a person feels about these matters, which seems to be the determining factor today, but a question of what God says is true and good — for the individual, for the family, and for society.
The consequences of not following God’s plan, of letting each person decide for themselves what’s right and wrong, could not be more obvious: the breakdown of the family, sexual abuse of children, more than a million teen pregnancies, millions of abortions, an epidemic of sexually transmitted diseases, and other social problems. All of these consequences could be avoided simply by following the Creator’s plan for the use of our sexuality.
If children can first be helped to understand the Creator’s plan, then it will be easier to discuss, for example, the question of adultery, which may come up in fourth grade since that is the year in most programs that focuses on the Commandments. In a grade four bilingual text published by Sadlier, we find these comments on the Sixth Commandment:
“Human sexuality is the gift of being able to feel, think, choose, love, and act as the person God created us to be. Human sexuality makes us female or male. Males and females are different but equal. Our differences come from God. They are good and beautiful and are an important part of who we are. The Sixth Commandment is about love and the ways to show our love. The Sixth Commandment is ‘You shall not commit adultery’ (Exodus 20:14). This commandment asks us to honor the love a husband and wife have for one another and to honor their promise to be faithful. From this commandment we also learn about the…need to respect and be in control of our bodies.”
In the glossary of the grade seven text of Loyola’s Finding God series, we find this definition of adultery:
“. . . a sin of unfaithfulness to one’s marriage vows that injures the bond of the marriage covenant. It occurs when two people have sexual relations while at least one of them is married to another person. The Sixth Commandment forbids adultery because it undermines the institution of marriage and is harmful to children who need the stability of their parents’ marriage commitment.
In these two excerpts, you can see the progression from a general explanation in grade four to a more specific explanation in grade seven. Perhaps you could tailor the topic to those in grades four to six by asking them if they have a best friend with whom they share feelings and dreams and secrets. Then ask how they would feel if they learned that this “best friend” was saying mean and untrue things behind their back.
So, too, a husband and wife promised on their wedding day to be faithful and true to each other for life. If one spouse then goes behind the back of the other and breaks their marriage promises by getting sexually involved with another person, that is adultery. It is not only a sin against God’s Commandments, it is also a betrayal of one’s marriage vows.
Regarding sex between persons who are not married, which is called fornication, that is a violation of God’s plan, too. He wanted married couples to use their sexuality to cooperate with Him in bringing new life into the world and to use their union to express their deep mutual love for each other. This twofold purpose is confined to marriage because only married couples can provide the stable, loving environment which a child needs to grow and develop properly.
Engaging in sex before marriage not only violates God’s plan, but it usually involves using contraception to prevent a child from being conceived, and often it leads to abortion when the contraceptive method does not work. It is a fact that couples who save sex for marriage have a much better chance of staying married for life than couples who engage in premarital sex.
Since God’s gift of our sexuality is about babies and bonding, the Church teaches that it is sinful to take steps to prevent new life through contraception. This was the position of every Christian church until 1930, when the Anglican Church in England approved contraception, but only for married couples “where there is a morally sound reason for avoiding complete abstinence.”
That view quickly spread to America and was approved by the Protestant Federal Council of Churches, which at the same time conceded that “serious evils, such as extramarital relations, might be increased by general knowledge of contraceptives.”
Even The Washington Post, a secular journal, editorialized on March 22, 1931, that the use of contraception “would sound the death knell of marriage as a holy institution by establishing degrading practices which would encourage indiscriminate immorality.”
Every Pope since then and the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) have opposed contraception as a legitimate way of preventing births. In his famous and widely ridiculed encyclical Humanae Vitae, Pope Paul VI predicted in 1968 that if contraception became widespread, four things would happen. He said that there would be less faithfulness in marriage, a general lowering of morality among young people, a loss of respect for women, and government use of this “dangerous weapon” to control population.
Is there any doubt that all these things have come true, even to the point of the government trying today to force Catholic institutions to pay for contraception and abortion-causing devices? When God’s plan is ignored, bad things happen.
Once contraception is accepted, and the life-giving purpose of sexuality is cast aside, then any kind of sexual behavior is allowed, including that between persons of the same sex. But we know that two men or two women cannot be “fertile and multiply” or “become one body,” as God intended, so same-sex relationships are contrary to His plan. Nor can persons of the same sex call their union “marriage” since God said that marriage involves one man and one woman wedded to each other for life. You can call an elephant a canary, but that doesn’t make him a canary. Nor does calling the relationship of two men or two women “marriage” make it marriage.
This is a difficult point to get across, to children as well as adults, because people today base their moral decisions on feelings, not on truth or on how God wants us to live. But the job of a catechist is to present what God teaches, in a sensitive and compassionate way, of course, always distinguishing between the sinner, who is loved by God, and the sin, which is not loved by God. It’s a difficult tightrope to walk since we sound so out of touch with the world around us. But if our students don’t hear the truth from us, where will they hear it?
As for resources with short answers, there is the Youth Catechism of the Catholic Church (known as YOUCAT) and two short books by Pam Stenzel, a nationally known speaker on chastity — Nobody Told Me and Who’s in Your Social Network? Both books feature e-mail exchanges between Stenzel and young people with many questions.
There are also some good books and videos by Jason and Crystalina Evert, and they have a web site (chastityproject.com) that contains commentaries in writing and on videos on such topics as dating, how far is too far, pornography, homosexuality, birth control, STDs, starting over, how to stay pure, and vocations and spirituality. There is much valuable information on this web site that will help catechists teach these important subjects, but the catechist will still have to determine what material is suitable for a particular age group and what the best way would be to present it.

