Forbes Magazine has accused the Vatican of “rejecting” transgender people by publishing a text reaffirming its teaching that God creates human beings as male and female.
In her article, titled “It’s The First Sunday Since The Vatican Rejected Transgender People,” Dawn Ennis said that the LGBTQ community considers it “no accident” that the Vatican released its document during “Pride Month.”
“The Church, by sharing this teaching tool during the month celebrated by the world’s gays, lesbians bisexuals, transgender and other gender nonconforming people as ‘Pride Month,’ appeared to be reinforcing the comparison that Pope Francis drew in 2015, that the modern concept of gender is as dangerous as ‘nuclear arms,’” she said.
For Roman Catholics, June is celebrated each year as the month of the Sacred Heart, a time of special reparation to the Heart of Jesus for the sins of humanity.
In its 30-page text, titled Male and Female He Created Them, the Vatican’s Congregation for Catholic Education has denounced “gender theory” for attempting to separate a person’s gender from their biological sex, leading to a “utopia of the neuter.”
The text also decries what it sees as an “educational crisis” stemming from efforts to indoctrinate children with mistaken notions of gender fluidity and human sexuality. School curricula are being planned and adopted that “reflect an anthropology opposed to faith and to right reason,” it says.
This “disorientation” cancels out differences between men and women, the text says, “presenting them instead as merely the product of historical and cultural conditioning.”
In her critique of the text, Ms. Ennis cites the celebrated LGBT advocate, Jesuit Father James Martin, who lamented that the Vatican document will give anti-transgender activists more ammunition.
“The most likely short-term result of ‘Male and Female He Created Them’ will be to provide ammunition for Catholics who would deny the reality of the transgender experience, who would label transgender people as simple ideologues, and who would deny their real-life experiences,” Martin wrote.
“It will most likely contribute to a greater feeling of isolation, a greater feeling of shame and a greater marginalization of those who are already marginalized in their own church: transgender people,” he added.
Ms. Ennis also cites Francis DeBernardo, director of the LGBT advocacy group New Ways Ministry, which rejects Catholic teaching on homosexuality. DeBernardo said the document was “anachronistic” in its suggestion that gender is determined by biological sex.
DeBernardo said that the Vatican was mistaken in suggesting that according to gender theory people can choose their gender. No, he said, “they discover it through their lived experiences.”
In a June 11 response to Father James Martin, Princeton professor Robert George said that the new Vatican text reaffirms Christianity’s perennial rejection not of people but of body-soul dualism, as if the body mattered little or not at all in determining a person’s identity.
“Among the greatest achievements of Christianity is its thoroughgoing rejection of the separation of self and body that one finds in, for example, Platonism, Cartesianism, and (most pertinently) various forms of gnosticism—ancient and modern,” he wrote.
True compassion, George insisted, is never found in lying to other people about reality, but in presenting the truth with kindness. This is also the case when people suffer from confusion about their own sexual identities.
“A dysphoria, whether it is a gender dysphoria or a dysphoria of another type, may cause a person sincerely—and intensely—to feel that he or she is something other than what he or she is, but it cannot make him or her into what he or she feels he or she is,” he noted.
“I hope that you will also, particularly in your one-on-one pastoral ministry and in your public commentary, found your work on the truths proclaimed by the Church about our embodied nature as male and female,” he said.