Youth to priests: Engage us, teach us about human sexuality
MANILA, Philippines - Young Filipino Catholics want their priests to help them deal with issues and challenges that they are facing — sex and relationships, among them.
Charlie Ponferrada, a youth leader, said young people need resources and support against the temptation of pre-marital sex and pornography.
“The Church should really be active in educating the youth, not really about sex, but about human sexuality,” he said.
Ponferrada is among the around 5,000 participants of the local World Youth Day (WYD) celebration organized on Saturday, July 27, by the Cubao diocese’s Ministry for Youth Affairs at the Ateneo de Manila University.
According to him, sex still remains taboo in the Philippines more and more young people are engaging in pre-marital sex.
While the Church teaches about chastity, much more needs to be done to help Catholic youth remain chaste.
“Let’s be honest, many young people, especially guys, are also hooked on porn that lead them to engage in pre-marital sex,” he said.
“Of course ideally education should start from the family, but we can’t also blame some parents who have difficulty dealing with their children about this. So this is also a challenge for the Church,” Ponferrada added.
16-year-old Jocelyn Cortez, also a participant in the local WYD, said it is not enough for priests to teach the youth about confession or to pray more to avoid temptation.
“We really need people who will engage our generation for mentorship and spiritual direction,” said Cortez.
Fr Victor William Garcia, a priest for 6 years in the Cubao diocese, admitted there is a need for the Church to adjust with the changing culture of the Filipino youth.
But he said the Church is already doing something about it through various programs in difference dioceses.
“We really need to deepen their consciousness,” Garcia said.
“One way is really to start with the family because according to statistics, many young people who are engaged in this kind of activities come from wounded families,” he said.
A strengthened “formation program” is really needed to somehow address the challenges that young Filipinos are facing.
“I think a formation program for the youth is really lacking today. We really have to do something about this," he said. - Rappler.com