Vatican Condemns Gender-affirming Surgery, ‘Gender Theory’

Pope Francis. Photo via Pixabay.

The Vatican on April 8 condemned gender-affirming surgeries and “gender theory.”

The Associated Press reported the Vatican’s Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith released the 20-page declaration that took five years to prepare. Pope Francis, according to the AP, approved it on March 25.

The document, according to the AP, says a man and a woman are biologically different and should not try to “make oneself God.”

“It follows that any sex-change intervention, as a rule, risks threatening the unique dignity the person has received from the moment of conception,” it reads.

The AP notes the document also makes a distinction between gender-affirming surgeries and “gender abnormalities” in children that exist when they are born or as they grow up. The document stresses they can be “resolved” by health care providers.

The Vatican’s tone towards LGBTQ and intersex issues has softened since Francis assumed the papacy in 2013.

Francis publicly backs civil unions for same-sex couples, and said described laws that criminalize homosexuality are “unjust.” The document the Vatican released on Monday criticizes Uganda and other countries in which consensual same-sex sexual relations remain illegal. 

Francis during a 2023 interview with an Argentine newspaper said gender ideology “is one of the most dangerous ideological colonizations” in the world because “it blurs differences and the value of men and women.”

“In its approach to gender, the document relies on the outdated theology of gender essentialism which claims that a person’s physical appearance is the central evidence of a person’s natural gender identity,” said Francis DeBernardo, executive director of New Ways Ministry, a Maryland-based LGBTQ Catholic organization, on Monday in a statement. “This physicalist perspective shackles the Vatican to the growing consciousness that a person’s gender includes the psychological, social and spiritual aspects naturally present in their lives.”

Washington Blade courtesy of the National LGBTQ Media Association.


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