Being in Right Order with Parents

The role of the Church and State is first and foremost to assist parents directly by providing them with an authentic education in God's plan for sexuality and by giving them support and confidence in their ability to fulfill their vocation as the primary educators of their children (TMHS, 148).

The Church has established guidelines for right order in the relationship between parents and educators who provide supplementary assistance to parents in the education of their children. The following list establishes what could be viewed as a "Ten Commandments" for right order that educators can use as a guide and checklist to insure that the rights of parents and the innocence of children are protected:

1. Outside assistance must be subject to parents' acceptance.

2. Outside assistance must support the parents' education of their children and must not be seen as, or in fact, be a substitute for their work.

3. Supplementary sexual education must be carried out under "the attentive guidance" of parents in "educational centres chosen and controlled by them" (TMHS, 113).

4. Parents must be fully informed of the precise "content and methodology with which such supplementary education is imparted."

5. "No one can bind children or young people to secrecy about the content and/or method of instruction provided outside the family" (TMHS, 115).

6. Parents who permit their children to participate in educational assistance outside the home have a right "to be present during classes" (TMHS, 116).

7. Parents have the right to remove their children from "any form of sexual instruction imparted outside the home" (TMHS, 120), that does "not correspond with their own principles."

8. Parents who choose not to permit their children to attend classes that impart any form of sexual instruction outside the home "have the duty to give them an adequate formation, appropriate to each child's or young person's stage of development" (TMHS, 117).

9. "No educator -- not even parents -- can interfere" with the rights of a child or young person to live "his or her own sexuality in conformity with Christian principles" and hence the virtue of chastity (TMHS, 118).

10. Children and young people have a right to receive chastity formation according to each child's (a) "stage of development," (b) "capacity to integrate moral truth with sexual information," and (c) stage of "innocence and tranquility" (TMHS, 119).