Ban on gay author shows that Catholic church is still failing young people

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Closing down debate on sexuality preserves a toxic culture that the church should be leaving behind, says Dr Jeremy Oliver

‘The Catholic church should be doing all they can to encourage young people to take part in healthy debate about sexuality.’ Photograph: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

The archdiocese of Southwark’s decision to ban a gay author from speaking at a school (Catholic church bans visit by gay author to London school, 9 March) shows that the Catholic church still has much to learn about protecting the wellbeing of young people.

Young people need examples of all types of positive, loving relationships, same-sex and otherwise, to help them make informed choices about their own relationships.

Restricting access to such information can create a culture of secrecy, fear and confusion. Some members of the Catholic church have relied on such a toxic, closed culture to let them get away with horrific acts of abuse against young people for many years.

If the Catholic church is genuinely sorry for these past abuses then they should now be doing all they can to encourage young people in their care to be informed, empowered and able to take part in healthy debate about sexuality and other important issues of faith and life.
Dr Jeremy Oliver
Clinical psychologist, London

Source: Ban on gay author shows that Catholic church is still failing young people | Letters | The Guardian

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