(CNSNews.com) – Parents and teachers must do all they can to respect the innocence of children, shielding them from such things as pornography, as well as opposing any curricula that would teach 5-year-olds that marriage is anything other than a lifelong union between one man and one woman, said Cardinal Raymond Burke, head of the highest court at the Vatican.
The cardinal also said that secularists want to “win children and youth” to their way of thinking through education that usurps the duty of parents to teach young people what is “true, good and beautiful.”
Cardinal Burke made his remarks in an interview in the Polish magazine Polonia Christina, which was republished exclusively in English at LifeSite News on Mar. 20. Reporter Izabella Parowicz spoke with the cardinal, the former archbishop of St. Louis, about children exposed to “compulsory sex education classes” and asked, “Why is innocence downplayed nowadays?”
Cardinal Burke said, “The totally secular agenda, if it is to succeed, must win children and youth to its way of thinking. Education is the ultimate key to its victory in society. The only way to capture children and youth is by usurping the solemn duty of parents and teachers to educate in accord with what is true, good and beautiful.”
“Parents, and teachers who work with parents in the correct education of their children, must necessarily respect totally the period of innocence of children and young people,” said the cardinal. “Respecting that natural innocence, which is a reflection of God’s gift of conscience to every child, parents and teachers will prepare children and young people to respond clearly and courageously to those forces which would rob them of their innocence, both from within themselves – due to the effects of original sin – and from outside, for example, from bad companions and from bad communications like pornography on the Internet.”
He continued, “Parents and teachers should be vigilant that nothing is introduced into the curriculum which violates a child’s innocence and even attempts to instill in the child gravely wrong ways of thinking, for example, a curriculum endorsed by a certain major government which teaches 4-and-5-year olds that marriage can take other forms than the lifelong, faithful and procreative union of one man and one woman.”
Later in the interview, Cardinal Burke explained that marriage between one man and one woman is natural and reflects the complementarity and procreative potential of the sexes, while a “same-sex “marriage” violates the natural law, “which is the irreplaceable foundation of all legislation.”
It is a self-evident truth, he said, that “according to nature, according to God’s plan for us and our world, a child comes from a father and mother, and needs a father and mother for his or her healthy growth and development.”
If governments push for “gravely unjust” homosexual “marriage” legislation, said Cardinal Burke, “the citizens must be alerted and must be ready to take action by manifesting their firm objection to it.”
Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke, an American, is the prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura at the Vatican, which oversees the administration of justice in the Catholic Church. The Apostolic Signatura was established in the 15th century.