At World Youth Day, Vatican releases teen sex-ed program that leaves out parents and mortal sin


The_meeting_point-main_photo_810_500_55_s_c1Update: The Vatican’s full program has been published at the website run by the Pontifical Council for the Family here, however some have been experiencing difficulties accessing the site.

Editor’s Note: A slide show of problematic content in the Vatican sex ed program is available here. (Caution: Sexually explicit images.)


ROME, July 27, 2016 (LifeSiteNews)

“More souls go to hell because of sins of the flesh than for any other reason,” Our Lady of Fatima warned the three young seers in 1917. But this message, unfortunately, is entirely absent from the Vatican’s newly released sex-ed program for teens. Instead, sexual sins are not mentioned at all. The 6th and 9th commandments are ignored while sexually explicit images and immoral videos are used as springboards for discussion.

The program titled “The Meeting Point: Course of Affective Sexual Education for Young People” was released last week by the Pontifical Council for the Family to be presented this week to young people at World Youth Day in Poland.

While the program has been in the process of development by married couples in Spain for a number of years, it appears to have received impetus to be completed by Pope Francis’ April Exhortation on marriage and the family, Amoris Laetitia. In the exhortation, the Pope speaks about the “need for sex education” to be addressed by “educational institutions,” a move that alarmed global life-and-family leaders since the Catholic Church has always recognized and taught — often in the face of opposition from world powers — that sex education is the “basic right and duty of parents.”

The Vatican’s sex-ed is broken down into six units that are to be taught over a period of four years (grades 9-12) to male and female students in mixed classes.

View all the lessons and teacher guides at the program’s website here.

The new program being put forward by the Pontifical Council for the Family appears to be a departure from what the Church’s magisterium has long taught on sex education. For example:

  • Pope Pius XI, in his 1929 encyclical on Christian education, Divini Illius Magistri, speaks about sex instruction in a private setting by parents, not in classrooms, stating that if “some private instruction is found necessary and opportune, from those who hold from God the commission to teach and have the grace of state, every precaution must be taken. Such precautions are well known in traditional Christian education. … Hence it is of the highest importance that a good father, while discussing with his son a matter so delicate, should be well on his guard not to descend to details.” He adds: “Speaking generally, during the period of childhood, it suffices to employ those remedies which produce the double effect of opening the door to the virtue of purity and closing the door upon vice.”
  • Pope Pius XII, in his 1951 address to fathers of families, warns against propaganda, even from “Catholic sources,” which “exaggerates out of all proportion the importance and significance of the sexual element. … Their manner of explaining sexual life is such that it acquires in the mind and conscience of the average reader the idea and value of an end in itself, making him lose sight of the true primordial purpose of matrimony, which is the procreation and upbringing of children, and the grave duty of married couples as regards this purpose—something which the literature of which We are speaking leaves too much in the background.”
  • Pope St. John Paul II, in his 1981 apostolic exhortation Familiaris Consortio, calls sex education a “basic right and duty of parents” which “must always be carried out under their attentive guidance, whether at home or in educational centers chosen and controlled by them.” He adds: “Christian parents, discerning the signs of God’s Will, will devote special attention and care to educate in virginity or celibacy as the supreme form of that self-giving that constitutes the very meaning of human sexuality.”
  • The Sacred Congregation for Catholic Education, in its 1983 Educational Guidelines in Human Love, writes that the “fact remains ever valid that in regard to the more intimate aspects [of sexual education], whether biological or affective, an individual education should be bestowed, preferably within the sphere of the family.”

While the new Vatican program has many positive qualities, its defects cannot be underestimated. These include:

