Primary Educators League

Assisting parents in the eternal vigil of protecting the freedom and holiness of their families.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Pastors Say No to Talking About Touching

While more and more pastors are receiving approval to use Formation in Christian Chastity, some pastors, after reviewing the materials and hearing feedback from parents, are opting for other programs altogether.

For example, the pastors at St. John the Baptist in Savage, and St. Joseph’s in West St. Paul, while initially open supporters of the Talking About Touching curriculum, ultimately chose an alternative and obscure program from the diocese of Alexandria, LA. What's important to note about this is had the parents in those parishes not banded together to raise this issue with their pastors, they would have been using TAT in their school and parish. Our initial take on the Alexandria program is that while it is not as explicit as TAT, it does not rise to the level of Formation in Christian Chastity. It remains an obscure program throughout Catholic dioceses across the country.

The Wanderer published an update this week on the safe environments initiative here in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis and how many pastors are rejecting the Talking About Touching program. Over 15% of the parishes have received approval from Archbishop Flynn to use Formation in Christian Chastity.

The Wanderer article brought up the Relevant Radio program that took place several weeks ago. Many have been requesting those audio clips. We have posted several of them on the the Primary Educators League web site.

If you’d like to listen to some shorter clips you will find the following:

With regard to the controversial lesson plans contained in Talking About Touching, Sharon Tomlin states that they are, “changing a word here, and a word there.” Sharon confirms that the Ian and Kerry lesson plans are part of the recommended/required lessons and that they are “tweaking the message of the Ian lesson plan. Instead of a mom’s boyfriend (putting his hand down Ian’s pajama pants) it will be a mother’s relative.”

Sr. Fran Donnelly confirms that Formation in Christian Chastity (FICC, Harrisburg Program) is indeed approved by Archbishop Flynn.

Talking About Touching Teacher’s Guide - what to do when the children start to squirm. TAT jumps to the conclusion that when children start to get restless during the lesson that this may be a sign that the child has been abused. They don’t even consider that children might react this way when their innocence is being shattered.

Sr. Fran’s now infamous line about “it may not be very Catholic, but it’s real.” The original blog entry can be found here.

Sr. Fran or Sharon Tomlin goes on to say, “I would suggest that parents opt their child out.” A nd while this used to be a difficult four step process, the USCCB just changed its requirements on this to make it easier for parents to opt out.

Mary Jo Anderson, investigative Catholic reporter, was interviewed for 20 minutes by Drew Mariani. If you can't listen to the whole interview, the first few minutes of the interview are very informative. Mary Jo Anderson has written extensively on the bishops safety programs...see here and here.

Continue to check the Primary Educators League web site for an update on parishes receiving approval for Formation in Christian Chastity.