The More 'New Creation' Changes,
The More it is The Same

By JAMES LIKOUDIS



The revised edition of New Creation is as unacceptable as the first edition,
because the USCC Guidelines it follows are unacceptable.

Finally, it has come to light that Wm. C. Brown's NEW CREATION sex education program (grades 1-8) will undergo revisions by the publisher.

Parental outcries and protests at the unsavory nature of NEW CREATION materials have had the effect of forcing the publisher to make changes. Apparently, three areas of concern arousing parental ire will be addressed:

  1. the imparting of explicit genital information and drawings;
  2. the use of non-judgmental values clarification methodology for "moral decision-making"; and
  3. the shamefully weak treatment afforded the sins of contraception, homosexuality, and even abortion.

What is interesting about all this revisionism (Parents will have to wait and see how successfully the publisher has cleaned up his act) is the failure to apologize to parents (and indeed the entire Church) for the "travesty of sex education" this first edition constituted.

The publisher and those responsible for the Imprimatur remain unrepentant for the suffering already inflicted upon parents who dared to oppose the program. Rather, NEW CREATION'S promoters continue to laud the fact that their Series "has been well received throughout the country." Moreover, they insist that the revised edition will continue to be "developed around the seven principles embodied in USCC's 'Education in Human Sexuality for Christians Guidelines'." This factor will, of course, render the revised edition of NEW CREATION as unacceptable as the first edition, because the USCC Guidelines are themselves unacceptable.

In a presentation to the U.S. Bishops' Liaison Committee in 1981 (6 years ago!), Catholics United for the Faith begged the National Council of Catholic Bishops (NCCB) "most earnestly to disavow and discard them (the USCC' Guidelines) since, without doubt, they violate the moral and religious convictions of countless Catholic parents, and pose a serious threat to the spiritual welfare of many children." (See the full text of the CUF Statement in CUF's publication Lay Witness, January 1982).

The utter professional incompetence manifested in the production of the "Rotten Garden of the New Creation Series" (See The Wanderer 3/12/87) must be laid at the feet not only of the authors, but also its theological consultant, a Minnesota Catholic priest, Rev. John E. Forliti.

Now 50, Father Forliti is Vice-president for student affairs at the College of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota. Father Forliti, a darling of the National Catholic Reporter' crowd, has been one of the leading Sex Education gurus in the Church, occupying himself for many years in trampling upon parental rights as well as Catholic Church teaching. This "foremost authority on sex education" has had "a major role in developing four national sex education programs ... offered under public school, Catholic school or Protestant Church auspices." (National Catholic Reporter 10/17/86).

In 1968, Father Forliti joined 75 other priests in the Archdiocese of St. Paul- Minneapolis in dissenting from Humanae Vitae. Despite his rejection of the Church's teaching on contraception, he became Archdiocesan Director of Secondary Religious Education. In a 1971 adult education series he lectured Catholics as follows:

"The Christian Church is all one big pie and the Catholic Church is just one wedge in that pie ... Since Vatican II we have re-evaluated many things that Protestants instituted during the Reformation and we now realize they are good and we are accepting them. For instance:

  1. Doing away with Devotion to the Blessed Sacrament because now Christ is equally present in the people;
  2. Married clergy;
  3. Doing away with the Sunday Mass obligation; and
  4. changes in Private confession - after all, sins are forgiven in the Eucharist."

Later, Father Forliti became Religious Education Director of the Archdiocese. By 1979 he had distinguished himself in ramming sex education courses into Catholic schools over the protests of those parents who were still Catholic enough to be offended by Forliti's sex education efforts characterized by explicit and graphic description and clinical explanation of human generation and sexuality.

Eventually, Forliti's pilot-program was packaged into his expensive "Reverence for Life and Family Program: Catechesis in Sexuality" which received strong endorsement from Archbishop John R. Roach of St. Paul. The Catholic Education Center of the Archdiocese reserved the right to itself to withhold the sale or lease of the entire program whose Manuals and video-tapes cost front $500 to $1,000. (A critique of this 'Reverence for Life and Family Program' is available from CUF, 827 N 4th St., Steubenville, OH 43952-9956).

Father Forliti became the first archdiocesan priest to receive in 1980 a doctor of divinity degree from a Lutheran seminary (Luther Theological Seminary, St. Paul). In consequent talks and addresses around the country wherein he promoted Classroom sex education (and his own programs), Forliti became known for his expressions of discomfort when confronted with Catholic teaching on masturbation, contraception, and homosexuality.

Both Humanae Vitae and Humanae Personae (the 1975 Vatican' Declaration on Sexual Ethics) were obviously bones in his throat. The same kind of discomfort regarding any forceful presentation of Catholic morality regarding masturbation, contraception, and homosexuality was to be reflected in the NEW CREATION series rightly censured by Cardinal Gagnon of the Pontifical Council for the Family as a "travesty of sex education."

Father Forliti's judgment of the NEW CREATION series was quite otherwise. As its "theological consultant," he stated he had examined the series to assure that it had "a good pastoral approach, respected church teaching, and was essentially good catechetics." (quoted in THE MIRROR, 9/5/86). It is obvious that Father Forliti was wrong on all counts. So much for the vaunted expertise of yet another dissenter-guru active in railroading classroom sex education into Catholic schools!


This article first appeared in "SERVIAM" the newsletter of Credo of Buffalo, chapter of CUF, issue of April 1987