  • Handing the sexual formation of children over to educators while leaving parents out of the equation.
  • Failing to name and condemn sexual behaviors, such as fornication, prostitution, adultery, contracepted-sex, homosexual activity, and masturbation, as objectively sinful actions that destroy charity in the heart and turn one away from God.
  • Failing to warn youths about the possibility of eternal separation from God (damnation) for committing grave sexual sins. Hell is not mentioned once.
  • Failing to distinguish between mortal and venial sin.
  • Failing to speak about the 6th and 9th commandment, or any other commandment.
  • Failing to teach about the sacrament of confession as a way of restoring relationship with God after committing grave sin.
  • Not mentioning a healthy sense of shame when it comes to the body and sexuality.
  • Teaching boys and girls together in the same class.
  • Having boys and girls share together in class their understanding of phrasessuch as: “What does the word sex suggest to you?”
  • Asking a mixed class to “point out where sexuality is located in boys and girls.”
  • Speaking about the “process of arousal.”
  • Using sexually explicit and suggestive images in activity workbooks (herehere, and here).
  • Recommending various sexually explicit movies as springboards for discussion (see below for links).
  • Failing to speak about abortion as gravely wrong, but only that it causes “strong psychological damage.”
  • Confusing youths by using phrases such as “sexual relationship” to indicate not the sexual act, but a relationship focused on the whole person.
  • Speaking of “heterosexuality” as something to be “discover[ed].”
  • Using gay icon Elton John (while not mentioning his activism) as an example of a gifted and famous person.
  • Endorsing the “dating” paradigm as a step towards marriage.
  • Not stressing celibacy as the supreme form of self-giving that constitutes the very meaning of human sexuality.
  • Failing to mention Christ’s teaching on marriage.
  • Treating sexuality as a separate subject instead of as something integrated into the doctrinal and moral teachings of the Church.

View Slide Show: What’s in the Vatican’s new sex-ed program? (CAUTION: Sexually explicit images.)

Positive qualities include:

  • Drawing from Saint John Paul II’s teachings in Theology of the Body and Love and Responsibility for an understanding of personhood, the language of the body, the spousal dimension of the body, and the body/soul unity of the person.
  • Teaching that the human person is either male or female. No gender theory here.
  • Teaching that men and women complement each other through sexual difference.
  • Teaching that men and woman are equal in dignity, but are different physically and emotionally. No radical feminism here.
  • Teaching about modesty and chastity as virtues, but not until later units. Chastity is defined as the “light which guides us to give an inviolate love.”
  • Teaching the importance of freedom in the moral life. Freedom is defined as the “capacity to do what is good.”
  • Speaking about “concupiscence” as a “darkness prevent[ing] us from seeing the fullness of the person in a proper and complete way.”
  • Briefly mentioning how love can be separated from procreation, but not explaining the specific evil.
  • Teaching about the importance of “self-control” and “self-mastery” in order to truly give yourself to another person.
  • Speaking about “misplaced love” which manifests itself as “narcissism” and “masturbation,” but no mention of sin.
  • Speaking about purity as the “virtue that disposes us to treat our body with ‘holiness and honor.’”
  • Briefly mentioning the “sanctity of life.”
  • Speaking about virginity as a way to “respond to the call to love.”
  • Promoting chastity before marriage.

Of urgent concern with the program is the number of films recommended by the program as a springboard for discussion that cannot be construed as anything but sexually immoral. For example:

  • Unit 4 recommends the 2013 R-rated film “To the Wonder” to discuss the “call to the donation of oneself.” Focus on the Family describes the sexual content in this way [WARNING–EXPLICIT]: “So while love is the primary focus of To the Wonder, sex becomes an integral part of its expression. Both Neil and Jane, and Neil and Marina, engage in explicitly rendered intercourse. Nudity stops just short of full; motions and sounds are passionate, erotic, titillating and extended—the blending of bodies to suggest complete intimacy. There’s the visual suggestion that Neil and Marina have sex in the coach compartment on a train. An (almost) oral sex scene is used to express distance and dissatisfaction.”
  • Unit 6 recommends the 2010 R-rated film “Love & other Drugs” to “reflect[] on the part of the formula with which a man and a woman express their mutual consent to contract marriage.” Focus on the Family describes the sexual content in this way [WARNING–EXPLICIT]: “For a good chunk of the film, Jamie and Maggie seem to be in a constant state of lovemaking. They smash into cabinets, writhe on the floor, pant and moan, engage in oral sex and loudly express their orgasmic responses. Audiences see both of them completely naked. (Only their pubic regions escape the frame.) It’s pretty explicit stuff…Later, after Maggie and Jamie tape one of their sexual escapades, Josh finds it and watches it. It’s implied that he masturbates while doing so. And he spends the rest of the film making crude comments about his brother’s anatomy.”
  • Unit 2 recommends the 2013 film “Stockholm” to raise the question, “Is it really worth it to give myself to the first person that approaches me?” Hollywood Reporter describes the film as a “cat-and-mouse” game where the man “expertly dresses up his desire for sex with her as real feeling” while “quizzes him about his real motives for his interest in her.”  After the “commitment of sex has happened,” which appears to be graphically depicted based on previews, the couple starts to find out “who they really are and that they’re seeking entirely different things.”

