BY A STAFF REPORTER
CONTROVERSY con tinued among Catholics over the BBC's plan to broadcast sex education programmes for eightand nineyear-olds. A Catholic educationist this week welcomed the basic idea of the broadcasts and put forward a fourpoint plan to meet some of the objections.
But Archbishop Murphy of Cardiff voiced his concern that ii would be usurping the rights of responsible parents. He said that "careless parents who will not face up to their obligations" were to blame for the BBC plan.
Four primary school headmasters said they would not permit the broadcasts to be shown to any of the 1,500 pupils in their schools. and asked parents to protest to the BBC and the Prime Minister.
Salford Diocesan Catechetical Centre is planning to start annual training courses for teachers, to cover the theo
logical, psychological and physiological aspects of the subject.
"GOOD TASTE" Archbishop Murphy. in a letter to The Times, said he
agreed that parents were generally culpable in not fulfilling their duty of providing sex education for their children. and that the BBC would provide an excellent programme in good taste.
"Nevertheless, with my hands tied by all these concessions, I am willing to tight for what little freedom still remains to parents.
"Precisely at that moment when the Churches. recognising the error of their ways, are becoming a little less paternalistic and issuing their members with a do-it-yourself kit so that each becomes more aware of his personal responsibilities. the BBC decides that parents are not adult enough to do this.
"lt makes a takeover bid, beaming their programme directly to the children.
"That there are some immature or careless parents we all agree, but have all the good parents to suffer trespass because of them?"
Mr. Francis Munoz-Ramos, headmaster of St. Aidan's, Huyton, said he objected to the film being available for. showing to children without their parents' consent.
He and Mr. Dennis Coffey, head of St. Aloysius. Huyton. Mr. D. Welch, head of St, Joseph's, Huyton, and Mr. Christopher Ainsworth, head of St. Luke's, Prescot, take the view that parents have the sole right to teach their children about sex.
They believe that by excluding references to love. marriage and morality, the film attacks the basis of marriage.
The lecturer in education said he considered there was a danger that the programme was being prejudged and that the BBC's motives were not being properly appreciated.
"The programme as outlined even now offers a constructive opportunity and parents and schools might consider that there is merit in all or some of the following suggestions:
1 —Urge the BBC to show the .11programme to parents at a special late evening show well before the schools receive it. Parents would then know what the objections are and could decide if they wanted it for their children.
1—simultaneously organise a " "crash" programme of parental instruction from such agencies as the C.M.A.C.,C.T.F., Catholic Nurses Guild and Catholic doctors, stressing
especially the Christian approach. This would help parents to place sex instruction in the context of full sex educa tion and personality develop , ment.
2—Allow any parents who wished to attend the school to see the programme with their children.
4—Allow only those children
to see the programme whose parents had taken part In the instruction and who had given permission.