“Adults, young people and children must be educated about the central moral questions of the day,” said Cardinal Raymond Burke, the ecclesiastical advisor to The Cardinal Newman Society’s Center for the Advancement of Catholic Higher Education, which works with Catholic universities to formulate and promote policies that strengthen Catholic identity.
“Education regarding the natural law and its application to current issues is fundamental,” Cardinal Burke continued in an interview originally published in Polonia Christiana magazine and recently republished in English on LifeSiteNews.com. Two of the places where this education should occur are “Catholic schools and universities.”
“The totally secular agenda, if it is to succeed, must win children and youth to its way of thinking. Education is the ultimate key to its victory in society,” Cardinal Burke stated, according to LifeSite. In order to combat this secularization, parents and teachers must “educate in accord with what is true, good and beautiful.”
Cardinal Burke continued:
Parents and teachers, who work with parents in the correct education of their children, must necessarily respect totally the period of innocence of children and young people. Respecting that natural innocence which is a reflection of God’s gift of conscience to every child, parents and teachers will prepare children and young people to respond clearly and courageously to those forces which would rob them of their innocence, both from within themselves – due to the effects of original sin – and from outside, for example, from bad companions and from bad communications like pornography on the internet. Parents and teachers should be vigilant that nothing is introduced into the curriculum which violates a child’s innocence and even attempts to instill in the child gravely wrong ways of thinking, for example, a curriculum endorsed by a certain major government which teaches 4 and 5 year olds that marriage can take other forms than the lifelong, faithful and procreative union of one man and one woman.
In December, The Cardinal Newman Society reported that an initiative to promote the controversial Common Core State Standards in Catholic schools, led by the National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA), had amended a first-grade unit plan to remove three books celebrating families headed by same-sex or divorced couples.
Cardinal Burke, LifeSite reports, stated:
Parents today must be especially vigilant in instructing their children in the truth about human sexuality and in safeguarding them from all of the false messages regarding human sexuality conveyed in the schools and by the communications media. Parents should insist that their children not participate in lessons or activities in school which betray the truth about human nature, male and female. Particularly pernicious is the so-called “gender theory” which is promoted ever more aggressively, especially through educational curricula for children and young people.
In response to a question about the fidelity of U.S. Catholic colleges and alluding to the acceptance of the HHS mandate by some of these institutions, Cardinal Burke replied:
Sadly, many Catholic universities in the United States are no longer faithful to Catholic teaching and practice, in contradiction to the Apostolic Constitution Ex Corde Ecclesiae (August 15,1990) of Blessed Pope John Paul II. They permit teaching contrary to the doctrine of the faith in various courses, especially courses of philosophy and theology, and allow activities which are directly opposed to the moral law as it is taught in the Catholic Church. There are, however, a few universities which are outstanding for their Catholic identity. Certainly, no Catholic university should teach contraception to the students or provide to them contraceptive services.