Wednesday, 12 June 2019

Vatican Takes Stand Against Notion of Gender Spectrum in Newly Released Statement

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It does not take a degree in biology to understand that there exist just two sexes/genders, but that has not stopped the social-justice warriors from their tirade against the irrefutable science that gender fluidity is a symptom of a mental health crisis. Now the Vatican has weighed in on the subject with a statement that slams gender theory and the notion of gender spectrum.

Last week, the Vatican released a statement entitled “Male and Female He Created Them” that is intended for instructional use for teachers and parents in Catholic education. The statement is meant to “support those engaged in the education of the younger generations to address ‘methodically,’ in light of the broader horizon of education in love, the issues most debated today on human sexuality.”

“The Congregation for Catholic Education has seen fit to offer this text to all who have a special interest in education, and to those whose work is touched by the question of gender theory,” the statement reads.

The statement is sure to be provocative as it definitively claims that gender spectrum is “nothing more than a confused concept of freedom in the realm of feelings and wants,” characteristic of “post-modern culture,” which is dictated by “momentary desires provoked by emotional impulses and the will of the individual, as opposed to anything based on the truths of existence.”

It contends that the notion of a gender spectrum is indicative of an “educational crisis”:

In many places, curricula are being planned and implemented which “allegedly convey a neutral conception of the person and of life, yet in fact reflect an anthropology opposed to faith and to right reason”. The disorientation regarding anthropology which is a widespread feature of our cultural landscape has undoubtedly helped to destabilise the family as an institution, bringing with it a tendency to cancel out the differences between men and women, presenting them instead as merely the product of historical and cultural conditioning.

It argues the “mission of education” is too susceptible to ideology and contends that the notion of “gender theory” is merely an ideology that “denies the difference and reciprocity in nature of a man and a woman and evisages a society without sexual differences, thereby eliminating the anthropological basis of the family.”

The statement bemoans educational programs and legislation that “promote a personal identity and emotional intimacy radically separated from biological difference between male and female.”

The statement contends that denying there are only two sexes denies God’s design. “The physiological complimentarity of male-female sexual difference assures the necessary conditions for procreation,” the statement argues.

Recalling a verse from Genesis that reads “male and female He created them,” the statement continues,

The Holy Scripture reveals the wisdom of the Creator’s design, which “has assigned as a task to man his body, his masculinity and femininity; and that in masculinity and femininity he, in a way, assigned to him as a task his humanity, the dignity of the person, and also the clear sign of the interpersonal communion in which man fulfils himself through the authentic gift of himself”. Thus, human nature must be understood on the basis of the unity of body and soul, far removed from any sort of physicalism or naturalism, since “in the unity of his spiritual and biological inclinations and of all the other specific characteristics necessary for the pursuit of his end.”

The document does not simply refute the ideological claims of gender fluidity, but also observes the dangers of accepting the separation of sex from gender, namely that it hurts relationships and monogamy:

In a growing contraposition between nature and culture, the propositions of gender theory converge in the concept of ‘queer’, which refers to dimensions of sexuality that are extremely fluid, flexible, and as it were, nomadic. This culminates in the assertion of the complete emancipation of the individual from any a priori given sexual definition, and the disappearance of classifications seen as overly rigid. This would create a new range of nuances that vary in degree and intensity according to both sexual orientation and the gender one has identified oneself with.

The duality in male-female couples is furthermore seen as in conflicting with the idea of “polyamory”, that is relationships involving more than two individuals. Because of this, it is claimed that the duration of relationships, as well as their binding nature, should be flexible, depending on the shifting desires of the individuals concerned. Naturally, this has consequences for the sharing of the responsibilities and obligations inherent in maternity and paternity. This new range of relationships become ‘kinship’. These are: based upon desire or affection, often marked by a limited time span that is determined, ethically flexible, or even (sometimes by explicit mutual consent) without any hope of long-term meaning. What counts is the absolutely free self-determination of each individual and the choices he or she makes according to the circumstances of each relationship of affectivity.

This has led to calls for public recognition of the right to choose one’s gender, and of a plurality of new types of unions, in direct contradiction of the model of marriage as being between one man and one woman, which is portrayed as a vestige of patriarchal societies.

The statement goes on to concede that gender theory as a field has made valuable contributions to society that are supported by the Catholic Church, including raising awareness of the bullying and discrimination against individuals that experience gender confusion and expanding the scope and values of femininity.

However, the document goes on to say that efforts to eliminate discrimination have become too broad and have had a dramatic and negative effect on society:

In practice, the advocacy for the different identities often presents them as being of completely equal value compared to each other. This, however, actually negates the relevance of each one. This has particular importance for the question of sexual difference. In fact, the generic concept of “non-discrimination” often hides an ideology that denies the difference as well as natural reciprocity that exists between men and women. “Instead of combatting wrongful interpretations of sexual difference that would diminish the fundamental importance of that difference for human dignity, such a proposal would simply eliminate it by proposing procedures and practices that make it irrelevant for a person’s development and for human relationships. But the utopia of the ‘neuter’ eliminates both human dignity in sexual distinctiveness and the personal nature of the generation of new life”. The anthropological basis of the concept of family is thus emptied of meaning.

The statement also takes aim at the transgender community for engaging in “provocative displays” to deliberately violate “traditional frameworks” and contends that these individuals are making a mockery of those who actually do suffer from “sexual indeterminacy.”

And while the statement is intended to assist educators, it ultimately reasons that the family should be the “primary pedagogical environment for the educational formation of children.” However, it does provide guidance to Catholic educators and asks them to take into account the age of the students being taught and to be available to students who may be experiencing complex and painful feelings related to gender confusion.

If you are interested in reading the 28-page statement in its entirety, click here.

The statement was signed by Congregation for Catholic Education's leaders Giuseppe Cardinal Versaldi and Archbishop Angelo Vencenzo Zani on February 2 of this year, but was not released to the public until June 9, though it is unclear why.

Photo of the Vatican: TomasSereda / iStock / Getty Images Plus

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