Search icon


26th Apr 2021

Catholic sex ed programme says puberty is a “gift from God”

Sarah McKenna Barry

Flourish claims we are “perfectly designed by God to procreate with him”.

A sex education programme aimed at Catholic schools has been released.

The course, which is named Flourish, is a proposal from the Irish Bishops Conference.

The programme is aimed at primary school-aged children, but according to The Irish Times, it will be optional for all Catholic schools.

At one point in the programme, puberty is described as a “gift from God”.

It reads: “We are perfectly designed by God to procreate with him.”

With regards to the teaching of LGBT+ relationships and identities, Flourish’s introduction stipulates that the “Church’s teaching in relation to marriage between a man and a woman cannot be omitted.”

The programme has already attracted scrutiny, with many questioning whether or not it is appropriate for sex education to have a grounding in religion.

Despite the course’s description of puberty, the Bishops Conference have insisted that the biological aspects of Flourish are in line with the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment’s syllabus.

Solidarity TD Mick Barry told NewsTalk that the programme seems “harmful”.

Barry advocated for “objective sex education where people are given information and the facts – age appropriate absolutely”.

In a statement, Atheist Ireland also objected to Flourish.

“Why on earth would non-religious parents want their children taught moral and social values based on the supposed teachings of a god?” they said.

“There is no balancing of rights here, but the tightening of control to ensure that the Catholic Church can continue to evangelise and indoctrinate.”

The NCCA are currently in the process of updating the national syllabus for relationships and sexuality education.

While the updated curriculum will be distributed to all primary schools, it is up to the schools individually to deliver the syllabus in accordance with their own ethos.


sex education