The film selection reveals a startling lack of moral compass in the program creators, something that should alarm any parent thinking of allowing their child to be formed by this program.

One pro-family campaigner against Planned Parenthood’s explicit version of sex-ed gave this comment, under condition of anonymity, about the Vatican’s sex-ed program: “I had a hard time deciding if the authors were trying to cleverly disguise a bad program or if they were just thoroughly incompetent. They tried to interweave modern day movies to support the vague concepts they were trying to get across, but, how they did that was not very effective. Why the erotic pictures that bordered on porn? I thought the whole thing would be confusing to youth and frankly a large waste of time.”

In one activity, youths are asked to look at a picture of an older couple who are sitting in front of an image of a “young man and woman, joining their half-naked bodies in a hug.” They are asked: “Which of the two couples is having a sexual relationship?” The teaching guide states: “The objective is for the young person to feel ‘provoked’ in front of these two images, or even confused by the title of the topic and the image presented.” And that is the essential problem with this program: Young people will simply be confused by the conflicting messages, the explicit images and films, and the lack of moral directives.

In the end, the Vatican’s sex-ed program might at best be described as a mixed bag and at worst as a misguided effort that falls very much short of the mark. While the casual reader can point to various texts that suggest that the program is aimed at promoting modesty, abstinence, and saving sexual relations for marriage, there is nevertheless something quite disturbing happening between the lines.

Because of the program’s failure to honor the God-given role of parents as primary educator, its utter failure to name and condemn various sexual sins, and its use of sexual explicit materials and films, the program not only fails to achieve its goal, but it could arguably have the opposite effect of awakening in youths disordered sexual desire and giving them the impetus to act out sexual fantasies. The program attempts to instruct young people about the importance of modesty, chastity, and intimacy and does so by violating the very values it is trying to instill. In this way it is self-defeating. In short, the program could lead youths not closer to God, but further away from him.

One might go as far as conjecturing that had the sainted Maria Goretti been formed by the Vatican’s sex-ed program, it is unlikely that she would have had any heroic words of virtue to say to her sexual attacker. She would not have been formed to say: “No! It is a sin! God does not want it!” She would not have learned that what her attacker wanted was an offense against God. Nor would have Saint Dominic Savio, in the same vein, been able to say: “Death rather than sin,” because he would not have learned about the horror of sin. A program in sexual morality that fails to teach young people to live the Gospel without compromise is unworthy of being taught.

Pete Baklinski has a B.A. in Liberal Arts and a Masters in Theology with a Specialization on Marriage and the Family (STM). He is married to Erin. Together they have six children.

Further reading:

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10 Responses to At World Youth Day, Vatican releases teen sex-ed program that leaves out parents and mortal sin

  1. Mother of God, when will your Son end the ongoing disaster of this pontificate? He promised that the gates of hell would not prevail against His Church, but will this pope prevail?


  2. Roger says:

    Purification means that what is hidden is exposed. This is what Heaven is doing.
    The Wise and Prudent are placed side by side with mere children (Fatima). What is conveniently forgotten is the State of Portugal at the time of Fatima.
    The gates of Hell will not prevail against His Church. But what is rotten will Fall.


  3. JabbaPapa says:

    I saw this yesterday, and it’s inexcusably ghastly.


  4. kathleen says:

    I saw this yesterday, and it’s inexcusably ghastly.

    It most certainly is, Jabba, and to think that this corruptive sex-ed programme for our young comes from the Vatican itself is truly very alarming. Do these men who have put this programme together have no fear of God’s judgement on those who pervert and harm innocent souls?

    The danger in this programme (AFAICS) is that it is a scheming mixture of the Catholic Church’s proper teaching on chastity and sex (love-making) as God’s gift to mankind for marriage and pro-creation, with unmistakable elements of lusty arousal images, texts and recommended erotic films aimed at separating sex from marriage and encouraging sexual immorality.
    Therefore, those who are its authors have added a drop of poison aimed at corrupting the whole. This, we may surmise, must have been deliberate.

    That “smoke of Satan” Paul VI recognised had infiltrated the Church way back in the 60s is smouldering still. Millstones around necks with drownings in the depths of the sea, come to mind here! (Matthew 18:6)


  5. JabbaPapa says:

    kathleen, I’m looking at it more closely.

    It’s clearly a document of Spanish-language origin, and I can see that Module 2 is quite stunningly actually actively promoting the “dating culture” (and its implicit promiscuity) as being unreservedly positive.

