Telling kids they can ‘change’ sex is harmful: US Catholic bishops with other faith leaders

Telling kids they can ‘change’ sex is harmful: US Catholic bishops with other faith leaders

WASHINGTON, December 19, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – “Children especially are harmed when they are told that they can ‘change’ their sex or, further, given hormones that will affect their development and possibly render them infertile as adults.” So says a letter released Friday and initiated by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, and joined by faith leaders from the Lutherans, Anglicans, Orthodox, Presbyterians, and Southern Baptists. One Islamic representative also signed the document.

“Gender ideology harms individuals and societies by sowing confusion and self-doubt,” the statement says.

The bishops and other religious leaders denounce transgender ideology, calling it a “false idea” that a man could become a woman or a woman a man.

“The movement today to enforce the false idea—that a man can be or become a woman or vice versa—is deeply troubling. It compels people to either go against reason—that is, to agree with something that is not true—or face ridicule, marginalization, and other forms of retaliation,” they state.

The religious leaders chastise medical doctors for giving harmful advice to parents. They call on the government to support the biological reality of a male/female duality. “Parents deserve better guidance on these important decisions, and we urge our medical institutions to honor the basic medical principle of ‘first, do no harm,’” said the faith leaders. “The state itself has a compelling interest, therefore, in maintaining policies that uphold the scientific fact of human biology and supporting the social institutions and norms that surround it.”

Catholic bishops who signed the document are:

  • Archbishop Charles Chaput, of Philadelphia, chairman of the USCCB Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth,
  • Bishop James Conley of Lincoln, chairman of the Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage, Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, chairman of the Committee for Religious Liberty, and
  • Bishop Joseph C. Bambera of Scranton, chairman of the Committee on Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs signed the letter.

Unsurprisingly, one pro-LGBT organization that says it is “Catholic” slammed the statement, calling it “dangerous.”

“This statement is dangerous because it distributes false information which can lead to attitudes, policies, and practices which will do physical and emotional harm to transgender people, a community already with a high risk of becoming victims of hate crimes,” wrote Francis DeBernardo, executive director of New Ways Ministry in a statement.

DeBernardo went on to suggest that God’s creating mankind as male and female is “insufficient” since gender, he argued, can be determined by “internal self-understanding” and other factors.

The religious leaders argue that their position is founded not only upon reason, but also on God’s revelation to mankind.

“We also believe that God created each person male or female; therefore, sexual difference is not an accident or a flaw—it is a gift from God that helps draw us closer to each other and to God. What God has created is good. “God created mankind in his image; in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them” (Gen 1:27),” they state.

The full statement is below:

Created Male and Female: An Open Letter from Religious Leaders

December 15, 2017

Dear Friends:

As leaders of various communities of faith throughout the United States, many of us came together in the past to affirm our commitment to marriage as the union of one man and one woman and as the foundation of society. We reiterate that natural marriage continues to be invaluable to American society.

We come together to join our voices on a more fundamental precept of our shared existence, namely, that human beings are male or female and that the socio-cultural reality of gender cannot be separated from one’s sex as male or female.

We acknowledge and affirm that all human beings are created by God and thereby have an inherent dignity. We also believe that God created each person male or female; therefore, sexual difference is not an accident or a flaw—it is a gift from God that helps draw us closer to each other and to God. What God has created is good. “God created mankind in his image; in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them” (Gen 1:27).

A person’s discomfort with his or her sex, or the desire to be identified as the other sex, is a complicated reality that needs to be addressed with sensitivity and truth. Each person deserves to be heard and treated with respect; it is our responsibility to respond to their concerns with compassion, mercy and honesty. As religious leaders, we express our commitment to urge the members of our communities to also respond to those wrestling with this challenge with patience and love.

Children especially are harmed when they are told that they can “change” their sex or, further, given hormones that will affect their development and possibly render them infertile as adults. Parents deserve better guidance on these important decisions, and we urge our medical institutions to honor the basic medical principle of “first, do no harm.” Gender ideology harms individuals and societies by sowing confusion and self-doubt. The state itself has a compelling interest, therefore, in maintaining policies that uphold the scientific fact of human biology and supporting the social institutions and norms that surround it.

The movement today to enforce the false idea—that a man can be or become a woman or vice versa—is deeply troubling. It compels people to either go against reason—that is, to agree with something that is not true—or face ridicule, marginalization, and other forms of retaliation.

We desire the health and happiness of all men, women, and children. Therefore, we call for policies that uphold the truth of a person’s sexual identity as male or female, and the privacy and safety of all. We hope for renewed appreciation of the beauty of sexual difference in our culture and for authentic support of those who experience conflict with their God-given sexual identity.

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2 comments on “Telling kids they can ‘change’ sex is harmful: US Catholic bishops with other faith leaders

  1. Bishop Bambera “speak with forked tongue”

    As chairman of the US Catholic bishops’ Committee on Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs, he signed the above-mentioned statement that telling kids they can “change” sex is harmful. Nonetheless, earlier as bishop of Scranton, Pennsylvania, he defended the right of Jesuit James Martin to speak at Misericordia University, an institution of higher education in his diocese which receives its right to be identified as a Catholic institutiion from the local bishop. The priest supports various LGBTQUEER activities including transgenderism in children.

  2. “It’s a little o’ this,
    A little o’ that.
    What e’er one needs
    Gets pulled outta da hat!”
    /
    (From “We Ain’t No Meanies No More”, official anthem of the Hypothetically Harmonious Hierarchs & Trendsetters Assoc., a closely held division of the USCCCP’s Cmte. on Language Re-engineering, Global Warming and Eradication of Air Conditioning, AFL/CIO/CCHD/KGB/MSNBC, Abp. Godfrey Wobbles, Vice Chmn.)

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