Earlier this month on June 10th, the Congregation for Catholic Education issued a document entitled ‘Male and Female He Created Them’ Towards a Path of Dialogue on the Question of Gender Theory in Education. Straight off the bat, it acknowledges the “educational crisis, especially in the area of affectivity and sexuality”, citing Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI: “in many places, curricula are being planned and implemented which ‘allegedly convey a neutral conception of the person and of life, yet in fact reflect an anthropology opposed to faith and to right reason’.”
The document manifests the need for a “clear and convincing anthropology” (n.30) which recognizes the “male-female duality of human nature, from which the family is generated; ” (n.34) and it asks for “pedagogues, those who work in teacher-training and experts on literature for children and adolescents alike” to “all contribute to the creation of a body of innovative and creative tools that, in the face of other visions that are partial or distorted, offer a solid and integrated education of the human person from infancy onwards.” (n.51) While we haven’t yet reached down to the level of infancy, our ROOTED: K-12 Theology of the Body curriculum is certainly offering “new teaching materials, pedagogic reference works and teaching manuals that are based on the ‘Christian vision of man and women’.” (n.51)
With our “Special Topics in Theology of the Body for Teachers: Gender and Sexual Identity, June 27-28 or Aug 8-9” we are also providing an answer to the document’s call for Catholic educators “to be sufficiently prepared regarding the intricacies of the various questions that gender theory brings up and be fully informed about both current and proposed legislation in their respective jurisdictions, aided by persons who are qualified in this area, in a way that is balanced and dialogue-orientated.” (n.49) During our two-day course we approach this topic from many angles: psychological, anthropological, moral, sociological, legal and pastoral so that educators can come away with a well-rounded view of this challenging matter.
It feels good to receive this confirmation from the Church that our mission at Ruah Woods Press, of making St. John Paul II’s teachings on the Theology of the Body accessible to young people, is part of God’s loving plan.
Written by Dr. Joan Kingsland, Training & Development Specialist for Ruah Woods Press
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