At last I have seen something really clear from the Bishops of England and Wales on Sex Education, which furthermore reiterates the teaching of the Popes on this subject. This is really quite an eye-opener. My emphasis.
We have no desire to minimize the necessity of some attention being paid to the problem both now and continuously in the future. But the remedy is to be found not so much in the imparting in public of fuller and more systematic knowledge of sex from the physiological or biological standpoint as by the removal of external temptations and by the general and determined inculcation of the practice of Christian virtue and our dependence on divine grave.
Unfortunately, until parents are better equipped for their task, and do in fact carry out their obligations, there will always be some children lacking in the knowledge of those things intended by God for their own progress in virtue and for the fulfilment of God’s designs. But we do not admit that, therefore, the duty of imparting this knowledge necessarily falls upon the school-teachers. Teachers have no strict right to arrogate to themselves parental duties; if called upon by the parents to deputize for them in this delicate matter they may very properly do so. ... we feel it necessary to insist that the teacher is primarily ‘in place of the parent’ (in loco parentis) and not a civil servant doing the work of the State. Accordingly, a teacher must always respect the rights and wishes of the parents concerning the education of children, and rather than taking over parental duties should regard it as their task to help parents towards the proper fulfilment of obligations.
...This help, however, on the more intimate matters of life must always remain personal and individual. Class or group instruction of children or of youth on the physiological aspect of sex would be fraught with grave dangers and would be against the traditional teaching of the Church.
The reason for the recent agitation in certain quarters for more general sex instruction is not altogether clear to us. If its main purpose is a social one, namely to safeguard the physical welfare of the nation, then the advocates of sex instruction on the lines suggested are doomed to disappointment, since the evils concerned are the effect not so much of ignorance as of a weakness of will unsupported by the means of grace. Information alone will not produce a healthy and sound nation; much less will it be sufficient to prepare souls for their eternal destiny in the next life. It is not so much information as formation which is required — formation of character, the training of the mind, the heart, and the will with the necessary assistance of religion.
Even if parents are found to be neglecting duties which are essentially parental and which cannot be normally undertaken as satisfactorily by others, the State should hesitate, by teaching in the schools or by other means, to encourage parents in their neglect. The State should rather take steps to see that parents themselves are better equipped for their parental tasks.
This encouragement of the fulfilment of parental responsibility will, indeed, be the first endeavour of the Church.
Yes, this was signed by all the ordinaries of England and Wales and commanded to be read in all Catholic churches on the 3rd Sunday After Easter.
See the full text on Lux Occulta, to whom a big hat-tip and thanks!