Sexual Orientation & Gender Identity – Magisterial Statements

E. Magisterial Statements

Genesis 1:27 Navarre Bible commentary. – “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” Genesis 1:27

Catechism of the Catholic Church 369. – Man and woman have been created, which is to say, willed by God: on the one hand, in perfect equality as human persons; on the other, in their respective beings as man and woman. “Being man” or “being woman” is a reality which is good and willed by God: man and woman possess an inalienable dignity which comes to them immediately from God their Creator.240 Man and woman are both with one and the same dignity “in the image of God”. In their “being-man” and “being-woman”, they reflect the Creator’s wisdom and goodness.

Catechism of the Catholic Church 2297. – “… Except when performed for strictly therapeutic medical reasons, directly intended amputations, mutilations, and sterilizations performed on innocent persons are against the moral law.”

Benedict XVI, Christmas Address to the Roman Curia (excerpt from sec. 1, paras 5, 6, 7), 22 December 2008. – “Since faith in the Creator is an essential part of the Christian creed, the Church cannot and must not limit herself to passing on to the faithful the message of salvation alone. She has a responsibility towards creation, and must also publicly assert this responsibility. In so doing, she must not only defend earth, water and air as gifts of creation belonging to all. She must also protect man from self-destruction. What is needed is something like a human ecology, correctly understood.
If the Church speaks of the nature of the human being as man and woman, and demands that this order of creation be respected, this is not some antiquated metaphysics. What is involved here is faith in the Creator and a readiness to listen to the “language” of creation. To disregard this would be the self-destruction of man himself, and hence the destruction of God’s own work.
What is often expressed and understood by the term “gender” ultimately ends up being man’s attempt at self-emancipation from creation and the Creator. Man wants to be his own master, and alone – always and exclusively – to determine everything that concerns him. Yet in this way he lives in opposition to the truth, in opposition to the Creator Spirit”
– this address includes one of the former Holy Father’s earlier references to a “human ecology” with respect to a correct understanding of human nature and the concept of “gender.”

Benedict XVI, Christmas Address to the Roman Curia (excerpt from paragraph 6), 21 December 2012. – “…. it is now becoming clear that the very notion of being – of what being human really means – is being called into question. [The Chief Rabbi of France, Gilles Bernheim,] quotes the famous saying of Simone de Beauvoir: “one is not born a woman, one becomes so” (on ne naît pas femme, on le devient). These words lay the foundation for what is put forward today under the term “gender” as a new philosophy of sexuality. According to this philosophy, sex is no longer a given element of nature, that man has to accept and personally make sense of: it is a social role that we choose for ourselves, while in the past it was chosen for us by society. The profound falsehood of this theory and of the anthropological revolution contained within it is obvious. People dispute the idea that they have a nature, given by their bodily identity, that serves as a defining element of the human being. They deny their nature and decide that it is not something previously given to them, but that they make it for themselves. According to the biblical creation account, being created by God as male and female pertains to the essence of the human creature. This duality is an essential aspect of what being human is all about, as ordained by God. This very duality as something previously given is what is now disputed. The words of the creation account: “male and female he created them” (Gen 1:27) no longer apply. No, what applies now is this: it was not God who created them male and female – hitherto society did this, now we decide for ourselves. Man and woman as created realities, as the nature of the human being, no longer exist. Man calls his nature into question. From now on he is merely spirit and will. The manipulation of nature, which we deplore today where our environment is concerned, now becomes man’s fundamental choice where he himself is concerned. From now on there is only the abstract human being, who chooses for himself what his nature is to be. Man and woman in their created state as complementary versions of what it means to be human are disputed….. When the freedom to be creative becomes the freedom to create oneself, then necessarily the Maker himself is denied and ultimately man too is stripped of his dignity as a creature of God, as the image of God at the core of his being.”

Moira McQueen, “Catholic Teaching on Transgender (Gender Dysphoria),” Canadian Catholic Bioethics Institute, 2016. (accessed June 16, 2017) – CCBI Director; appointed by Pope Francis to the International Theological Commission, 2014 – 2019.
Includes a synopsis of the current cultural status of the issue, a brief summary of Catholic teaching, and an overview of medical approaches to GD.

Pope Francis, “Ideological colonization,” In‐flight press conference from The Philippines to Rome, 19 January, 2015. (accessed June 16, 2017) – “… Ideological colonization. I’ll give just one example that I saw myself. Twenty years ago, in 1995, a minister of education asked for a large loan to build schools for the poor. They gave it to her on the condition that in the schools there would be a book for the children of a certain grade level. It was a school book, a well‐thought‐out book, didactically speaking, in which gender theory was taught. This woman needed the money but that was the condition. Clever woman, she said yes and made another book as well and gave both of them. And that’s how it happened.
This is ideological colonization. They introduce an idea to the people that has nothing to do with the people. With groups of people yes, but not with the people. And they colonize the people with an idea which changes, or means to change, a mentality or a structure. During the Synod [on the Family in 2014], the African bishops complained about this. It was the same story, certain loans in exchange for certain conditions.
Why do I say “ideological colonization”? Because they take the need of a people to seize an opportunity to enter and grow strong through the children. But this is nothing new. The same was done by the dictatorships of the last century. They entered with their own doctrine. Think of the Balilla [Italy’s Fascist paramilitary youth organization], think of the Hitler Youth …. They colonized the people. So much suffering – peoples must not lose their freedom. Each people has its own culture, its own history. But when conditions are imposed by colonizing empires, they seek to make these peoples lose their own identity and create uniformity.”

Pope Francis, “Catechesis on the family ‐ Male and female (I),” 15 April, 2015. (accessed June 16, 2017) – “This catechesis and the next one will treat the difference and complementarity between man and woman … And as we all know, sexual difference is present in so many forms of life, on the great scale of living beings. But man and woman alone are made in the image and likeness of God …. This tells us that it is not man alone who is the image of God or woman alone who is the image of God, but man and woman as a couple who are the image of God. The difference between man and woman is … for the sake of communion and generation … Experience teaches us: in order to know oneself well and develop harmoniously, a human being needs the reciprocity of man and woman … We are made to listen to one another and help one another. We can say that without the mutual enrichment of this relationship … the two cannot even understand the depth of what it means to be man and woman.
Modern contemporary culture has opened new spaces, new forms of freedom … to enrich the understanding of this difference. But it has also introduced many doubts and much skepticism.
For example, I ask myself, if the so‐called gender theory is not, at the same time, an expression of frustration and resignation, which seeks to cancel out sexual difference because it no longer knows how to confront it …
The removal of difference in fact creates a problem, not a solution. In order to resolve the problems in their relationships, men and women need to speak to one another more, listen to each other more, get to know one another better, love one another more.
… I would urge intellectuals not to leave this theme aside, as if it had to become secondary in order to foster a more free and just society.”

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