The Vatican on Monday rejected the idea that people can change or choose their genders.
The document issued on the topic is the Vatican’s first on gender theory, and insists on the sexual “complementarity” of men and women to make babies.
Published during LGBTQ Pride Month, the document, titled “Male and Female He Created Them,” calls for a “path of dialogue” and listening on the issue of “gender theory” in education.
It was intended to help Catholic teachers, parents, students and clergy address the “educational crisis” in the field of teaching sexuality.
Even priestly advocates for LGBT Catholics noted that the text appeared to have relied entirely on previous papal pronouncements, Vatican documents and philosophers and theologians.
“The real-life experiences of LGBT people seem entirely absent from this document,” said the Rev. James Martin, a Jesuit priest who wrote a book on improving Catholic Church outreach to the LGBT community, titled “Building a Bridge.” ”We should welcome the congregation’s call to dialogue and listening on gender, and I hope that conversation will now begin.”
LGBT Catholics quickly denounced the formal document, calling it harmful and said it contributes to hatred, bigotry and violence against gay and transgender people.
Pope Francis has repeatedly argued against people choosing their own genders. But the document represents the first attempt to put the Vatican’s position, first articulated fully by Pope Benedict XVI in a 2012 speech, into a comprehensive, official text.
The document called for a new alliance among families, schools and society to offer a “positive and prudent sexual education” in Catholic schools so children learn the “full original truth of masculinity and femininity.”
It called gender fluidity a symptom of the “confused concept of freedom” and “momentary desires” that characterize post-modern culture. It rejected terms such as “intersex” and “transgender” and said the purpose of the biological “complementarity” of the male and female sex organs was to ensure procreation.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.