The Vatican released a 30-page condemnation on Monday of modern gender theory calling it a “confused concept of freedom” and adding that the concept of determining gender by emotion and not biology seeks to “annihilate the concept of ‘nature.’”
The document, titled “Male and Female He Created Them,” was written by the Congregation for Catholic Education and published as America marked Pride Month. Its purpose is to tell Catholic educators how to address gender theory while hewing to the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church, Reuters reported.
Portions of the document were reproduced by the Catholic News Agency.
“In all such [gender] theories, from the most moderate to the most radical, there is agreement that one’s gender ends up being viewed as more important than being of male or female sex,” the document read.
“The effect of this move is chiefly to create a cultural and ideological revolution driven by relativism, and secondarily a juridical revolution, since such beliefs claim specific rights for the individual and across society.”
The document said the differences between male and female are not up to choice.
“There is a need to reaffirm the metaphysical roots of sexual difference, as an anthropological refutation of attempts to negate the male-female duality of human nature, from which the family is generated,” the document said.
“The denial of this duality not only erases the vision of human beings as the fruit of an act of creation but creates the idea of the human person as a sort of abstraction who ‘chooses for himself what his nature is to be.’”
Gender theory, the document said, undermines the institution of the family.
“According to such theories, the only thing that matters in personal relationships is the affection between the individuals involved, irrespective of sexual difference or procreation which would be seen as irrelevant in the formation of families,” the document said.
“Thus, the institutional model of the family (where a structure and finality exist independent of the subjective preferences of the spouses) is bypassed, in favor of a vision of family that is purely contractual and voluntary.”
The document said the Church opposes “calls for public recognition of the right to choose one’s gender, and of a plurality of new types of unions, in direct contradiction of the model of marriage as being between one man and one woman, which is portrayed as a vestige of patriarchal societies,” The New York Times reported.
Advocates for LGBTQ Catholics were unsettled at the publication of the document.
“By ignoring new scientific understandings of gender identity, and by refusing to engage in dialogue with LGBT people about their lived experiences of self-understanding and faith, the Vatican remains in the dark ages, promoting a false teaching that relies on myth, rumor, and falsehoods,” Francis DeBernardo, director of New Ways Ministry, an advocacy group for LGBTQ Catholics, said, according to USA Today.
“The document associates sexual and gender minorities with libertine sexuality, a gross misrepresentation of the lives of LGBT people which perpetuates and encourages hatred, bigotry, and violence against them,” DeBernardo added.
Contrary to the document’s claim that individuals “choose” their gender, people “discover it through their lived experiences,” he said in a statement.
Rev. James Martin, who wrote, “Building a Bridge,” which talks about the Catholic Church connecting with the LGBTQ population, had mixed feelings on the document.
“The congregation’s call for listening and dialogue about gender is a positive step, however, it seems that the congregation is listening only to philosophers and theologians rather than to LGBT people who would share their real life experiences if asked,” he said, according to The Times.
“LGBT people are usually not responding to a theory or ideology but their own inner feelings and their own desires,” he said.
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