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World News

Transgender Catholics outraged at Vatican for dubbing gender theory ‘grave threat’ to human dignity

by Heather Preston

Transgender members of the Catholic community have expressed their disappointment with the Vatican’s recently published report on Human Dignity, labelling it “hurtful”.

The "Dignitas Infinita" (Infinite Dignity) document reiterates the Church’s opposition to sex changes, gender theory, surrogate parenthood, abortion and euthanasia.

The text, published on 8th April and signed by Pope Francis, outlines poverty, war, migration, human trafficking, sexual abuse, violence against women, abortion, surrogacy, euthanasia and assisted suicide, the marginalisation of people with disabilities, gender theory, sex change and digital violence as “grave violations” to human dignity.

Some liberal Christians have expressed hurt and disappointment at the document which rejects the concept of changing biological sex.

“A document like this is very hurtful to the larger LGBTQ+ community but especially to the trans community,” Catholic transgender man Maxwell Kuzma told The Independent.

In recent years the Vatican has declared it permissible in certain circumstances for transgender people to be baptised and has welcomed transgender women to his weekly general audiences. Some transgender people see this document as at odds with these moves to embrace the LGBTQ+ community.

The document states: “every person, regardless of sexual orientation, ought to be respected in his or her dignity and treated with consideration, while ‘every sign of unjust discrimination’ is to be carefully avoided, particularly any form of aggression and violence.” However, some have taken issue with the definitions of men and women.

Under a section on gender theory, the document reiterates the Church’s view that human life is a gift from God, adding that desiring to self-determine gender is a “temptation to make oneself God.”

It also rejects gender theory’s intention to deny the difference between men and women stating: “This ideology ‘envisages a society without sexual differences, thereby eliminating the anthropological basis of the family.’”

Addressing sex change, the document says we are called to “protect our humanity” and “accept and respect it as it was created.”

“It follows that any sex-change intervention, as a rule, risks threatening the unique dignity the person has received from the moment of conception,” it reads.

 LGBT Catholic Michael J, O’Loughlin posted on X that the document “felt like whiplash.”

“Like other LGBT Catholics, I read the Vatican document about human dignity and felt whiplash, asking how to square the pope’s merciful gestures with a statement that seems not to have listened to lived experiences.”

However, conservative Christians and theologians have applauded the document for its consistency and commitment to Church doctrine.

David Cloutier, the Ordinary Professor of Moral Theology at the Catholic University of America, told Crux: “The [list of issues] demolishes any kind of attempt to align the Church with liberals or conservatives, or with progressives and traditionalists, because it shows that the Church’s teaching about poverty, and peace, and human trafficking, and migration is completely consistent with its teaching against abortion, against euthanasia, against transgender surgeries, those kinds of things.”

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has welcomed the document for highlighting the importance of respecting and protecting human dignity in all circumstances.



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