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But its conclusion has not been received favorably by trans Catholics; it says that Catholic schools must help teach young people that gender is fixed at birth.According to the Congregation for Catholic Education, the Vatican office that released the document, “gender theory” has misled people to think that gender is different from biological sex.
“Oscillation between male and female becomes, at the end of the day, only a ‘provocative’ display against so-called ‘traditional frameworks’, and one which, in fact, ignores the suffering of those who have to live situations of sexual indeterminacy,” the authors write.
The announcement comes at a time when trans people’s rights are under threat on a national level.
Last month the Trump administration announced a proposal to roll back protections for discrimination against trans people by healthcare providers.
Transgender people make up only 0.6 percent of the US population, and they are about 8 times as likely to report attempting suicide than the rest of the population.
There is actual science and medical knowledge that the church is choosing to ignore. I’m irritated that once again the church has chosen to diminish and limits my lived experience while saying that they are listening. Lately, every time I start to soften a little bit and think about maybe going back to church, something awful like this happens. I’m sick of being abused by those who are supposed to be my family. There will be a few transgender Catholics who will take them at their word and use the title to promote a dialogue. But there will be many more who will finally concede that the church is just too irrelevant to life in the 21st century and will find other spiritual homes.
Then there are those who will be attacked and marginalized by people who will find justification for their prejudice in this paper. This rate rises even higher depending on the type of discrimination they are subject to, says a 2014 study by the Williams Institute.It is not clear why the Congregation for Catholic Education has decided to weigh in on gender identity now.The Ryan Commission published its 2,600-page report in 2009.Despite government inspections and supervision, Catholic clergy had, across decades, violently tormented thousands of children.In the United States, attitudes of Catholics have been shifting.Sixty-eight percent of Catholics in the United States say they feel more supportive toward transgender rights than they did five years ago, compared to 62 percent of the general population, according to a survey conducted this year by Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI).It is not sufficient to suggest, as these authors do, that males have XY chromosomes and females have XX chromosomes.All in all, this is a rear-guard attempt to defend a hyper-conservative Catholic view that, especially in light of the sex abuse/church cover-up scandal, seems almost laughable were it not so tragic. Well, it certainly sends a signal that some folk in the higher echelons of the church are trying to turn back the clock.The past few years have seen a rapid increase in conversations about LGBTQ Catholics within the church — the Vatican used the acronym LGBT for the first time in June of last year, in a document written for a meeting of bishops in Rome.In a final version of the document, the acronym was removed.