In another section of the curriculum on artificial intelligence and human dignity, one of the inquiry questions is "Are all rights equal? (women, indigenous, disability, ethnic, refugee, LGBTQI, youth)." One of the "learning expectations" for the section is "To advocate for human dignity and liberation."
Another section concentrates on "indigenous spirituality" in Australia, asking if "a non-Indigenous person" can "engage in The Dreaming?"
In his Sept. 9 letter, Fr. de Souza addressed the "inquiry questions."
"It is important to note these questions were derived from our students, who raised thousands of questions during our seven-year survey and consultation process," he said.
The questions "will be critiqued through a Catholic perspective," he said, adding that "students will learn the Catholic response to these questions, if and when they arise in a class."
"Without any shadow of a doubt there is nothing in the curriculum, specifically the 'Essential Content' component that is not Catholic," he said.
In August, some Catholics in the diocese stated their opposition to the draft curriculum.
Fr. John Rizzo, FSSP, who is the chaplain at Tyburn Priory in the diocese, wrote in a letter reported in the Telegraph, "I kindly remind the Catholic Education Office of Parramatta of their crucial responsibility in teaching their students of the importance of the 10 Commandments [and] the Catholic teachings of morality."
"Catholic faithful are sick and tired of politically correct agendas being thrown at the innocence of their children," he wrote.
Another priest, Fr. John O'Neill at St John Vianney Parish, told the Daily Telegraph that he had "forbidden" the curriculum to be taught at his parish school.
Fr. de Souza wrote in an August 28 letter that the curriculum had not been finalized yet and the diocese is "trialling our first draft."
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"Our Church teaches that parents and guardians are the first educators of their children," he wrote, adding that "the Draft New Curriculum is firmly based in Catholic Scripture, Tradition and Context."
He also noted that "some media outlets are not presenting the new curriculum accurately."
According to Fr. de Souza, the draft curriculum is the result of a six year-long process of review, consultation, and development.
"Numerous Church documents especially from the Congregation for Catholic Education underpin our approach which will be included in the final version of the Curriculum as a resource for teachers," he stated.
In June, 2019, the Congregation for Catholic Education in Rome released a document titled "Male and Female He Created Them," condemning so-called gender theory and insisting that the Church teaches an essential difference between men and women, ordered in the natural law and essential to the family and human flourishing.
"The effect of [the emergence of gender ideologies] is chiefly to create a cultural and ideological revolution driven by relativism, and secondarily a juridical revolution, since such beliefs claim specific rights for the individual and across society," the congregation wrote.