Boys in skirts at a Catholic school

Catholic education has a vision of sexual differences and love that oblige her to clarify her educational choices, the philosopher Jeanne Larghero believes.

It’s the story of a skirt who took on a jacket. Or how two parents of students at a Catholic school sent their 4- and 6-year-old boys to class in skirts, despite the director’s refusal at their request. New refusal, new attempt by the family. From there, of course, things can only go wrong… Everyone sticks to their point of view: the father of the family comes to school in a skirt as a sign of claim, the children dressed in the same way are isolated from the rest of the class, the diocesan director himself is forced to join in, and all of this is interrupted by the support of the local feminist activist group. Support for parents, not for Catholic education, you would think… Then the school was troubled by so-called anti-sexist tags: “I dress the way I want”, a slogan that pretty much sums up a child’s thinking 4 years; The circle is round. What do you think happened? The parents, after a little-heard explanation about the educational project of the establishment, decide to withdraw their children and enroll them publicly.

The test of clarification

But what certainly stimulated these parents, like all parents, about the well-being, integration and good education of their children? According to them, the request comes from their boys themselves, who would like to carry out their extracurricular activities in skirts, dresses, varnishes, sequins and princess costumes, and would have insisted that they also go to school in skirts … Question that weighed more heavily on the scales than all the reasons that led them to apply to this school. One could be ironic and suggest that, on the contrary, they continue to find their way in the church, which will allow them to wear the mantle at will, like many monks, priests in cassocks, and like the Pope himself who wears a long impeccable dress in all weather conditions. Proof that the church has no problem wearing the cloak, and this has brought her a lot of reproach and sarcasm! Which saints to run?

Fatherhood does not allow us to make our children the instrument of our struggle, as legitimate as we thought.

Nor will we be ironic about the comic contradiction that leads a man to be delighted to see his boys roaming around in varnish sequins and princess dresses, which many feminist moms would worry about seeing their little girls do it. sterile controversy aside, we can only thank all the protagonists of this affair. Let us thank them for finally putting the world of education, especially Catholic education, its families and its educators, to the test of clarification, and it is not too early.

Raising up differently

This clarification can be summed up in one sentence: to be a Christian is to be in the world, but not to be of the world (John 14:17). In the world we are: we open schools, clinics and hospitals, we engage in politics, we get married or not, have children or not, we follow local dress habits. In short, we are thrown into this great adventure of life that wants us to start, “do it wrong”, start over, improve, adapt to our fellow human beings. , and that we like everyone else the best and luck. It is precisely because we Christians live in this world, love it and want it even better that Catholic teaching exists and so many families turn to it.

God has tremendous respect for this man’s body, this woman’s body that is everyone’s destiny, to the point that he wanted our bodies to live forever, to find them after death in eternity.

But we are definitely not of the world: our world is somewhere else. This is exactly where the time has come for a beneficial clarification. We are not of the world, because we know that we have a Father who is in heaven: we do not believe that we are omnipotent over our own children, we know that fatherhood does not allow us to make our children the instrument of our struggle , as legit as we thought. We are not of the world, because we also live as children of God to whom we sometimes say “thy will be done”: we know that the child does not have to do everything he wants, that his desire is not omnipotent. This is why we parent differently, and this way of parenting has won entire societies.

An anthropology of love

We are not of this world, because we are carriers of an anthropology that affirms this incredible: while biology misdefines us as male and female, while militancy refuses the contribution of biology to reduce us to pure cultural products and ultimately redundant, that is to say “sexual” beings to be “degenerated”, whether they like it or not, we know that we men and women are absolutely and forever equal in the eyes of God, and that is why we fight for recognition of these rights . We know that God has tremendous respect for this male body, this female body that belongs to everyone, to the point that he wanted our bodies to live forever, that we find them after death in eternity: sex is not a playground , nor a poorly constructed structure. He is the treasure imprinted in our flesh, the imprint of God’s eternal love. Why ? Because sex is the place where love is expressed, and love will not pass: love is always and forever. This sex given to us, which makes us male or female, well before any kind of cultural influence, should not be despised to the point of being hidden under an artificially constructed “weed”. It is given to us so that we may learn to receive it and to love it, and to love it carnally through it.

That’s why we have every reason to laugh outrageously at these skirt or no-skirt stories: It’s rags and company. But that is why anything that closely or remotely resembles deconstructivist militancy has no place in the classrooms of Catholic education, because it is totally contrary to the deeply unifying vision that the church carries. This offers a rich vision, calming, full of life, focused on the future, as far as we want to know and understand it.

body positive message

It is therefore certainly a call for clarification that is being launched with us. Either Catholic education integrates all these militant demands, “supports” them as requested in Jean-Marc Blanquer’s circular on gender transitions, a circular that many Catholic institutions have already adopted discreetly, in spite of the Christian faith they claim to be carriers of , in respect of the consciences of many teachers and many students who are implicitly silenced. Either Catholic education as a whole, the General Secretariat first, takes courage in both hands and dares to affirm that this militancy and its various manifestations are incompatible with the term ‘Catholic education’. Recall that in the United States, the Bishop of Massachusetts recently withdrew Catholic recognition from an establishment that displayed LGBT flags. Let’s not fall into the trap that would divide Catholics, and let’s believe together that tomorrow’s generations need to hear what Christians have to tell them: a positive message on the body.

These questions of gender equality, sexual identity, respect for differences are central and fascinate our contemporaries. They fascinate our young people, totally devoid of the anthropological landmarks still vaguely present in their parents’ generation, and therefore very open to ideologies and militancy of all kinds. The Catholic faith carries a modern and rational vision of the body, intelligent and original responses that always touch those who discover its coherence, and especially young people. Thus, the future of Catholic education and of those who put their trust in it is indeed there: first, to train its educators thoroughly, second, to pass it on to young people, and finally, to have a clear project for to be presented to families.


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