    More fundamentally, it’s also promoting the fundamentally Modernist and Relativist Heresies that truth is a multi-choice option that each individual freely chooses for themself. It falsely describes Christian morality as just a set of “guidelines”, which is of course fundamentally Protestant — looks like just one more uncatholic derivative from the false “alpha” programme in its false ecumenism.

    The notion of “freedom” or “liberty” is unsurprisingly NOT founded upon the Catholic Dogma of Free Will, but on political, Americanist notions from modern society, not those of our Church.

    It uses the word “transcendental” but there is no genuine Christ-centric presentation at all, really, none of the Last Things which can truly serve to ground a Christian moral life towards God, in but against the world. All is presented in a shabby materialist manner grounded in politics and psychology, not Religion and Spirituality. Of course the political and the social aspects should play a large part in such material, but surely not to the detriment of the Faith !!

    It’s quite clearly based on certain particular transient problems in Spanish political debate, including a contemporary rejection of Franquist Catholic over-rigidity by embracing radically liberalist café catholicism in its stead. These difficult local problems should never, of course, have been presented by the Vatican as being universally valid throughout the Church for all of our youth.

    The section on marriage is a lot better than the rest of it, but it’s *still* flawed by the deeply erroneous conception of the document as a whole that these are worldly matters so that they have purely worldly solutions. There is NO real suggestion that the Sacraments are central to the Catholic vision of these things, nor any supernatural dimension to any of these matters of identity, love, or marriage. The Church herself is barely mentioned at all !!!

    A quite awful document …


  6. JabbaPapa says:

    Romantic love and sexual desire are idealised above all else, so pandering to the false modern notion that sexual attraction –> “love” –> dating –> marriage.

    There is NO meaningful advice about the related difficulties in actual relationships except for the most abstract notions of narcissism versus love. The notion of fidelity as a core virtue is barely touched upon, and the risks of fornication, adultery, divorce, desires for remarriage and so on are not even mentioned.

    It’s like an “Amoris Laetitia for Dummies“, with all of the Disciplinary and Dogmatic content edited out, in favour of its more ambiguous or footnotey marginalia.

    The very existence of homosexuality is simply swept under the carpet, so that the document is entirely useless towards those suffering from such urges, and instead of a strong (even simplified) philosophical, theological, disciplinary, pastoral grounding in the purpose of love, such as the John Paul II drafted / Benedict XVI written Deus Caritas Est, people are presented with a set of normative secular bourgeois values that have little of the genuinely Christian about them.

    Benedict XVI Deus Caritas Est, 6 : It is part of love’s growth towards higher levels and inward purification that it now seeks to become definitive, and it does so in a twofold sense: both in the sense of exclusivity (this particular person alone) and in the sense of being “for ever”. Love embraces the whole of existence in each of its dimensions, including the dimension of time. It could hardly be otherwise, since its promise looks towards its definitive goal: love looks to the eternal. Love is indeed “ecstasy”, not in the sense of a moment of intoxication, but rather as a journey, an ongoing exodus out of the closed inward-looking self towards its liberation through self-giving, and thus towards authentic self-discovery and indeed the discovery of God: “Whoever seeks to gain his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life will preserve it” (Lk 17:33), as Jesus says throughout the Gospels (cf. Mt 10:39; 16:25; Mk 8:35; Lk 9:24; Jn 12:25). In these words, Jesus portrays his own path, which leads through the Cross to the Resurrection: the path of the grain of wheat that falls to the ground and dies, and in this way bears much fruit. Starting from the depths of his own sacrifice and of the love that reaches fulfilment therein, he also portrays in these words the essence of love and indeed of human life itself.

    8 : We have thus come to an initial, albeit still somewhat generic response to the two questions raised earlier. Fundamentally, “love” is a single reality, but with different dimensions; at different times, one or other dimension may emerge more clearly. Yet when the two dimensions are totally cut off from one another, the result is a caricature or at least an impoverished form of love. And we have also seen, synthetically, that biblical faith does not set up a parallel universe, or one opposed to that primordial human phenomenon which is love, but rather accepts the whole man; it intervenes in his search for love in order to purify it and to reveal new dimensions of it. This newness of biblical faith is shown chiefly in two elements which deserve to be highlighted: the image of God and the image of man.


  7. kathleen says:


    Interesting that this document has its origins in Spain! That would explain a number of alerts I have received over the last weeks from friends here.

    We are really grateful to you for your research into this troubling issue. Your insights into some of the reasons why this is a totally inappropriate sex-educational programme (released by the Vatican no less – betrayal of betrayals!) will benefit many anxious Catholic parents and teachers.