Share Button

2016 The Wanderer Printing Co.

Shocking Report Reveals Scientists Have Created the Word’s First Baby With Three-Parents

A shocking new report claims the world’s first three-parent baby (pictured above) has been born. Children born through ‘three-person IVF’ would contain some genetic material from each of three different people. There are about 50 known mitochondrial diseases (MCDs), which…Continue Reading

Donald Trump Names Rick Santorum and Other Top Pro-Life Catholics as Key Advisers

Fresh from announcing a list of pro-life leaders who are advising him on issues that matter to pro-life voters, Donald Trump has named a group of pro-life Catholic leaders as additional key advisers, including pro-life former presidential candidate Rick Santorum.…Continue Reading

Argentine bishop threatened with prosecution for condemning ‘culture of fornication’

September 20, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – The Catholic archbishop of the Argentinean city of La Plata is under investigation by the country’s “discrimination” police for condemning the modern acceptance of sexual promiscuity and “unnatural” unions, according to local media sources. Archbishop…Continue Reading

First minor killed by euthanasia in Belgium after child euthanasia legalized

BELGIUM, September 19, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) — Belgium’s federal euthanasia commission confirmed Saturday the country’s first instance of child euthanasia, which became legal in 2014. Belgian media suggested the minor killed via lethal injection was 17. Some media also suggested the…Continue Reading

Donald Trump commits to defunding abortion, Planned Parenthood if elected

WASHINGTON, D.C., September 16, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Donald Trump has pledged to end taxpayer funding of abortion in the United States and to defund the nation’s leading abortion provider. In a new, personally signed letter, Mr. Trump attacked “Hillary Clinton’s…Continue Reading

Pope Francis issues motu proprio harmonizing Canon Law codes

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis issued an Apostolic Letter motu proprio on Thursday, in which he brings the basic legal instruments that govern the Latin Church and the Eastern Churches in communion with Rome more closely into accord with one another…Continue Reading

Another “Catholic” Politician trying to redefine the Catholic Faith . . . Devout Catholic™ Kaine breaks with his church on gay marriage, with media blessing

Tim Kaine has officially joined the ranks of Devout Catholic™. How do we know? Because he says he’s Catholic, yet criticizes the church. The Democratic vice presidential nominee played weekend prophet and theologian when he told activists in the Human…Continue Reading

Bishop Morlino’s Move to Ad Orientem Masses in Madison

This past weekend the Most Reverend Robert Morlino, Bishop of the Diocese of Madison, Wisconsin made an announcement of great liturgical importance. Going forward His Excellency will be offering all of his Masses at the Cathedral ad orientem. Make no…Continue Reading

Longtime conservative activist Phyllis Schlafly dead at 92

phillis

Phyllis Schlafly, the iconic pro-family activist who rose to fame in the 1970s when she campaigned against the Equal Rights Amendment, has died at age 92, according to the Eagle Forum, the conservative organization she founded. Schlafly had been an…Continue Reading

Soros’ Catholic useful idiots

By Robert A. Sirico – – Tuesday, August 30, 2016 A most remarkable set of documents was coughed up recently by WikiLeaks. George Soros‘ Open Society Policy Center, it turns out, made donations to two faith-based organizations to the tune…Continue Reading

