Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Accompanying persons with same-sex attraction in schools

The group on schools of the CBCP-ECFL Conference on how to accompany persons with same-sex attractions (Sept. 2-3) came up with the following three steps to be done in schools. In the service of these goals, here are some ideas on how we can support them.

Raise awareness. First, there has to be an effort to spread awareness about the need to accompany persons with same-sex attraction with “respect, compassion, sensitivity and non-discrimination” as the Church teaches, and about studies that help everyone to understand them. 

Raising awareness includes, according to one expert, (1) hosting an educational event, (2) hosting a social event, (3) organizing a social project, (4) distributing leaflets and inserts, during these events and also outside of these events. For this, a useful tool is a one-page leaflet, Key Facts on Homosexuality.  

Train pastoral workers. Everyone who has care over people such as parents, teachers, counsellors, guidance personnel, community leaders, religious ministers, should know more about the Catholic teachings about homosexuality and chastity in CCC  2357 to 2359, and about the right pastoral approaches to use. 

For this, some readings are: (1) the Canadian Bishops Conference’s  Pastoral Ministry to Young People with Same-sex Attraction, (2) the Catholic Medical Association’s Homosexuality and Hope.

Make sure parents are helped to become better parents and know how to teach chastity and human sexuality to their children. Since an important cause of same-sex attraction is connected with the attitudes of father and the mother, it is crucial for parents to learn how to love their children, and teach them chastity. 

Some resources are: (1) The Pope’s Most Important Advice to Your Family, (2) Strategies for a Great Family, (3) Giving Real Love to Your Child: an outline on how parents can teach their children human sexuality. Aside from the other ways schools communicate and instruct parents, pastoral workers and teachers can send parenting resources to parents via email.

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