An open letter by The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) is urging parents to reject transgender children.
What did the letter say?
‘We acknowledge and affirm that all human beings are created by God and thereby have an inherent dignity. We also believe that God created each person male or female; therefore, sexual difference is not an accident or a flaw—it is a gift from God that helps draw us closer to each other and to God. What God has created is good. “God created mankind in his image; in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them” (Gen 1:27),’ the 15 December letter reads.
‘Children especially are harmed when they are told that they can “change” their sex or, further, given hormones that will affect their development and possibly render them infertile as adults. Parents deserve better guidance on these important decisions, and we urge our medical institutions to honor the basic medical principle of “first, do no harm.” Gender ideology harms individuals and societies by sowing confusion and self-doubt. The state itself has a compelling interest, therefore, in maintaining policies that uphold the scientific fact of human biology and supporting the social institutions and norms that surround it.’
‘The movement today to enforce the false idea—that a man can be or become a woman or vice versa—is deeply troubling. It compels people to either go against reason—that is, to agree with something that is not true—or face ridicule, marginalization, and other forms of retaliation.’
‘We desire the health and happiness of all men, women, and children. Therefore, we call for policies that uphold the truth of a person’s sexual identity as male or female, and the privacy and safety of all. We hope for renewed appreciation of the beauty of sexual difference in our culture and for authentic support of those who experience conflict with their God-given sexual identity.’
The letter was co-signed by various United States-based religious leaders, including members of the Lutheran Church, the Islamic Society, the Southern Baptist Church, the Anglican Church, and the Orthodox Greek Church.
Previous Catholic statements on trans people
The sentiments of the letter echo what Pope Francis said back in 2016, calling the increasing acceptance of transgender people ‘terrible.’
‘Today, in schools they are teaching this to children–to children!–that everyone can choose their gender,’ the Pope said in a private meeting.
Studies have found that trans children who are rejected by their families are more likely to abuse substances and attempt suicide. On the other hand, transgender kids who are accepted by their families often have better mental health.