"Education in human sexuality which tells young people in effect that abstinence and 'safe sex' are equally acceptable options sends a contradictory, confusing message," states the document approved earlier this month at a meeting of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops.
The new policy supersedes a 1987 statement that allowed discussion of condoms in education programs. That document, while restating traditional church doctrine on sexuality--which strongly condemns extramarital sex and artificial means of contraception--acknowledged that "some people will not act as they can and should." (See Education Week, Oct. 25, 1989.)
Vol. 09, Issue 12