24 August 2018
World Meeting of Families

Bishop Nulty (Kildare-Leighlin), “A revision of sex education in Ireland’s schools is necessary”

“I think Amoris Laetitia has come at the right time. A review of relationships and sex education in all of Ireland’s schools, including our Catholic schools, is essential.” This was stated by Msgr. Denis Nulty, Bishop of Kildare-Leighlin (Ireland), this morning during the panel session on Relationship and Sexuality Education in the Light of Amoris Laetitia, at the World Meeting of Families being held in Dublin. Dwelling on chapter seven of Pope Francis’ Apostolic Exhortation, the Bishop said that he was “strongly encouraged by its realism.” These are words that “encourage and confirm parents in the important task of educating for relationships and sexuality.” Presenting the Pope’s teaching, the Bishop emphasized that “information must be adapted to a child’s age. This can vary from one child to another; age is not always a guide, and parents know more about this.” Parents are, therefore, presented as the “principle teachers” in sex education. “It seems to me that Pope Francis suggests that this education is rooted in the family and not in schools. He asks the schools to bear in mind that they have to work with and not against the family.” The Bishop, then, noted the Pope’s awareness that “internet security and literacy are now vital skills for children and parents.” “The presence is an essential quality in family life” and it becomes an antidote, according to Msgr. Nulty, to a phenomenon: “In Ireland, it is estimated that one in three children uses pornographic material before turning sixteen. Addiction can become a serious and harmful problem.”