A Catholic Church book helping parents to take children out of controversial compulsory nursery school sex education classes has become a bestseller on Amazon.
The Church and the book take aim at a new governmental programme being rolled out that would apparently see nursery school children being taught about sex, saying there should be more focus on “Jesus than sexuality”.
The book was commissioned by Catholic authorities in the dioceses of Montreal in the French-speaking province of Quebec after education officials lowered the age at which children are taught sex education to include daycare and nursery school children.
The church claims the book is not meant to be pushing Catholic dogma but is instead an attempt to preserve the “beautiful innocence” of children.
It was created by priest Robert Gendreau and doctor Riouf Ayas who wrote: “It is indeed recognised by the most credible psychologists that the child lives a period of latency from 6 to 12 years in which they are sexually dormant.
“It will always be detrimental to the healthy development of the child to act with force against their natural modesty. Government action in this sense could be considered aggression, despite their expressed aim that this is exactly what it claims to want to prevent.”
It also argued that it was premature to discuss sex with primary school kids, saying: “At this age, the child is much more willing to hear about Jesus than sexuality.”
Church authorities believe the handbook should be used by parents at home as an alternative to sexual education classes in schools that they say are happening too soon.
Father Gendreau, Director of Liturgical Pastoral Services for the Montreal archdiocese, added that he had met “many Christian families” who were worried about the new programme and the speed with which it deals with certain subjects.
He said: “To name all the sexual areas of a woman, of a man, external and internal… I think that when one is in the first year, it is a little rigorous.”
He said that other information arrives “much too early” in the course for children.
He proposed: “After an agreement with the teacher, we would not remove the child from the school programme, but we would remove them from the class. The parents then take charge of this course at home, hence the relevance of the manual.”
The handbook, published on 9th January 2019 and currently costing 9.64 CAD (5.65 GBP), contains a blank contract to be signed by the teacher. It states that the child “will go out of the classroom” during class to go to the library or to an office, adding “in return, we are committed to fulfilling the educational goals at home.”
Robert Gendreau said that each parent would then be free to teach in formal sessions or through informal discussions.
Questions regarding the legality of this type of agreement, however, are still open as the education ministry has so far not commented.
The handbook by Father Gendreau and Dr Ayas offers biblical passages for the student to read and proposes to “consolidate what nature has given us”, rather than raising questions of sexual identity.
Available to purchase on Amazon.ca, and free for Kindle users, the manual has become the No1 best-selling book in its category.
The book advises: “Encouraging an early initiation to sexuality is questionable because it can attack the natural modesty of children, disturb their feelings of personal intimacy and destroy their beautiful innocence.
“In the first place it is necessary to develop in the child the modesty, a healthy modesty and which would be a first line of defence [against the sexual aggression].
Some netizens seemed to appreciate the Church’s endeavour, with ‘Montreal_Champion’ saying: “Even teacher will buy this book”, adding that it “contains all the goals set forth by the Ministry of Education”.
‘Peter’ seemed to agree, saying: “Thank you for providing a timely guide to help concerned parents navigate the imposition of state dogma on sexual ethics.”
But ‘tony joe puzo’ said: “This should be removed ASAP, a priest teaching about sexual relationship ? (sic)”
And ‘Eric’ said: “This religious propaganda has no place in Quebecois teaching.”