Pope Francis “gratified” by UN goals that demand “universal access to sexual and reproductive health”

Pope Francis has said that he is “gratified” by UN goals that call on member states to “ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health” by 2030. The term “sexual and reproductive health”, as generally defined, includes access to contraception, including abortifacient methods, and,…Continue Reading

Psychiatrist: The Vatican’s sex ed is the most dangerous threat to youth I’ve seen in 40 years

September 2, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) — In recent years, the Catholic Church has been going through one of her most severe crises as a result of the priestly abuse of youth. The primary victims have been adolescent males.1  This worldwide scandal was…Continue Reading

Newsmax

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our new website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for over 145 years in our weekly print edition. Now we are introducing the online daily version of our print journal.


  Our daily version offers only some of what we publish weekly in print. To take advantage of everything The Wanderer publishes, we encourage you to su
bscribe to our flagship weekly print edition, which is mailed every Friday or, if you want to view it in its entirety online, you can subscribe to the E-edition, which is a replica of the print edition.
 
  Our daily edition includes: a selection of material from recent issues of our print edition, news stories updated daily from renowned news sources, access to archives from The Wanderer from the past 10 years, available at a minimum charge (this will be expanded as time goes on). Also: regularly updated features where we go back in time and highlight various columns and news items covered in The Wanderer over the past 145 years. And: a comments section in which your remarks are encouraged, both good and bad, including suggestions.
 
  We encourage you to become a daily visitor to our site. If you appreciate our site, tell your friends. As Catholics we must band together to rediscover our faith and share it with the world if we are to effectively counter a society whose moral culture seems to have no boundaries and a government whose rapidly extending reach threatens to extinguish the rights of people of faith to practice their religion (witness the HHS mandate). Now more than ever, vehicles like The Wanderer are needed for clarification and guidance on the issues of the day.

Catholic, conservative, orthodox, and loyal to the Magisterium have been this journal’s hallmarks for five generations. God willing, our message will continue well into this century and beyond.

Joseph Matt
President, The Wanderer Printing Co.

Untitled 1

Enter Comments Below

This Weeks Comments And Letters . . .

Culture Of Life 101 . . . “An Introduction To The Problem Of Euthanasia”

By BRIAN CLOWES Part 2 (Editor’s Note: Brian Clowes has been director of research and training at Human Life International since 1995. For an electronic copy of chapter 23 of The Facts of Life, a 150-page treatise on all of the aspects of euthanasia, e-mail him at bclowes@hli.org.) + + + We have covered the definitions of the varieties of…Continue Reading

Today . . .

Emails Show California AG Kamala Harris Teamed Up With Planned Parenthood to Target David Daleiden

New emails show officials in the office of California Attorney General Kamala Harris teamed up with the Planned Parenthood abortion business to target David Daleiden, the pro-life advocate who filmed undercover videos exposing the abortion giant selling aborted baby parts. Earlier this year, California authorities seized a laptop and hard drives containing the video footage collected during Daleiden’s 3-year investigation of Planned Parenthood’s involvement in the illegal sale of aborted baby remains, according to a…Continue Reading

Benedict XVI Admits Qualms of Conscience about Vatican II

After the German publisher Droemer Verlag first released it on 9 September 2016, much has already been deeply discussed and variously reported about Benedict XVI’s new interview-book, Benedikt XVI. Letzte Gespräche (Benedict XVI – Last Conversations) which so far has only been published in the German language. It has been shown, for example, how the former pope supports whole-heartedly Pope Francis’ papacy and how he still defends his decision to leave his Petrine office, not…Continue Reading

">We May Not Have A Church To Go To . . .

Paul Likoudis (RIP)

Calling hours will at Vedder And Scott Funeral home on Tuesday September 27th from 4pm to 7pm. 122 N Genesee Street Montour Falls NY 14865 A Mass of Christian Burial Will Be held at 11am on Wednesday September 28 with a reception to be held immediately following at St. Mary’s of the Lake Church. 905 N. Decatur Street Watkins Glen NY 14891 Dear Friends, Paul Augustine Likoudis, age 61 of Caywood, NY, passed away due…Continue Reading

500 Catholic scholars lash back at Humanae Vitae critics

Washington D.C., Sep 20, 2016 / 03:53 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Nearly 50 years after the “prophetic” papal document Humanae Vitae, the Catholic Church’s longstanding teaching against contraception continues to promote the human good, said a group of Catholic thinkers on Tuesday. “We hold that Catholic teaching respects the true dignity of the human person and is conducive to happiness,” said hundreds of Catholic scholars in a Sept. 20 document. “Humanae Vitae speaks against the distorted…Continue Reading

