Tuesday 29th July 2014

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

Comment on this Article:

The Church Needs To Stop Taking Government Money

by ELISE HILTON on FRIDAY, JULY 25, 2014 Phil Lawler at CatholicCulture.org voices what should be obvious: that by taking federal money and grants, the Catholic Church has put herself in a very awkward place. Money from the government always comes with strings attached,…Continue Reading

U.S. Considering Refugee Status for Hondurans

By FRANCES ROBLES and MICHAEL D. SHEARJULY 24, 2014 Hoping to stem the recent surge of migrants at the Southwest border, the Obama administration is considering whether to allow hundreds of minors and young adults from Honduras into the United States without making…Continue Reading

Marco Rubio To Take On Abortion and Gay Marriage in Catholic U Speech

Senator Marco Rubio (R., Fla.) plans to take on social and cultural issues in the latest installment of his policy speeches outlining a new conservative agenda. “Senator Rubio will discuss the values needed for economic success in the 21st century: values like…Continue Reading

USCCB Chairmen Respond To ‘Unprecedented and Extreme’ Executive Order

The executive order prohibits “gender identity” discrimination, a prohibition that is previously unknown at the federal level, and that is predicated on the false idea that “gender” is nothing more than a social construct or psychological reality that can be…Continue Reading

Dallas-Fort Worth Catholic leaders appeal for legal help in border crisis

Dallas Bishop Kevin Farrell (center) and Fort Worth Bishop Michael Olson on Monday asked for volunteers to assist with a “humanitarian crisis.” By DIANNE SOLÍS Staff Writer dsolís@dallasnews.com Published: 21 July 2014 10:32 PM Updated: 22 July 2014 12:21 AM Dallas Catholic…Continue Reading

Iraq Catholic leader says Islamic State worse than Genghis Khan

By Dominic Evans and Raheem Salman BAGHDAD (Reuters) – The head of Iraq’s largest church said on Sunday that Islamic State militants who drove Christians out of Mosul were worse than Mongol leader Genghis Khan and his grandson Hulagu who…Continue Reading

CHRISTIAN HOLOCAUST UNDERWAY IN IRAQ, USA AND WORLD LOOK ON

When U.S. troops invaded Iraq in 2003, there were at least 1.5 million Christians in Iraq. Over the last ten years, significantly in the last few months with the emergence of ISIS, that figure has dropped to about 400,000. In a…Continue Reading

Vancouver Catholic Schools Adopt Transgender Policy

James Keller, The Canadian Press Published Wednesday, July 16, 2014 7:20PM EDT Last Updated Thursday, July 17, 2014 7:24AM EDT VANCOUVER — Catholic schools in Vancouver have adopted a policy that could allow transgender students to use the pronouns, uniforms…Continue Reading

New Catholic Bishops Say Civil Disobedience OK If For Common Good

Newly appointed auxiliary bishops, two Catholic clergymen suggest Occupy Central could be just, while third weighs in on reform report St Two auxiliary bishops newly appointed by the Vatican have spoken out about the Occupy Central campaign, saying the church supports…Continue Reading

Skeptics And The Claims Of The Catholic Church Seventeen Reasons Scoffers Ought To Rethink Catholicism, If They Really Thought About It

July 11, 2014 05:09 EST By Thomas M. Doran In today’s world, isn’t it crazy to appeal to scoffers to consider Catholicism? Why would a rational modern man or woman in the 21st century be attracted to what the world and…Continue Reading

The Obama Administration’s Border-Crisis Plan B: Use the Catholic Church

The federal government reaches out to a California diocese to help shelter illegal immigrants in California. By Ryan Lovelace In order to avoid future clashes with the citizens of Murrieta, Calif., over attempts to transfer illegal immigrants there, the Obama administration has turned to…Continue Reading

A New Low For Liberals: Attacking Catholic Nuns Over Hobby Lobby

I’m a big fan of absurdity in politics. But even absurdity has its limits, and the National Organization for Women has surpassed it in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision inBurwell v. Hobby Lobby. As part of its full-throated…Continue Reading

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 subscribe 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

'From our friends at The Foundry'


Today . . .

Pope’s Angelus Address, Sunday July 27th

pope361

“Everything makes sense when you find this treasure, which Jesus called “the Kingdom of God,” that is, God reigning in your life, in our lives.” Vatican City, July 27, 2014 (Zenit.org) At 12pm today, Pope Francis appeared at the window of the study in the Apostolic Palace to pray the Angelus with faithful and pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square. Here below…Continue Reading

The Day Of The Hawk

By PATRICK J. BUCHANAN The bombing of Pan Am 103 over Lockerbie was premeditated mass murder. Qadhafi was taking revenge for Reagan’s raid on Tripoli in 1986. The downing of KAL 007, flying from Anchorage to Seoul, was mass murder in the second degree. Seeing an aircraft intrude into Russian air space, Soviet officers brutally…Continue Reading

Will John Roberts Decide A “State” Is Not A “State”?

By TERENCE P. JEFFREY The Supreme Court may soon need to decide whether the federal government can be considered a “state” in our federal republic in the same sense that Iowa, Wyoming, and Wisconsin are states. On the face of it, this question may seem absurd. In fact, given any level of reflection, it is…Continue Reading

Assisted Suicide In England… Life And Death Under Debate

By FR. JOHN FLYNN, LC (Editor’s Note: Fr. Flynn is a columnist for ZENIT News Agency, which provided this commentary. All rights reserved.) +    +    + A bill to legalize assisted suicide has been introduced into Britain’s House of Lords by Lord Falconer, previously lord chancellor under Labor Prime Minister Tony Blair, and it is…Continue Reading

Anglican Women Bishops — An Obstacle To Unity?

