Vatican Denounces Gender Theory, ‘Gender-Affirming’ Surgery in New Doctrinal Note

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By NTD Newsroom
April 8, 2024World News
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The Vatican has released "Dignitas Infinita," a document that firmly addresses the Catholic Church's perspective on gender fluidity, cross-sex surgery, abortion, and surrogacy, declaring them as threats to human dignity.

The Vatican on Monday declared gender theory, so-called “gender-affirming” surgery, and surrogacy as grave violations of human dignity and as practices that reject God’s plan for human life.

Pope Francis recently approved the highly anticipated new doctrinal note, “Dignitas Infinita: on Human Dignity” (pdf), which highlights growing concerns over the creation of new rights motivated by sex and gender, and emphasizes long-held Catholic teachings on social and moral issues.

“The Church’s Magisterium progressively developed an ever-greater understanding of the meaning of human dignity, along with its demands and consequences, until it arrived at the recognition that the dignity of every human being prevails beyond all circumstances,” states the 20-page document.

Five years in the making, the document also identifies a number of other threats to human dignity, including surrogacy, abortion, human trafficking, sexual abuse, violence against women, euthanasia, and the plight of refugees.

Denouncing Gender Theory

The document rejects “gender theory,” or the idea that a person can chose a different gender to their biological sex.

“This ideology envisages a society without sexual differences, thereby eliminating the anthropological basis of the family,” the document continues. “It thus becomes unacceptable that ‘some ideologies of this sort,’ which seek to respond to what are at times understandable aspirations, manage to assert themselves as absolute and unquestionable, even dictating how children should be raised.”

The section begins by reaffirming that all people should be respected regardless of their sexual orientation but ends with a reminder that the difference between a man and a woman must be acknowledged and accepted.

“Therefore, all attempts to obscure reference to the ineliminable sexual difference between man and woman are to be rejected: ‘We cannot separate the masculine and the feminine from God’s work of creation, which is prior to all our decisions and experiences, and where biological elements exist which are impossible to ignore.’

“Only by acknowledging and accepting this difference in reciprocity can each person fully discover themselves, their dignity, and their identity,” it says.

Under the section titled “Sex Change,” the document states that a person’s body and soul are not separable, and that each person is created as God intended them at the moment of conception.

“Pope Francis affirmed that ‘creation is prior to us and must be received as a gift.’ At the same time, we are called to protect our humanity, and this means, in the first place, accepting it and respecting it as it was created,” reads the document.

So-called gender-affirming surgery and other interventions attempting to change a person’s gender threaten the “unique dignity the person has received from the moment of conception.”

However, if a person has genital abnormality “evident at birth or that develops later,” they may seek medical care to “resolve these abnormalities.”

Surrogacy

The document states that the Catholic Church has taken its position against the practice of surrogacy, which it says demeans the worth of a child to a “mere object.”

“The path to peace calls for respect for life, for every human life, starting with the life of the unborn child in the mother’s womb, which cannot be suppressed or turned into an object of trafficking,” Pope Francis said. “In this regard, I deem deplorable the practice of so-called surrogate motherhood, which represents a grave violation of the dignity of the woman and the child, based on the exploitation of situations of the mother’s material needs.”

In this section, the Vatican states that surrogacy violates the dignity of the child and the woman, whether she was “coerced” or chose to do it.

“The legitimate desire to have a child cannot be transformed into a ‘right to a child’ that fails to respect the dignity of that child as the recipient of the gift of life,” reads the document.

LGBTQ Community Reacts

Some who identify as LGBT in the Catholic community have criticized the document, citing it as harmful, outdated, and contrary to the goal of “infinite dignity” for all of God’s children.

“While it lays out a wonderful rationale for why each human being, regardless of condition in life, must be respected, honored, and loved, it does not apply this principle to gender-diverse people,” said Francis DeBernardo, New Ways Ministry, which advocates for LGBT Catholics.

The Vatican had previously published its most articulated position on gender in 2019 when the Congregation for Catholic Education rejected the idea that people can choose or modify their sex, insisting on the complementarity of male and female sex organs to create new life.

The Rev. James Martin, who has called for the Catholic Church to offer greater outreach to LGBT Catholics, said the gender terminology was similar to past declarations, adding that he welcomed the condemnation of legislation and violence against the LGBT community.

“That cannot be repeated too often as an offense against human dignity,” he said in an email. “The LGBTQ person, like everyone else, has infinite dignity.”

Pope Francis has made reaching out to LGBT people a hallmark of his papacy, while insisting that the Catholic Church must welcome all children of God. But he also denounced “gender theory” as the worst danger facing humanity today: an ugly ideology that attempts to cancel the God-given differences between a man and a woman.

From The Epoch Times

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