Homily For The Funeral Mass of Phyllis Schlafly

By FR. BRIAN HARRISON, O.S. (Editor’s Note: Fr. Harrison concelebrated and gave the homily at the funeral Mass for Phyllis Schlafly held on September 10, at the St. Louis Cathedral Basilica. reprinted with permission.) + + + Dear Friends — Whenever Christian believers gather in God’s house to mark the passing from this life of someone…Continue Reading

Obama: God-Given Rights “Was A Radical Idea”

By TERENCE P. JEFFREY President Barack Obama affirmed this week that the Declaration of Independence recognizes that “individual human beings” have “God-given rights.” Yet, he insisted this was a “radical idea” at the time of the founding. Were he right — which he is not — history would see it as one radical idea Obama…Continue Reading

Never Trump? . . . The Case Against “Sitting Out” The Presidential Election

By BRIAN CLOWES Conclusion (Editor’s Note: To receive an electronic copy of this four-part article with footnotes, e-mail Brian Clowes at bclowes@hli.org.) + + + “When you have a binary choice, you must make a decision. It’s frankly irresponsible to stay on the sidelines right now, given where the republic is heading” — Marjorie Dannenfelser,…Continue Reading

Bibi Backs Trump — On Putin

By PATRICK J. BUCHANAN Since Donald Trump said that if Vladimir Putin praises him, he would return the compliment, Republican outrage has not abated. Arriving on Capitol Hill to repair ties between Trump and party elites, Gov. Mike Pence was taken straight to the woodshed. John McCain told Pence that Putin was a “thug and…Continue Reading

Sex On The Brain

By DONALD DeMARCO The late Malcolm Muggeridge, who, in his later years, had some sensible things to say about human sexuality, lamented that people “have sex on the brain, and that’s an unhealthy place for it to be.” What he meant by this remark was based on his observation that sex, which is a natural…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

The Faithfulness Of Converts

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Twenty-Eighth Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR C) Readings: 2 Kings 5:14-17 2 Tim. 2:8-13 Luke 17:11-19 There is an old saying that states that converts make the best Catholics. There are, of course, several reasons for this; there are also numerous exceptions to this rule that can be easily demonstrated in the lives of the saints.…Continue Reading

The Role Of The Sacred Liturgy In Developing A Catholic Conscience

By FRANCIS CARDINAL ARINZE Part 2 (Editor’s Note: Francis Cardinal Arinze of Nigeria, prefect emeritus of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, delivered this lecture at The Church Teaches Forum in Louisville, Ky., July 16, 2016. (The lecture is reprinted here with permission; all rights reserved. We are presenting it in two parts because of…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World . . . How Catholics End Up As Practical Protestants

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK The Church is in the business of making Catholics, of proclaiming and calling all to the fullness of saving truth in Jesus Christ our Lord. Our mission to those who doubt or refuse some of our teachings is to call them to that fullness, whether Catholics already in our pews or Protestant brothers and sisters…Continue Reading

What Is Faith?… Is Faith Necessary For Salvation?

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM For most of us who are cradle Catholics, it is not difficult to believe, since we received the theological virtue of faith in Baptism and grew up with it. Our parents and/or teachers taught us all about the Bible stories, the catechism, the sacraments. We learned to pray the Creed from an early age, and…Continue Reading

The Necessity Of Baptism

By DON FIER The Church’s immemorial tradition of baptizing infants demonstrates in a particular way one of the great truths of our Catholic faith — that every human person is in need of salvation. Born into this world afflicted with original sin, “a sin which is the death of the soul” (Catechism of the Catholic Church [CCC], n. 403), even…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. John Of Capistrano

By CAROLE BRESLIN In Texas there is an old building that is part of the Missions National Historical Park of the National Park Service near San Antonio, Texas. This restored mission was founded in 1731 on the San Antonio River by the Franciscans and named after the soldier saint, St. John of Capistrano. In San Juan Capistrano, Calif., the Franciscans…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… Blessed Bernardina Maria Jablonska

By CAROLE BRESLIN Some people look back on their lives and see how differently things turned out from what they had planned. A professor once told his business students that very few students work in the field they studied in college. If someone had told the young Bernardina Maria Jablonska that she would be the superior of a religious order…Continue Reading