Vatican office calls gender theory 'confused concept' in guide for Catholic schools (NBC News)

The Vatican office that lays down the official line for Roman Catholic educational institutions released a new document Monday that dismisses the scientifically accepted idea that gender identity is fluid as “nothing more than a confused concept of freedom in the realm of feelings and wants.”

Calling the current thinking an attempt to “annihilate the concept of ‘nature,’” the Congregation for Catholic Education insisted that biology decides what is “constitutive of human identity” and called for the reaffirming of “the metaphysical roots of sexual difference.”

“Efforts to go beyond the constitutive male-female sexual difference, such as the ideas of ‘intersex’ or ‘transgender,’ lead to a masculinity or femininity that is ambiguous,” say the document.

That, in turn, has resulted in cultural “disorientation” and the destabilization of the family as an institution.

“This oscillation between male and female becomes, at the end of the day, only a ‘provocative’ display against so-called ‘traditional frameworks,’” it says.

Bearing the title “Male and female he created them” and signed by the Congregation’s leaders, Cardinal Giuseppe Versaldi and Archbishop Angelo Zani, the 31-page document was released as LGBTQ people around the world are celebrating pride month.

Their advocates were quick to condemn it.

“I find it a very dangerous statement. It’s incredibly disrespectful of the Vatican,” said Marianne Duddy-Burke, executive director of DignityUsa, a group that advocates on behalf of the Catholic LGBTQ community. “The fact that it’s directed towards Catholic educators who are used as a vessel to impose these teachings is wrong. “

Read the rest here.


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Once again, the Vatican demonstrates a mind-numbing cluelessness and unwillingness to join the rest of us in the 21st century. It's bad enough that their understanding of human sexuality was so badly skewed with the whole "condoms and AIDS" business. Now they want to assert that, in the title of their guideline, "Male and female he created them," ownership of a penis or a vagina is the last word in sexual or gender identity. Indeed, their attempt to inform the discussion on gender fluidity is as bad as Donald Trump putting his $0.02 in on the Boeing 737 Max issue or clueless congresspeople who doubt anthropogenic climate change, saying, "I'm not a scientist, but..." when they should have stopped after the word, "scientist."

The Catholic Church's credibility is already under severe scrutiny. They are not helping themselves here.

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Replies to This Discussion

The Vatican doesn't understand that a person who finds his/her gender identity adds greatly to the stability and happiness of the family, whereas someone who is denied the correct gender identity destabilizes and spreads unhappiness. But happiness has never been a concern for the churches....

Chris, my impression is that the Vatican will reduce any issue they feel relevant to them down to artificially simplified elements and treat that as dogma / doctrine unless they are so called on it that they have no other choice but to capitulate.  Personally, I can't escape the feeling that they are about to have their individual and collective noses rubbed in it on this one.

The real shame is that this isn't the first, second, or third time this has happened in recent years.  You'd think they'd learn.  That they apparently haven't is a disturbing indicator.

You're right of course, Loren, I often think too much from my own situation...

I think that the Vatican wants, because it serves its ideology and interests to adhere to a rigid classification of life. The evidence is mounting that this isn't so, that nature is very flexible and, at times confused. Nothing in the universe is perfect and people are sometimes born in bodies that don't suit their feelings. Human society has developed techniques that can help rectify this and should not be shy of helping.

There is one pitfall in this: some people want to change gender in the belief that they will feel better but are disappointed because the real problem was/is body dysmorphia, similar to those who believe that a limb 'doesn't belong to them' and want an amputation. The difficulty is distinguishing between the two. That said, it's not religion's role to decide how people lead their lives and cope with the challenges. In fact it's not religion's role to do anything.

ownership of a penis or a vagina is NOT the last word in sexual or gender identity, just as skin color is not the last word of being a Homo sapiens, or shape of the skull does not define intelligence. Why are gender identity, skin color, and skull shapes now accepted? There is more to being a gendered mammal that hormones control. 

Sex reassignment for gender involves legal jurisdictions recognizing the two traditional gender identities and social roles of man and woman, laws tend to add a third gender. Many self-descriptions are now entering the literature, including pangender, genderqueer,  and polygendered. Medically and socially, the term "transsexualism" replaced with gender identity or gender dysphoria to reshape the genitalia into a form with the appearance & the function of the gender desired. Patients usually undergo hormone replacement therapy (HRT), and, depending on the age at which HRT begins, facial hair removal,  patients may elect to undergo further surgery, including facial feminization surgery, breast augmentation, and various other procedures. 

OK! This is what the literature states. I have one niece, a lesbian, who married a woman and has children fathered by a friend. Another niece was born and labeled "female" who chose a gender change. He is now a father of a fairly large family. The children of these two are delightful to be around. They have good manners and high spirits which they exhibit in creative ways. No behavioral problems at home or at school. Also, according to the literature:

"adult gender roles have undergone major changes over the past few decades, prompting recognition by scholars that engaging in rigidly gendered behaviors and activities is not necessarily beneficial to children, but may in fact limit and restrict their development (Blakemore, Berenbaum, & Liben, 2009). Developing a more balanced, less differentiated repertoire of behaviors and activities may actually enhance children’s ability to succeed and thrive in a range of contexts (Blakemore et al., 2009)."

So, there you have a clue as to what goes on in child development. Indeed, as a teacher and social worker, I found that if the parents provide a happy home, the children tend to be happy; if parents provide a conflicted home, the children tend to have conflict as they develop. 

How Parental Conflict Hurts Kids

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