Catholic priest, doctor urge parents to pull their kids out of sex ed classes

Mary Queen of the World Cathedral

Quebec's education minister has sent a strong message to a Montreal parish priest and a cardiologist about a manual they wrote about Quebec's new sexual education program for schoolkids.

The manual from Fr. Robert Gaudreau and Dr. Riouf Ayas is being offered up for parents who believe the new, mandatory courses are inappropriate for young children, and its authors insist much of the course goes against Christian values.

"It is, in fact, recognized by the most credible psychologists that children between the ages of 6 and 12 experience a latency period, where they're considered sexually dormant," the manual explains. "[Sex ed classes] would therefore be detrimental to the healthy development of a child...government action in this sense could be seen as an aggression."

Fr. Gendreau told La Presse that he has spoken with "many Christian families" concerned about how quickly sexual education is being introduced to schools — and how some of the material, including naming male and female body parts, inside and outside, is a little much for first-graders.

The books authors also argue the sex ed course doesn't discuss things like the soul, conjugal relations, marriage, abstinence, chastity, or fidelity.

The Montreal archdiocese says the manual is the personal initiative of the two men, and was neither involved with, nor does it endorse it.

In a tweet Thursday morning, education minister Jean-François Roberge says that sexual education is an essential education topic, and that parents shouldn't expect to easily pull their children out of the classes. Roberge says there are exemptions offered, but only for specific reasons — for example, for students who've experienced significant trauma.

The manual was put on sale on Amazon.com, and La Presse reports it has already become a best-seller in its category.