Sexual education

Archbishop of Havana calls for combating hedonism with “true love”

.- The Archbishop of Havana, Cardinal Jaime Ortega y Alamino, has called on priests, parents and teachers to combat the spread of hedonism that is making inroads among young people with education that favors “the path to true love.”

In a column published by the archdiocesan bulletin “Aqui la Iglesia,” the Cardinal calls on teenagers, young people, and even children to be “introduced step by step by their elders to the beautiful and fulfilling atmosphere of love” through sexual education that is “authentic education for love.”

In a statement entitled, “And Love, Where is it?” the Cardinal offers a diagnosis of Cuban young people who from their infancy “have heard, especially on radio and television, information about safe sex and the risks of pregnancy or diseases that is almost always accompanied by a moral preaching that is based on fear: be careful, use a condom, you could fall into a problem.”

“Poor boys and girls!  You happen to be living during a decadent time in the history of humanity, there have been other times, but the world was not yet global (…) No adult, no parent, no serious teacher wishes it were so,” the Cardinal said, “but pansexualism envelops the entire world and it also affects us.”

According to Cardinal Rivera, “the eroticized world of today will have to encounter not an armed resistance, but rather clear counterbalance against eroticism in families, schools and in the Church. We must offer alternatives to that false eroticism that permeates human behavior in our day.”

He expressed regret that schools in Cuba repeat the same mistakes and follow the same advice from organizations like the United Nations on matters related to sexual education.  “The message that teens get can be summarized thus: Have fun, but be careful.”

The Church’s message is ignored in today’s secular world, he continued, which seeks to silence her voice and exclude her from any social involvement.  “This is even sharper when the Church does not have her own means of communication and her access to them is forbidden,” he said.

Christian faith, he went on, “has not rejected eros, but rather has exalted its greatness, the infinite beauty of love.”  Teens and young adults understand the language of love in a privileged way, he said, and thus they need to be taught that abstinence, sacrifice, and maturity provide the foundation for love that is “solid and strong.”  Only by understanding these truths can young people understand the different between immediate gratification and true love, he added.

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