Vatican rejects transgender identities in advice to Catholic schools


Pope Francis catholic church schools vatican
Photo: Casa Rosada/Wikimedia Commons

The Vatican has advised Catholic schools that transgender identities are “momentary desires” and an “annihilation of nature”.

The 31-page teaching guide, titled Male and Female He Created Them, was released this week, in the middle of Pride Month.

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The document seeks to address a perceived “educational crisis” around “gender theory” and sex education.

It rejects the idea that gender exists on a spectrum as “a confused concept of freedom in the realm of feelings and wants or momentary desires” provoked by “emotional impulses”.

“Efforts to go beyond the constitutive male-female sexual difference, such as the ideas of ‘intersex’ or ‘transgender,’ lead to a masculinity or femininity that is ambiguous,” the document reads.

“This oscillation between male and female becomes… only a ‘provocative’ display against so-called ‘traditional frameworks.’”

The current debate around gender identity aims to “annihilate the concept of ‘nature’” and destabilise families, it reads.

The Congregation for Catholic Education released the document for Catholic school teachers.

Though the document calls for “dialogue and listening” on the subject, it also insists on the “complementarity” of men and women for procreation.

The Vatican ‘remains in the dark ages’ on gender identity

But LGBTIQ-supportive Catholic groups said the Vatican’s “misinformation” will encourage anti-LGBTIQ bigotry.

New Ways Ministry executive director Francis DeBernardo said the Catholic Church was ignoring modern science on gender identity.

“The Vatican remains in the dark ages, promoting a false teaching that relies on myth, rumor, and falsehoods,” he said.

DeBernardo said biological factors like genetics, hormones and brain chemistry – not visible at birth – determined gender as well as sex.

“People do not choose their gender, as the Vatican claims, they discover it through their lived experiences,” he said.

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He said the guidance would confuse those “who sincerely struggle” with gender identity and sexual orientation.

“Such confusion leads to self-harm, addiction, and even suicide,” he said.

“The misinformation will cause families to reject their children, and it will increase alienation of LGBT people from the Church.

“The only truth that the document reveals is that the Vatican remains ill-equipped to discuss gender and sexuality in the modern world.”

Pope Francis has not commented on the document but he has repeatedly argued people can’t change genders.

He has made contradictory remarks about LGBTIQ people during his papacy.

Last year, Francis reportedly told a gay victim of clerical sexual abuse, “God made you like this.”

But weeks later he declared same-sex couples and rainbow parents aren’t real families.

In 2016 Francis said the teaching of gender diversity in schools was “terrible” and the “epoch of sin against God the Creator.”

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