Decree of the Holy Office

On March 21, 1931, the Holy Office (now the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith) issued a Decree. The Holy Office had proposed to it for solution a question pertaining to sex-education and Pope Pius XI's encyclical, Divini Illius Magistri, on the Christian education of youth. The Decree's question and answer about sex-education read:

Question: May the method called "sex-education" or even "sex initiation" be approved?

Answer: No. In the education of youth the method to be followed is that hitherto observed by the Church and the Saints as recommended by His Holiness the Pope in the encyclical dealing with the Christian education of youth, promulgated on December 31, 1929. The first place is to be given to the full, sound and continuous instruction in religion of both sexes. Esteem, desire and love of the angelic virtue must be instilled into their minds and hearts. They must be made fully alive to the necessity of constant prayer, and assiduous frequenting of the Sacraments of Penance and the Holy Eucharist; they must be directed to foster a filial devotion to the Blessed Virgin as Mother of holy purity, to whose protection they must entirely commit themselves. Precautions must be taken to see that they avoid dangerous reading, indecent shows, conversations of the wicked, and all other occasions of sin.

Hence no approbation whatever can be given to the advocacy of the new method even as taken up recently by some Catholic authors and set before the public in printed publications.


The above Decree is an Act of the Apostolic See (Acta Apostolicae Sedes), bearing the number AAS 23 (1931). It is an official act of the ordinary magisterium of the Holy Catholic Church, binding in conscience and mind.

For more information about classroom sex-education and how to protect children from it, contact the National Coalition of Clergy and Laity

621 Jordan Circle

Whitehall, PA 18052-7119 USA

tel 610/435-2634 • 610/435-2734 fax

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