Church & gov lock horns over sex education in schools

Holy See tries to mediate in Croatian row

22 January, 14:26

(ANSAmed) - ROME, JANUARY 22 - Croatia's social democrat government and the Catholic Church have locked horns over plans to introduce compulsory sex education into the school curriculum. Sex education classes would include discussions on gender differences, homosexuality, masturbation as well as how to use contraceptives. "The government is trying to indoctrinate the new generation with an ideology that goes against the Catholic values that are typical of the majority of Croatians", a statement from the Church said after the plan was presented. The new syllabus teaches that masturbation is an 'integrated and normal part of sexuality', that homosexuality is a 'natural variation', and that 'children should learn the difference between sex and socially determined gender' - all subjects that have irked the Church. The battle got particularly ferocious at Christmas time when Cardinal Josip Bozanic, Archbishop of Zagreb, branded the government plan "a project that will bring the destruction of man". Thousands of anti government leaflets were later distributed in churches and supermarkets. This was slammed by government minister Jovanovic, " as a grave manipulation, full of lies and the unacceptable interference of the Church in state matters".

ßAccording to Globus, the Church has ordered around two thousand priests to organize meetings to encourage parents not to send their children to sex education classes. Press reports suggest that the Vatican could intervene in the unwelcome "culture war". Monsignor Alessandro D'Errico, who is based in Croatia, said that the Vatican asked that priests reign in their tone and assure the authorities in Zagreb that the Vatican hasn't intervened on behalf of the Croatian Catholic church. (ANSAmed).

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