Married love, therefore, requires of husband and wife the full awareness of their obligations in the matter of responsible parenthood’, states the encyclical Humanae Vitae of Pope Paul VI, adding that the Church ‘cannot do otherwise than teach the law… of human life restored to its native truth and guided by the Spirit of God’.

Communicating a proper understanding of these obligations and the teachings of the Church about them is the goal of a campaign by the ‘Centre for Education and Family Life’ in the archdiocese of Tegucigalpa in Honduras.

Launched in April 2017, it is to continue throughout the year. As in the encyclical itself, this is not just about sexuality and conception, but about recognising the wider connections between parenthood and family, sexuality and love, emotions and intellect, dignity and the welfare of the married couple and of society.

Today these natural connections are being deliberately obscured by ideologies such as

  • gender mainstreaming,
  • feminism and
  • relativism.

For these ideologies are working for the destruction of marriage and the family, often aided and abetted by the media.

The Church is fighting back against these tendencies and has identified four specific areas that are ‘hostile’ to Christian values:

  • parenthood without responsibility,
  • pregnancies and abortions among children and young people,
  • the conflict between decadent ideologies and traditional values, and
  • AIDS among the young.

The aim of the campaign is to prevent these tragedies. With its 25 years of experience the centre also hopes to have an impact on society generally. This media coverage is achieved with 1,200 radio and 720 TV adverts, 16 major advertisements in magazines and 50 banners on internet portals. This is striving to convey the human riches of Catholic social teaching as against the consumerist mentality and trivialisation of sexuality in society.

This is a pioneering project. With the help of the parents the diocese is aiming to challenge the state, which in the field of education and also in sexual matters is attempting to call in question the natural right of parents to be the primary educators of their children.

At the same time the centre is promoting natural family planning, using simple pictorial images and showing for example how, just as ‘Mother Earth’ has its fertile and infertile seasons, so too the ‘woman as mother’ has similar monthly cycles.

Understanding our own human nature is one precondition for responsible parenthood, but teaching it costs money. Given the worldwide confusion with these issues, we want to help, and so we have promised our help for the programme in Tegucigalpa.

This article can be found in Mirror 0617.