    It is absolutely incredible that this programme was given its stamp of approval by those in the hierarchy responsible for its publication! Was there not one faithful cleric among the authors capable of spotting its lurid erotic slants, its glaring omissions, and its evident un-Catholic presentation?

    What on earth can we do though, when we know our protests will fall on deaf ears once again?


  8. mmvc says:

    Here’s a follow-up post from LifeSite about this scandalous programme:
    At the end of the article there are contact details for The Pontifical Council of the Family who are inviting feedback.


  9. JabbaPapa says:

    At the same site :

    KRAKOW, Poland, July 29, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – The head of the Polish bishops conference says that in a private meeting this week Pope Francis held with the country’s bishops, he spoke of allowing local bishops conferences to make decisions about the controversial practice of giving Communion to those who are divorced and remarried.

    “The Holy Father says that general laws are very hard to enforce in each country, and so he speaks about decentralization,” Archbishop Stanislaw Gadecki told reporters after a July 27 closed-door meeting with the Pope in Krakow. The pope had traveled to Poland for World Youth Day.

    The pope related that in a decentralized Church, bishops’ conferences “might on their own initiative not only interpret papal encyclicals, but also looking at their own cultural situation, might approach some specific issues in an appropriate manner,” Gadecki said.

    Now THIS is truly scandalous, and a ghastly example of the Gallicanist Heresy.

    “general laws are very hard to enforce in each country” indeed !!!

    Whoever said that obedience to God’s Commandments should be easy ?

    This Pope is slowly turning me against him.


  10. JabbaPapa says:

    Pope Pius VI, Auctorem Fidei

    The Apostle Paul (Hebrews 12) commands us, who look on Jesus as the author and finisher of the faith, to consider diligently the nature and magnitude of the opposition against Him, which He endured from sinners, so that at some time or other we, wearied by labors and dangers, do not lose heart and fall almost lifeless. It is of utmost necessity that we strengthen and refresh ourselves with this most wholesome thought when the raging heat of the dreadful and never-ending conspiracy against the very body of Christ, which is the Church (Colossians 1), takes fire, so that, strengthened in the Lord and in the might of His power, we, protected by the shield of faith, may be able to resist in the evil day and quench all the fiery darts of the most wicked one. (Ephesians 6)

    Truly in these tumultuous times, in this revolutionary upheaval, all good men must join the burdensome struggle against any and all enemies of the Christian name. The guardianship and guidance of the entire flock entrusted to our pastoral care are a more serious matter for Us, upon whom greater zeal for the Christian religion is incumbent than upon all others. (Pope St. Siricius, To Himerius of Tarragona, Epistle 1 in Coustant) But despite the heavy responsibility set upon our shoulders to bear the burden of all who are heavily laden, the more aware We are of our own frailty, the more We harbor a more robust hope: The divinely established ruling principle in the person of Blessed Peter lightens the apostolic duty, so that he, who never intended to abandon government of the Church once it has been given by Christ, might not cease to carry on his shoulders the burdens of the apostolic governance of those whom God had given to him as heirs to protect and safeguard with a perpetual succession.

    And indeed in these hardships that surround us on every side, a heap of other troubles have mounded up as it were, so that what should have been for us a source of joy is the source of a greater sadness. For in fact, when a leader of God’s holy Church, under the name of Priest, turns the very people of Christ away from the path of truth toward the peril of an erroneous belief, and when this occurs in a major city, then clearly the distress is multiplied, and a greater anxiety is in order. (Pope St. Celestine I, Epistle 12, in Coustant.)

    To be sure, this has not occurred in far-off lands, but in the full blaze of Italy, under the eyes of the City [viz. Rome], and near the threshold of the Apostles [viz. the tombs of Ss. Peter and Paul]. There has been a bishop, distinguished by the honor of two Sees (Scipione de’ Ricci, formerly the bishop of Pistoia and Prato), whom we embraced with paternal love as he approached Us to take up his pastoral duty. In the very text of the rite of his sacred ordination, he, in turn, bound himself by means of a scrupulous, solemn oath to the fidelity and obedience due to Us and to this Apostolic See. And yet, this same man in the short space of time after he had left our embrace with the kiss of peace, surrounded by the deceits of a pack of teachers of a perverse school of thought, went to the people entrusted to him. He began to apply himself, but not in the measure he should have, that is to say, by defending, nurturing, and perfecting the praiseworthy and peaceful form of Christian teaching that his predecessor bishops had already introduced long ago and almost secured. Instead, he embarked on confusing, destroying, and utterly overturning it by introducing troublesome novelties under the guise of a sham reform. And furthermore, when at our urging he had decided upon a diocesan synod, it happened that, by his inflexible pertinacity in his own way of thinking, a more severe occasion of ruin grew out of the source from which we should have looked for some kind of remedy for the wounds.

