Vatican’s new rules for gender theory
It is evolution versus creation. Is gender a widely varied genetic mechanism or a God-bestowed miracle?
The Vatican has chosen the latter. It has issued a new dictum: Male and Female — He Created Them.
The 31-page teaching guide is aimed at instructing Catholic schoolteachers to challenge the secular understandings that “deny the natural difference between a man and a woman”.
Teachers are urged to reaffirm “the metaphysical roots of sexual difference”.
Transgender communities are there merely to provoke, disrupt tradition and “annihilate the concept of nature”, the guide states.
The Catholic education ministry, itself involved in scandal over decades of child sexual abuse coverups, says that it wants to promote new dialogue on the “question of gender in education”.
“Efforts to go beyond the constitutive male-female sexual difference, such as the ideas of ‘intersex’ or ‘transgender’, lead to a masculinity or femininity that is ambiguous,” the guide says.
“This oscillation between male and female becomes, is at the end of the day, only a ‘provocative’ display against socalled ‘traditional frameworks’.”
But the LGBTQ Catholic New Ways Ministry told the National Catholic Reporter the guide would be used to oppress and harm not only transgender people, but also lesbian, gay and bisexual people.
In the guide, signed by the educational congregation’s leaders, Cardinal Giuseppe Versaldi and Archbishop Angelo Zani, it says: “It is becoming increasingly clear we are now facing what might accurately be called an educational crisis, especially in the field of affectivity and sexuality.” This may cause problems. Catholic schools accept money from secular democratic governments — which raise taxes from non-Catholics — to provide children with an education. Not an indoctrination. It’s a complicated legal issue that has flared in the past, particularly with the clash between Creationists who believe the world is 5000 years old and created by God, and secular science which has gathered empirical evidence indicating the planet has evolved over the past three billion years.
Pope Francis, pictured, under immense pressure from extreme right-wing parishioners, has not made his position clear on the education guide.
According to the Catholic Reporter, he has previously said gender theory “does not recognise the order of creation”. But he has also stated: “We must be attentive, not saying all are the same.”
The guide is far less accommodating, stating gender theory is a process of moving away from nature.