Intersex people have delivered a powerful call to the Vatican, saying ‘we exist’.
Networks, organizations and activists expressed their grave concern following a document released by the Congregation for Catholic Education.
The office said intersex children must be subject to forced medical intervention to ‘normalize’ them.
Elsewhere in the document, the office also said trans people ‘annihilate the concept of nature’.
Intersex groups tell Vatican: ‘We exist’
Intersex-led and allied groups around the world have penned an open letter to the office.
They say the comments will cause ‘profound distress to many intersex people and our families’.
‘It is painfully clear that the authors of this document did not consider, let alone confer with, the many intersex people across the world who are members of the Catholic faith,’ they also say.
‘All around the world, intersex people face gross human rights violations, including medically unnecessary “normalizing” interventions, and the concealment of such practices on individuals from themselves and from society.’
Interventions like this are considered torture and ill treatment in some medical settings.
‘The idea that forced… medical interventions are necessary to build a healthy identity has never been supported by scientific evidence.’
The groups demand the Congregation and Catholic Church change its position on intersex people. Activists also call on the Vatican to ‘defend and promote intersex people’s bodily autonomy and integrity’.
Intersex nun: Vatican officials have ‘blood on their hands’
Sister Maria Renate, a nun born intersex who also works with trans children’s charity Mermaids, told Gay Star News the document is ‘rubbish’.
‘The fact that somebody is quite happy to not identify as either male or female is unacceptable to them,’ she said.
‘It doesn’t fit into their mindset.
‘There’s also many instances when people don’t want to have surgery, they’re happy in their skin, without surgical intervention. God bless the parents who allow their children to excel and develop as they are.’
Sister Renate believes Vatican officials don’t ‘differentiate between sex and gender’.
‘They just look at male, female, and that binary. Be fruitful and populate the earth. Anything else is an aberration.
‘But this is not a life choice. This is genetics and biology. But they don’t understand that.’
The nun also believes that Vatican officials have ‘blood on their hands’.
‘This gives people with a lesser mentality a license to kill,’ she also said. ‘The transgender community have always been in the firing line, the first ones to be slaughtered and cut up and maimed.’