Catholic Sex Ed NeededSix days later:
It was with a combination of pity and amusement that I read of the "Prayer Vigil," regarding chastity, to be held at St. Joseph the Worker Church in Wheeling, Oct. 13.
While believing that Roman Catholic authorities should be allowed to teach the Catholic faith to members of the Church (provided they don't demand public funds to do it), I should think that more progress could be made – both with young people and adults – if the Church would cease its ostrich-headed attitude and permit a program of modern sex education in its schools, instead of depending on pious platitudes formulated in the Middle Ages, during the days when certain Popes could "prove" the earth was "flat" . . . platitudes that were built around the premise that all sex, even between married couples, was – is – somehow frowned upon by the Creator of the universe!
Personally, I fail to see how two Franciscan Friars, who have never had to worry about paying bills, or children, or family or anything else in the every day world of making a living, can impart ANY advice regarding the sexual function. Nor do I feel that "prayer" will chain the normal and healthy sexual urges of a teenage boy or girl!
I trust these Friars, educated as they are in Church History, Catholic philosophy, homiletics, etc., will inform their listeners that modern sociological thought does not attach the exceptional value that a superficial, limited, and unscientific religious ethic sets upon it.
Most psychiatrists (and other professionals connected with the public welfare) consider absolute chastity a form of ignorance, their feeling (based on medical evidence) being that even partial chastity constitutes a blind denial of the legitimacy of the sexual acts and is nothing more than a vestige of the ancestral taboo that certain religions persist in teaching without producing any scientific or logical reason to justify it. As to those misinformed people who point to the Bible . , well, on that basis we should legalize polygamy, since many a prophet and king in the Old Testament had more than one wife. (Actually modern society does have a form of progressive polygamy, only we call it "divorce and remarriage!")
Of course, if people prefer to believe superstition and ignore modern science – that's their business. However, they should keep in mind that "prayer" has not helped any family that finds itself on the brink of bankruptcy because of too many mouths to feed. They should also realize that while the Church is a Santa Claus when it comes to giving advice, it's a miser that would put Scrooge to shame when it comes to shelling out hard cash to ANY needy family, or even permitting that family's children to attend parochial school without paying the necessary tuition.
Joseph R. Rosenberger
Roselle Register, October 12, 1972
Sex Ed Letter HitThis was not the end of the conversation ....
Many people, I would suspect, are likely embarrassed for Mr. Joseph Rosenberger of Buffalo Grove, whose letter in the Fence Post (October 12) suggests that increasing sexual permissiveness is somehow the key to better mental health. Quite apart from the inanity of his thesis (and his patent ignorance of the positive emphasis Catholic education today places upon the sexual aspect of man's nature), Mr. Rosenberger's tirade against the religiously-based moral values of many of his neighbors is a deplorable exercise in bad taste.
It is a mark of the maturity of a community that its residents respect the religious convictions of one another, and in that regard Buffalo Grove is truly a fine place to live. Friendships easily and often cross religious lines, and inter-faith cooperation is frequently evidenced. Few people, fortunately, share Mr. Rosenberger's predilection for attacking the traditional moral teachings of any particular religious faith; and few also, I would hope, are so devoid of charitable sentiment that they would fail to sympathize with Mr. Rosenberger's own peculiar problem – whatever it may be.
Thomas F. Mahoney
Roselle Register, October 18, 1972