New Creation Series Violates
By JAMES LIKOUDIS
Parents' Rights & Child's Modesty
In a number of dioceses, Catholic parents are presently resisting the intolerable imposition of Wm. C. Brown's raunchy sex education program upon them and their children.
In a number of cases, the parents have had no choice with regards to the imposition of the 'New Creation' series in their school, have had texts and books withheld from them, and have had heaped upon them all kinds of abuse for daring to challenge the judgment of "professional educators" eager to invade the authority of parents in the delicate area of sexual education. To assist such embattled parents, CUF has made available a devastating critique of the 'New Creation' series. In a letter to parents, Cardinal Gagnon, President of the Pontifical Council for the Family, has properly stigmatized the Wm. C. Brown series (bearing the Imprimatur) as a "travesty of sex education". It is not difficult to prove that the 'New Creation' series violates in many ways the norms for sexual instruction insisted upon by the Vatican in its Instruction "Educational Guidance in Human Love" (1983). It is not only a question of the incredibly poor judgment exercised by the series authors in bombarding the senses of elementary school children with sexually explicit illustrations. There is also the trespassing [of] the rights of Catholic parents by parochial school and Diocesan authorities who disregard the "law of subsidiarity" which forbids schools to usurp parental prerogatives in sex education. (See Pope John Paul II's 'Familiaris Consortio', no. 37).
There is also the disconcerting fact of 2 noted dissenters from 'Humanae Vitae', (Fr. John Forliti, theological consultant for 'New Creation'; and Richard Reichert, author of the texts for grades 5-8) profoundly influencing the unwholesome orientations of the Program. Also disturbing is the stated dependence of the 'New Creation' writers on the USCC's "Education in Human Sexuality for Christians: Guidelines for Discussion and Planning" issued in June 1981. These USCC Guidelines were severly criticized by the Fellowship of Catholic Scholars and by such moral theologians as Msgr. William B. Smith who declared them to be "the worst I have seen under any Catholic auspices to date." The USCC Guidelines remain without authority in the Church; and their merit can perhaps best be gauged by the fact that Nancy Hennessy Cooney (she, like Richard Reichert, was a member of the select committee producing the USCC Guidelines) signed the infamous New York Times ad rejecting the teaching of the Catholic Church on abortion.
If the Committee which produced the USCC Guidelines was loaded with dissenters (and it was), it is equally true that the Guidelines themselves were riddled with the erroneous moral theory of Consequentialism, making difficult the proper formation of conscience.
In addition, Bishop Leo T. Maher of San Diego has further observed that New Creation's own "reading list contained all sorts of books that expoused the Planned Parenthood philosophy, the very thing that I've been so much against." (as reported in San Diego Tribune, 9/27/86). Why, for example, such a morally unacceptable book as Eric W. Johnson's Love and Sex in Plain Language should be on the recommended reading list for Catholic Teachers or Parents, has yet to be explained by New Creation's publisher. Here's only one gem from this book that has been heartily recommended by Planned Parenthood and SIECUS apologist, Mary S. Calderone:
"There are those who say that masturbation may not be so bad if you don't do it too much - whatever that means. It's really impossible to masturbate too much because when your body has had enough it will no longer respond to such efforts to have an orgasm."
Much could be said concerning New Creation's inadequate treatment of homosexuality and contraception, but such defects are quite understandable in the context of its shocking trivialization of sexuality. Children are, in effect,
- forced to have drills on body parts (grade 5);
- they are encouraged to use flashcards during Spelling Bees on reproductive organs (grade 6);
- they are induced to discuss "examples of pornography" (grade 7);
- and engage in "Bingo games" in studying sexual biology (grade 8).
The teacher is told in the 6th grade Teachers Manual to "avoid preaching, draw good judgments from the students." The teacher is further advised:
"There is no attempt to focus or elaborate on the 6th or 9th commandments or specific sins. If the teacher wishes to place direct stress on such sins, he or she must be careful not to give the impression that sins related to the misuse of our sexual powers are the primary concern of the Church. "
The net effect of the use of the 'New Creation' series is to involve school authorities and teachers (and parents who are foolish enough to abide the violation of their rights) in directly offending the chastity and modesty of children - and to diminish the latter's sense of sin. It is to join in making a mockery of the Church's teaching on Education in Chastity. Much more could be said concerning Wm. C. Brown's New Creation series, but this brief survey will conclude with New Creation's caricature of Christ Himself as found in the Teacher's Manual for Grade 3:
"Jesus needed to know all He could about Himself. Just like we do. He needed to know: Who He was; what He was able to do; how He felt about Himself, etc. ... (page 8).
And to think such theological drivel bears the Imprimatur.
This article first appeared in "SERVIAM" the newsletter of Credo of Buffalo, chapter of CUF, issue of February 1987