The chairman of the U.S. Bishops Catholic Education Committee said in a recent interview that policies created to align with gender ideology have “no place” in Catholic schools and institutions.
Bishop Thomas Daly of Spokane, Washington, told the National Catholic Register in November during the bishops’ fall meeting that Catholic schools and institutions that have caved to gender ideology have embraced a “tragic” and “sinful” agenda under the guise of compassion.
Daly called for the U.S. bishops to be vocal on the issue of the rise in the number of young people who claim to be transgender while holding steadfast to and teaching the truths of the Catholic faith on gender and sexuality.
The Register reported:
… Bishop Daly said that parental rights were being erased by public schools and even some Catholic schools that are “using pick your own pronouns” under the guise of “being affirming and welcoming.” He said that gender politics should have “no place” in the classroom and it is especially “tragic and sinful” when it occurs at Catholic institutions of higher learning.
Daly observed more young people have questioned their gender identity as the use of social media, which, he said, has played a “significant part” in the spread of the agenda, has risen dramatically.
The Spokane bishop likened the culture’s embrace of gender ideology to the concept of “misplaced compassion” that was used by Pope St. John Paul II to describe the advance of euthanasia in his encyclical Evangelium Vitae.
Those young people who have fallen victim to LGBTQ activists’ promotion of “gender-affirming care,” Daly said, will likely become “the modern orphans of society,” having been “experimented upon” by “adults who really do not have the best interests of young people at heart.”
In 2019, the Vatican Congregation for Catholic Education released its document titled “Male and Female He Created Them,” in which the congregation asserted the existence of “an educational crisis, especially in the field of affectivity and sexuality.”
The document observed the embrace of gender ideology “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.”
“This ideology leads to educational programmes and legislative enactments that promote a personal identity and emotional intimacy radically separated from the biological difference between male and female,” the document noted. “Consequently, human identity becomes the choice of the individual, one which can also change over time.”
According to the Register, Daly also praised a pastoral letter from Bishop Michael Burbidge of Arlington, Virginia, published in August 2021 and titled “A Catechesis on the Human Person and Gender Ideology,” which “provides the principles of Catholic teaching to encourage the faithful and to guide them in responding to an increasingly difficult cultural situation,” regarding sexual identity.
Burbidge noted the “Church’s teaching rests on three principles, all knowable by way of human reason”:
First, the human person is an “embodied soul,” the composite of the spiritual and physical. The human soul is created to animate one particular body.
Second, and in keeping with the authoritative witness of Scripture (cf. Gen 1:27), the human person is created male or female. The human soul is created to animate and be embodied by one particular, specifically male or female, body.
. . .
Third, the differences between man and woman are ordered towards their complementary union in marriage. Indeed, the differences between man and woman, male and female, are unintelligible apart from such a union.
“The claim to ‘be transgender’ or the desire to seek ‘transition’ rests on a mistaken view of the human person, rejects the body as a gift from God, and leads to grave harm,” wrote Burbidge. “To affirm someone in an identity at odds with biological sex or to affirm a person’s desired ‘transition’ is to mislead that person. It involves speaking and interacting with that person in an untruthful manner.”
Daly also applauded a guidance titled “Catechesis and Policy on Questions Concerning Gender Theory,” by Archbishop Jerome Listecki of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
In his guidance published in January, Listecki asserted “biological sex expressed by our body, is a gift from God and is unchangeable,” and that a “person’s ‘gender’ is inseparable from biological sex.”
Those who “experience a tension between biological sex and ‘gender,’” the archbishop stated, “should be treated with respect and with charity,” but that the “charity ‘needs to be understood, confirmed, and practiced in the light of truth,’ and thus such persons should be encouraged to seek harmony between their biological sex and ‘gender’ not through a rejection of one or the other, but through turning to Christ and to all that the Church provides.”
“Only by turning to Christ can one acknowledge and accept one’s sexual identity in every aspect— physical, moral, social, and spiritual — and only through such an acceptance can the human person in turn experience the freedom promised by Christ,” Listecki wrote.
Daly told the Register these examples of a clear articulation of the Church’s teaching reflect that the bishops are “successors to the apostles and that doesn’t mean membership in a country club, it means that we have to protect our flock.”
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