    They knew the capacity of innovators in the art of deception. In order not to shock the ears of Catholics, the innovators sought to hide the subtleties of their tortuous maneuvers by the use of seemingly innocuous words (Pope St. Leo the Great, Epistle 129, in the edition of Baller) such as would allow them to insinuate error into souls in the most gentle manner. Once the truth had been compromised, they could, by means of slight changes or additions in phraseology, distort the confession of the faith that is necessary for our salvation, and lead the faithful by subtle errors to their eternal damnation. This manner of dissimulating and lying is vicious, regardless of the circumstances under which it is used. For very good reasons it can never be tolerated in a synod of which the principal glory consists above all in teaching the truth with clarity and excluding all danger of error. Moreover, if all this is sinful, it cannot be excused in the way that one sees it being done, under the erroneous pretext that the seemingly shocking affirmations in one place are further developed along orthodox lines in other places, and even in yet other places corrected; as if allowing for the possibility of either affirming or denying the statement, or of leaving it up the personal inclinations of the individual – such has always been the fraudulent and daring method used by innovators to establish error. It allows for both the possibility of promoting error and of excusing it.

    It is as if the innovators pretended that they always intended to present the alternative passages, especially to those of simple faith who eventually come to know only some part of the conclusions of such discussions, which are published in the common language for everyone’s use. Or again, as if the same faithful had the ability on examining such documents to judge such matters for themselves without getting confused and avoiding all risk of error. It is a most reprehensible technique for the insinuation of doctrinal errors and one condemned long ago by our predecessor St. Celestine (Pope St. Celestine I, Epistle 13, no. 2 in Coustant) who found it used in the
    writings of Nestorius, bishop of Constantinople, and which he exposed in order to condemn it with the greatest possible severity. Once these texts were examined carefully, the impostor was exposed and confounded, for he expressed himself in a plethora of words, mixing true things with others that were obscure; mixing at times one with the other in such a way that he was also able to confess those things which were denied while at the same time possessing a basis for denying those very sentences which he confessed.

    It is not a matter of the danger of only one or another diocese: Any novelty at all assails the Universal Church. (Pope St. Celestine I, Epistle 21, To the Bishops of France) Now for a long time, from every side, the judgment of the supreme Apostolic See has not only been awaited but earnestly demanded by unremitting, repeated petitions. God forbid that the voice of Peter ever be silent in that See, where, living and presiding perpetually, he presents the truth of the faith to those in search of it. (St. Peter Chrysologus, Epistle to Eutyches.) A lengthier forbearance in such matters is not safe, because it is almost just as much of a crime to close one’s eyes in such cases, as it is to preach such offenses to religion. (Pope St. Celestine I, Epistle 12, no. 2) Therefore, such a wound must be cut away, a wound by which not one member is hurt, but the entire body of the church is damaged. (Pope St. Celestine I, Epistle 11, To Cyril, no. 3) And with the aid of divine piety, We must take care that, with the dissensions removed, the Catholic faith be preserved inviolate, and that those whose faith has been proved may be fortified by our authority once those who defend perverse teachings have been recalled from error. (Pope St. Leo the Great, Epistle 23, To Flavian, Bishop of Constantinople)

    85th condemned proposition :

    The proposition stating that any knowledge whatsoever of ecclesiastical history is sufficient to allow anyone to assert that the convocation of a national council is one of the canonical ways by which controversies in regard to religion may be ended in the Church of the respective nations; if understood to mean that controversies in regard to faith or morals which have arisen in a Church can be ended by an irrefutable decision made in a national council; as if freedom from error in questions of faith and morals belonged to a national council,– schismatic, heretical.

    Therefore, we command all the faithful of Christ of either sex not to presume to believe, to teach, or to preach anything about the said propositions and doctrines contrary to what is declared in this Constitution of ours; that whoever shall have taught, defended or published them, or anyone of them, all together or separately, except perhaps to oppose them, will be subject ipso facto and without any other declaration to ecclesiastical censures, and to the other penalties stated by law against those perpetrating similar offenses.


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