Vatican Lists Gender Theories Among Dignity Violations

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Vatican’s Stance on Gender Theory

Official Release of “Dignitas Infinita”

The Vatican recently categorized “gender theory,” gender-affirming treatments, and surrogacy as breaches of human integrity, placing them on par with serious issues like warfare, destitution, and human smuggling. This Monday saw the release of “Dignitas Infinita” by the Vatican’s Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith, tasked with overseeing the Catholic Church’s doctrinal discipline. This document, spanning 20 pages and under development over the past five years, received Pope Francis’s approval in March, as reported by the Associated Press. It advocates for an unwavering respect for human dignity irrespective of a person’s capacity for comprehension and action, echoing the Church’s stance against abortion and euthanasia.

Critique of Gender Theory and Call for Dignity

Significantly, it criticizes the inhumane treatment of individuals based on their sexual orientation in some regions, including imprisonment, torture, and even execution. It refers to Pope Francis’s 2016 “Amoris Laetitia” (“The Joy of Love”), emphasizing respect and consideration for every individual, irrespective of sexual orientation, and the avoidance of unjust discrimination, aggression, and violence. Furthermore, it cites Francis’s January 2024 remarks, labeling “gender theory” as perilously homogenizing by denying inherent differences.

The Vatican’s Stance on Self-Determination and Sex Change

The document elaborates, “Desiring personal self-determination, as suggested by gender theory, equates to succumbing to the primal temptation of playing God.” It argues that “gender theory” undermines the fundamental distinction of sexual difference among living entities. Referencing “Amoris Laetitia,” it highlights, “‘Biological sex and the socio-cultural role of sex (gender) can be distinguished but not separated,’” The declaration also touches upon “Sex Change,” critiquing gender-affirming treatments as potentially jeopardizing the inherent dignity bestowed at conception. Yet, it supports surgical solutions for intersex individuals, identified as those born with genital discrepancies.

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Surrogacy and Its Ethical Implications

Regarding surrogacy, it contends that the practice infringes upon a child’s right to a natural origin and demeans women, reducing them to mere instruments for others’ benefit or desire, regardless of their consent.

Community Responses to the Vatican’s Declaration

Criticism from LGBTQ+ Catholic communities followed swiftly. Francis DeBernardo of New Ways Ministry praised the document’s intent to honor and love every human being but lamented its failure to extend these principles to gender-diverse individuals. Mara Klein, a Berlin-based activist, criticized the document’s perspective on gender-affirming healthcare as potentially demeaning to trans individuals’ dignity, highlighting the lifesaving aspect of such treatments. Klein also pointed out the contradictory approval of surgeries on intersex persons, often causing harm, as further evidence of the document’s hypocrisy.

The Broader Impact and Criticism

With ongoing efforts by Republican legislators in the U.S. to limit gender-affirming care access, Klein condemned the Vatican’s statement amidst increasing hostility towards LGBTQ+ communities.

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