14ymedio, Havana, 21 June 2021 — On Sunday, the Cuban bishops released a message in which they demand that the right of parents to educate their children be “recognized and respected,” especially in matters of sexuality and ethical or civic content.
The demand is based on what they consider an attempt to introduce “the so-called ’gender ideology’” into Cuba, based on the publication of a government resolution that approves a comprehensive sexuality education program in the National Education System, with a focus on gender and sexual and reproductive rights.
The standard was endorsed last February and will be integrated into the curriculum at all levels in the coming year. In it, education on sexual and reproductive rights, sexual diversity and a gender approach is defended, which, in the opinion of the bishops, is far from Cuba’s history and cultural tradition.
The Catholic Church believes that this issue concerns parents and calls for a “broad and participatory” debate in which everyone can learn and have an opinion on the matter. In the Church’s opinion, “’gender ideology’ has the pretense of being scientific knowledge” but “it is a closed system of thought” that “teaches that a human being, even from his earliest age, could choose his own sexual identity, regardless of the biological sex they were born with. ”
For this reason, they ask that sexual education be supervised by parents and that they “be able to choose for their children the pedagogical style, the ethical and civic contents and, if they wish, the religious inspiration with which they want to raise them.”
“Let us not get discouraged when, at times, everything around us seems to go against the family institution. Let us not lose our strength when we have to swim against the current,” they ask.
The message, which was issued on Father’s Day, calls on the Ministry of Education to reconsider the content of the rule and considers that it may have “serious consequences” in the training of minors and “an inevitable conflict in the conscience of a significant number of parents, teachers and students” for “being subjected to teachings that contradict their deepest convictions.”
The bishops review Pope Francis’s apostolic exhortation “Amoris Laetitia” (The Joy of Love) on love and the family, which he published in 2016 and in which he criticized that there were “educational projects and legislative guidelines that promote a personal identity and emotional intimacy radically unrelated to biological diversity between men and women.”
The text was very controversial at the time, for inviting the divorced to again take communication, and being in favor of “a positive and prudent sexual education” for minors “as their age advances” and “taking into account the progress of psychology, pedagogy and didactics” although it questioned what was being done.
The Cuban bishops have positive words for other norms approved by the authorities to protect the family, and they refer specifically to “laws (…) such as the one that allows working women to enjoy facilities at their work during the time of their maternity; the effort made to reduce infant mortality; guaranteed vaccines for every child at birth; that children have school and medical care; and that grandparents have their Homes for the Elderly and their University for the Elderly, among others.”
In its message, the high clergy also spoke to the families that have suffered the scourge of the Covid-19 pandemic and for those who, in addition to their own families, care about their community and help the elderly, prisoners and drug addicts.
“We cannot fail to recognize with regret that Cuban families have been suffering various attacks,” says the letter, which considers the lack of medicine, housing and food among the great evils, along with divorces and abortions. “We Bishops want all of us, as citizens, to be more effectively involved in solving these evils.”
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