by Martin Newland THE Catholic Marriage Advisory Council is to be listed as one of the agencies which can deal with the problems raised by the AIDS epidemic in a new AIDS teaching pack, destined to reach teachers in time for the Autumn term.
The Health Education Authority which is compiling the material for Teaching about HIV and AIDS has finally reached agreement with the Department for Education and Science who insist that its format should stick more closely to the 1986 Education Act which stipulates moral considerations and the value of family life as key considerations in sex education.
The DES also expressed concern over the use of advisory agencies ranging from CMAC to the Lesbian and Gay Switchboard which the teaching pack says may be helpful in combatting the effects of disease. It feared that youngsters may go to these agencies before going to parents or teachers.
"CMAC feels strongly that any sex education should be part of a coordinated programme of personal and social education. Outside organisations should not be slotted in above parents", John Edwards of the Catholic Marriage Advisory Council told the Catholic Herald.
"The importance of consultation with parents where schools are involved in sex education cannot be overstated", he added.
Nicholas Coote, Assistant Secretary of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales, pointed to the bishops' recent concern that sex education should not be treated solely in relation to AIDS, and that schools should get on with formulating a programme of sex education, (Catholic Herald, November 20).
"At all times it should be shown that sexuality is a fully human value, not a libidinous or erotic thing. It should be contextualised within the development of the whole human person," he said.
THE Duke of Norfolk on Monday presented a crystal decanter to Mrs KAP Chambers, for the past 21 years Secretary of the Convert's Aid Society. At 83 Mrs Chambers is the oldest Secretary of any Catholic society
and her retirement brings to a close an association with the Chambers family of 65 years with her husband having been appointed the first paid Secretary in 1923.
Photo credit Carlos Reyes