By FR. DWIGHT LONGENECKER (Editor’s Note: Fr. Dwight Longenecker is an American who has spent most of his life living and working in England. He studied theology at Oxford University. He was eventually ordained as an Anglican priest and served as a curate, a school chaplain in Cambridge, and a country parson on the Isle…Continue Reading

Homosexuality And The Future Of Marriage

By JOHN F. KIPPLEY (Editor’s Note: John F. Kippley is the author of Sex and the Marriage Covenant: A Basis for Morality and other books and articles. With his wife Sheila, he is a coauthor of Natural Family Planning: The Complete Approach. The commentary below is reprinted with permission from his blog at johnkippley.com. All…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

A Leaven In The World . . . Iraqi Christian Witness In Face Of Genocide Inspires

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK “O Lord, my God, in thee have I put my trust; save me from all them that persecute me, and deliver me. Lest at any time he seize upon my soul like a lion, while there is no one to redeem me, nor to save” (Psalm 7). The words of the psalm express the perennial…Continue Reading

Is The Rosary A Prayer Of “Vain Repetitions”?

By RAYMOND de SOUZA, KM Part 4 The Pharisee and the publican — improvised prayer and repetitive prayer: “Two men went up to the Temple to pray, the one a Pharisee and the other a publican. The Pharisee stood and began to pray thus within himself: ‘O God, I thank you that I am not like the rest of men,…Continue Reading

The Characteristics Of Faith

By DON FIER Faith, or the obedience of faith, was characterized in last week’s installment on the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) as man’s most fitting and proper response to God’s self-revelation. Fr. John A. Hardon, SJ, concisely defines this assent to all God has revealed as “the free submission to God’s Word because its truth is guaranteed by…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Q. Jesus says that we are to learn from Him, He who is meek and humble of heart. But Jesus was not always meek and humble of heart. He talked back to the Scribes and Pharisees, He drove the moneychangers out of the Temple, He talked back to the Sanhedrin, He wasn’t bashful about claiming to be the Son of…Continue Reading

Jesus Walks Through Trials With Us

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Eighteenth Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR A) Readings: Isaiah 55:1-3 Romans 8:35, 37-39 Matt. 14:13-21 In the second reading today St. Paul asks the question of what can separate us from the love of Christ. He then gives a few examples of what people might think will separate us from God; anguish, distress, persecution, famine, nakedness,…Continue Reading

Cast A Gauntlet – Sola Scriptura: Part 1

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Alphonsus Liguori

By CAROLE BRESLIN Part 1 Fr. John A. Hardon, SJ, having read the works of St. Alphonsus Liguori, took him as a mentor. It is not surprising, then, that Fr. Hardon taught his students, “If you are not encountering the cross, you are not doing God’s work.” Such were the lives of saints such as St. Teresa of Avila, St.…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Benedict

By CAROLE BRESLIN Every month the Apostleship of Prayer publishes the intentions of the Holy Father: one for a universal intention and one for an evangelical intention. In June 2014, the evangelical intention was that Europe may rediscover its Christian roots through the witness of believers. The advent of Christian civilization coincided with the advent of Western civilization. The Benedictine…Continue Reading

What to Do If Your Boyfriend Wants You to Get an Abortion?

by Krisi Burton Brown | Washington, DC | LifeNews.com | 2/20/14 4:00 PM Washington, DC (LiveActionNews) — Note: This article is for any girl or woman who is feeling pressured into having an abortion. If you are a guy who is trying to find out how to stop an abortion, please see this article written for dads. 1.  Stand your…Continue Reading

It’s Time to Build Schools, from the Ground Up

February 13, 2014 by Anthony Esolen   It might have been worth repairing, if it had once been noble and beautiful, or at least conceived in an orderly way, for ordinary human purposes. But it wasn’t. It was constructed upon false principles. Its walls looked like those of a bad factory. It smelled like a warehouse. It could be terribly…Continue Reading

Why I am Pro-Life

February 4, 2014   Pro-Lifers   By Therese Recinella   Editor’s note. This tribute was posted on Therese Recinella’s Facebook account. She is graciously allowing us to reprint it in NRL News Today.   There are many things that I could say about my Dad, but what I want people to know is this: My parents faithfully raised 8 children…Continue Reading

Fathers . . . The Essential Role of the Father

Posted on February 10, 2014 by The Catholic Gentleman 13 Comments   Divorce rates skyrocketing; adultery rampant; non-married cohabitating couples; children abandoned by their fathers or mothers; “same-sex unions” adopting children and calling this the “modern family”; pornography invading homes, leading to powerful addictions and total alienation from other members of the family: all of this is a bird’s eye view…Continue Reading

How Much is One Billion Dollars?

This article appeared in the March 20, 1941 issue of The Wanderer. (Well, 70 years later we can add 15 trillion into the example.) Here’s a simple and homely illustration of what one billion dollars amounts to: Suppose we take an imaginary boy, aged 15 years, and assign to him the task of counting one billion dollars in one-dollar bills.…Continue Reading

Planned Parenthood

This article appeared in The Wanderer, April 3, 1941.  (WOW, Look what we have 70 years later.) A group which calls itself the National Committee for Planned Parenthood has begun a nationwide campaign to have the promotion of birth control included in State and national health programs. The committee—which, according to propaganda sheets reaching our desk has a branch in…Continue Reading

Questions of Non-Catholics . . . Answered by Father Richard Felix, O.S.B.

Reprinted from The Wanderer April 10, 1941 Why Does God allow us to be tempted? God allows us to be tempted so that we may prove our attachment to him and merit a higher place in heaven. Temptations are the lot of all men; they are the battle ground upon which heaven is won or lost. “The kingdom of heaven…Continue Reading