16 Responses to Pastoral of English and Welsh Bishops on Sex Education (1944)

  1. Frere Rabit says:

    I have no idea what your purpose is in quoting this long, boring, and quite irrelevant document. However, some of us have the (unfortunate and unglamorous) professional task of teaching sex education in the classroom, and I would like to see how clever you might be in doing the job!

    But there is a more important point here. Years ago, while doing my teacher training, and acquainting myself with the full range of child development issues, beyond simply sex education (!), I discovered John Bowlby. If you have never begun to understand how teachers work with children, Shane, then please realise this: some of us have a sensitivity that we bring to our work with children, not just a dogma or a social theory; but we are widely read and also experienced human beings with a broad experience of life. It’s not just theory, and – by the way – Catholic dogma is as dodgy as it gets when it looks at educating kids!


  2. The Raven says:


    You are being a little unfair to Shane: from the admittedly little that I know of you, I suspect that you are an inspirational teacher (exhibiting all the necessary attributes of lunacy and devotion necessary to your calling); most of the people that taught me fell very far short of your standard. (I am sorry if this is a little back-handed, but it is intended as a sincere compliment).


  3. Frere Rabit says:

    Yes, Raven: I am indeed an exciting teacher. Some of us tired of the word ‘inspirational’ many years ago; it was over-used in the Blairite education/education/education years, (in which little education happened) so I would not want to be called ‘inspirational’. Yes, I do lunacy and devotion, and if there’s any money left at the end of the month it usually goes into subsidising the materials needed to do the job well. Call it vocation if you like. Or just call it getting the job done for the sake of the kids.


  4. Brother Burrito says:

    I don’t teach kids, sadly, only adults.

    It is WARFARE all the same. All is fair…., especially when teaching the young. They are natural guerrillas. I have only the highest possible respect for teachers. They have the most important and difficult job on the planet, especially nowadays. (I very nearly left medicine to become a teacher, but cowardice won out). Frere (Che?) Rabit, I salute you!

    And I wish you had been one of my teachers years ago.


  5. manus2 says:

    Except for the speling, obviously.


  6. shane says:

    Frere Rabit, I am not quite sure where that came from. If you don’t want to read what I post then please don’t.


  7. Frere Rabit says:

    Shane, my comment is merely intended to express an opinion on a post which I have suggested has little relevance in the current climate of education. Maybe you could argue the case for its relevance – since you think it worth posting – rather than assume that we will all quite naturally admire the wisdom.


  8. shane says:

    Frere Rabit, if you take issue with the document maybe you could actually critique it instead of simply dismissing it as self-evidently “long, boring, and quite irrelevant”.

    I posted it, obviously, because I thought some people might like to read it. If you wish to challenge its points or make reference to your own expertise, do so, but please avoid the nasty and cranky personal comments.


  9. Gertrude says:

    “It is not so much information as formation which is required ”

    And thereby (for me) lies the crux of this Pastoral letter. I am not a teacher, but it seems to me that the purpose of this is to put sex education back into the hands of the family. Now this might have been more possible in 1944 when families where perhaps much closer, both geographically and socially, than they might be today, but the point is still a valid one when you consider that in Catholic schools today there are battles being waged to provide contraception advice, morning after pill etc. Sure – we have become a much more fragmented society, but I am suprised anyone could argue with the relevance of putting the family first in these matters in a background of our faith. Even our Government (whatever its faults) have come to realise that the art of good parenting has been lost.
    1944 – is a little before my time, but I do recall when Pastoral Letters where handed out to each parishioner at Mass. This one would have been taken home and read thoroughly. I am sure there are lessons to be learnt.
    It is also worth remembering that 1944 was a period of extreme social change. WW2 had not ended, and promiscuity was more of a problem with a ‘who knows if we’ll be alive tomorrow’ attitude. The Bishops were responding to what was a very real problem. It is suprising how little things change.


  10. shane says:

    I agree with Gertrude. The pastoral is very much concerned with the family and its rights.

    And furthermore why should I give a damn whether or not my post is *relevant* to “the current climate of education”? Catholicism Pure and Simple, as the name suggests, is a blog dedicated to orthodox Catholicism, not theories of education. A pastoral letter from bishops on the application of Church teaching -irrespective of the issue- is ipso facto *relevant*.


  11. Frere Rabit says:

    Yes, well, happy new year everyone. Keep up the good work… 🙂


  12. Mimi says:

    “Yes, well, happy new year everyone. Keep up the good work… ”

    I guess that translates as:

    “I’ve started a fight — my work here is done …”


  13. Frere Rabit says:

    No, Mini, it simply means happy new year everyone and keep up the good work. If I express an personal opinion and someone takes exception to it, that is what happens on blogs. It is not the same as ‘starting a fight’ – but I take your point: I am indeed unwelcome here. Thanks.


  14. The Raven says:

    Whoa there folks, a little caritas please! You are all welcome here, especially the Rabit!


  15. piliersdelaterre says:

    I thought that this article was interesting precisely insofar as it shows how different (and distinctive and authoritative) was the Catholic attitude to sex education then and now. That makes it relevant surely, Rabit, sir?
    Anyway, we live now in such a technologically breathtaking time- no wonder sex is considered as yet more technology. Maybe, if people came to see beyond the whole mystique of faster, freer, ever-improving information/communication, they would also find a new reverence for restrictions, caution, complexity- intricate communication- and the possible (artistic/romantic) truth that human love actually might thrive on difficulty, in order to blossom, deepen and refine its expression.
    Shallowness seems to me the worst side-effect (leaving aside any moral consideration).


  16. Pingback: Key points for communication in current discussions of marriage and family | Voice of the Family

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s