The Catholic Church and gender and transgender theory

The Catholic Church doesn't have any extensive magisterial discussion of transgenderism. It is only in the last 10 years, since Bruce Jenner's change to Caitlyn, that transgenderism has been in the main stream. It usually takes a while for the Church to respond to new movements within the culture. The Church is always concerned about the welfare of the individual, the family, and social forces putting pressure on the health of the family. The following is a letter from Pope Benedict in 2012.

Pope Benedict discussed problems with gender and transgender theory (Excerpt)

...only in self-giving does man find himself, and only by opening himself to the other, to others, to children, to the family, only by letting himself be changed through suffering, does he discover the breadth of his humanity ...

... it is now becoming clear that the very notion of being – of what being human really means – is being called into question ... 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. But if there is no pre-ordained duality of man and woman in creation, then neither is the family any longer a reality established by creation. Likewise, the child has lost the place he had occupied hitherto and the dignity pertaining to him. Bernheim shows that now, perforce, from being a subject of rights, the child has become an object to which people have a right and which they have a right to obtain. 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. The defence of the family is about man himself. And it becomes clear that when God is denied, human dignity also disappears. Whoever defends God is defending man. Source

Finally, we leave you with a classic Fulton Sheen talk about a normal and abnormal mind.

...the normal person is governed by reason and will. The abnormal person is governed by instincts, impulses and also he believes that the subconsciousness is the determinant of his life ... [he] live[s] in a world of dreams,... [that] have tremendous meaning and they are for the most part unfulfilled sex desires ... [its an] exaggerated belief in the sub consciousness as the determinant of rational beings ...

The normal person believes in repressing the excesses of the lower instincts in order to express reason and will and his potential for divine grace.

There is also a repression for the abnormal [mind] but the repression here is not of the lower instincts it's rather a repression of the reason and the will in order to give an outlet for the lower instincts....

There is never a repression without an expression never an expression without a repression ... [To suppress reason and will to express the subconcious lower instincts] one might just as well say the way to overcome a complex about committing suicide is to jump off the Brooklyn Bridge ...

It is wrong also for people to think that we are to get rid of all conflicts of life. There certain conflicts that are inevitable in human nature simply because we're composed of body and soul, matter and spirit. Therefore there's always a struggle, there's a cross that is at the very center of human life. No man is ever really happy on the inside until he's at war with himself ... Our Lord said I came not to bring peace but the sword. Not the sword the points and thrusts outward to destroy the neighbor but the sword that thrusts inward in order to destroy one's egotism, one's lust and one's avarice and all the things that destroy peace of mind. The greatest Cross in the world is to be without a cross.


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