Published: Thu, June 13, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Vatican Issues Document During Pride Month Denying Concept Of Gender Identity

Vatican Issues Document During Pride Month Denying Concept Of Gender Identity

"Male and Female He Created Them" is the name of the piece released by the Congregation for Catholic Education - signed by Cardinal Giuseppe Versaldi.

It called gender fluidity a symptom of the "confused concept of freedom" and "momentary desires" that characterise post-modern culture.

The paper is meant to help Catholic school teachers counter ideas which "deny the natural difference between a man and a woman", and is subtitled "Towards a path of dialogue on the question of gender theory in education".

The document slams those who identify as transgender and rejects people who are born intersex, saying they go "beyond the constitutive male-female sexual difference".

It called for a "path of dialogue" and for educators to address the issue of gender theory directly.

It was released as lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people around the world have been celebrating "Pride Month" amid a surge in demands for acceptance of the idea that gender is more complex and fluid than the binary categories of male and female, and depends on more than visible sex characteristics.

The right to "choose one's gender", the Vatican said in an official document, is in "direct contradiction of the model of marriage as being between one man and one woman".

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LGBTQ Catholics denounced the doc, pointing out that it "will hiss off families to reject their kids, and this may well occasionally lift alienation of LGBT of us from the Church".

Francis DeBernardo, the ministry's executive director, said it would confuse those struggling with questions of gender identity and sexual orientation - and could lead to self-harm, addiction and even suicide.

The church made a case that children had the right to grow up in a family "with a father and a mother", and the document quoted an earlier Francis speech about how children benefit from seeing masculinity represented by the father and femininity represented by the mother.

"They discover it through their lived experiences", he said in a statement.

DignityUSA, an organization that seeks LGBTQ inclusion in the Catholic Church, called the document "dangerous, disingenuous and divisive". It rejected terms such as "intersex" and "transgender" and said the objective of the biological "complementarity" of the male and female sex organs was to ensure procreation.

It comes as many countries mark Pride Month, an annual celebration of the LGBTQ community, and LGBTQ Catholic campaign groups were quick to condemn the Vatican's guidebook.

A prominent US Jesuit writer, Fr James Martin, tweeted: "The document is mainly a dialogue with philosophers and theologians, and with other church documents; but not with scientists and biologists, not with psychologists, and certainly not with LGBT people, whose experiences are given little if any weight".

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