Bishops (CCCB) Release a Pastoral Letter on the Use of Social Media
On the liturgical memorial of Saint Francis de Sales, and with the approval of the Permanent Council, the Episcopal Commission for Justice and Peace of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) released its Pastoral Letter on the use of social media titled: “Let Your Speech Always Be Gracious.”
Acknowledging the prominent role social media has come to play at an individual and societal level, this timely Pastoral Letter considers the benefits and dangers of social media from the perspective of Catholic Social Teaching. It provides tools for moral reflection and self-examination, and suggests seven commitments by which to be guided for a more ethical use of social media:
- check for accuracy
- seek greater perspective
- value human dignity
- bring curiosity into the conversation
- distinguish between intention and impact
- privilege “in real life” encounters
- tend to our time spent online
The Pastoral Letter concludes with Discussion Questions to stimulate deeper reflection individually or in group settings.
We are excited to share with all parents across the province the new Family Life Education curriculum for grades 1 – 8 in Catholic schools in Ontario from the Institute for Catholic Education. You can find the curriculum documents here as well Frequently Asked Questions – for Parents and Topics at a Glance – Support Resource. As partners with ICE, we fully support their curriculum and continue to advocate for all schools and school boards to use this resource to teach our children these important aspects in their lives.
Family Life Update
Dr. Anne Jamieson
Institute for Catholic Education
“The Joy of Love experienced by families is also the joy of the Church.” These are the words of Pope Francis in the opening line of his teaching Amoris Laetitia – On the Love of the Family in 2016, where he encouraged an approach to families that was marked by encounter, accompaniment, and tenderness. This beautiful approach is an important way that we meet students in Catholic Education in Ontario.
Family Life Education focuses on families as a gift from God. It helps students explore what it means to be human, what God calls us to in loving relationships, and what our vocation is. Students learn about their own growth and development, and they learn that all stages of life are beautiful.
The Institute for Catholic Education has been working on an update of the elementary Family Life Education curriculum. All curriculum in all subject areas gets reviewed and updated from time to time. The Family Life curriculum for grades 1 to 8 was last updated in 2012. We are grateful for the many discussions with partners in Catholic Education and focus groups with parents and students across the province that have helped us. Educators and theologians have worked on the update. The Bishops of Ontario approve the final document.
The new Curriculum document should be ready later this year and will come into effect for the Fall of 2024. This will give everyone time to become familiar with the new document.
New student books and other resources will be developed to meet this updated curriculum under the leadership of the Bishops of Ontario. This will take time, of course. In the meantime, teachers still have access to the Fully Alive program, which is the only program approved by the bishops for Family Life Education at this time.
We will post updates for parents on our website (www.iceont.ca). Once the curriculum is available, there will be resources like Frequently Asked Questions and other pamphlets that will help parents learn more. We look forward to sharing updates over the next several months as more information becomes available.
As Pope Francis has said, “the Christian proclamation on the family is good news indeed”! (Amoris Laetitia, 1)