New Catholic diversity guidelines welcome all rangatahi

Diversity guidelines

New diversity guidelines for the country’s 235 Catholic schools offer support for rangatahi with regard to sexual diversity.

New Zealand’s Catholic bishops, who released the guidelines, say all young people in Catholic schools are to be welcomed, supported and encouraged. This is important as they navigate their journey from childhood to adult and discover more about who they are, the guidelines say.

“Vulnerable rangatahi” are specifically mentioned as requiring support.

Called “Aroha and Diversity in Catholic Schools” the National Centre for Religious Studies drafted the guidelines. The draft followed a “comprehensive dialogue” between the bishops, principals, national and diocesan Catholic education leaders, as well as young people.

Bishop of Auckland Stephen Lowe says the bishops are well aware of the need to support school leadership and rangatahi in navigating the complex reality of sexual diversity.

“Young people today do not live in a bubble. They are aware and inform themselves of the range of social, scientific, ideological and religious stances regarding this issue, and there is a lot of pressure and rhetoric about this issue.

“This challenges and can pressurise young people, their whānau, and schools and wider communities,” says Lowe.

The diversity guidelines clearly articulate the rich teaching of the Catholic Church, he explains.

They also provide practical information and tools to help schools make informed decisions regarding the support of rangatahi who are grappling with issues about sexual diversity in the complexities of our modern world.

“All of us are made in the image of God, and all are called into an authentic relationship with God, ourselves, each other and our world,” he says.

“Such relationships are never static, and our young people must navigate their own challenging and sacred journey from childhood to adulthood.

“Our identities as adults take time to form, and vulnerable young people should not feel pushed or coerced to make decisions about themselves too soon.

“In the midst of their journey, the rangatahi in our schools deserve to be welcomed with aroha and manaakitanga, and encouraged to discover the beauty and wonder of themselves in a way that reflects Jesus’ words and actions of love, compassion and challenge.”


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News category: New Zealand, Palmerston.

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