Framing a Catholic Response to Transgender Ideology
First of all, I want to offer my deepest gratitude to the many parishioners who have offered me their condolences, on the death of my sister, Deirdre Ragan. You have been most consoling. Thank you!
A week and a half ago, I was privileged to attend, on behalf of our Diocese, a conference organized by the Denver Diocese, The conference was organized for the purpose of “Framing a Catholic Response to the Transgender Ideology.” For over a year now, I have been striving to read and comprehend the complexities (claims and counter-claims) and discover the genuine facts (medical, spiritual, and psychological) that are inherent in this issue. Very similar to the long-time issues of “same-sex attraction”, this psychological self-identity issue has suddenly morphed into a socio-political issue.
Unfortunately the fallacies contained in this “Ideology” have been, for some time now, very cleverly presented as factual and true by activists in the media, entertainment, education (schools) and government (federal and local). At this aforementioned conference, psychologists and medical experts presented reports that expose the misinformation and falsehoods that have been brain-washing America (and the world) for several decades now, allowing for this sudden surge in presenting “transgenderism” (more properly termed medically as “gender dysphoria”).
Before I go further, I do want to emphasize that, just as whenever we reference men and women “who have deep -seated homosexual tendencies,” the Catechism of the Catholic Church clearly states that such individuals “must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God’s will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord’s Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.” These persons, therefore, are children of God, unique and loved by the Lord and called to the pursuit of goodness, chastity and holiness. We are all called to express this same compassion and sympathy for those who clearly suffer greatly with gender dysphoria.
That not-withstanding, the broad panel discussion that concluded this Conference, resolved that every attempt must be made to dissuade those so afflicted to avoid taking any actions that ultimately…will… in no way contribute to their individual flourishing and might well cause them irreversible harm. A consensus of all presenting and attending the conference was, that a great effort needs to be given to counter-acting the broad public and media misinformation that prevails in society today. The various excellent speakers concurred in order to overcome the potentially life threatening mis-information that prevails today, the laity needs to become well informed and speak out with clarity and conviction, the truth about, and the appropriate protocols for, addressing gender dysphoria.
To provide for a clear understanding of this issue I contacted Fr. Tadeusz Pacholczyk, Ph.D., Director of Education at “The National Catholic Bioethics Center (NCBC) in Philadelphia. Fr. Tad provided me with a brief essay signed by all the ethicists at the NCBC that relates their official position on the “Transgenderism” issue. It is a quite clear and concise presentation of the Catholic position, but being four pages in length, I cannot convey all its content in this column. So, I will have multiple copies of this NCBC report printed up and made available for those interested, and placed on one of the tables in the Narthax for you to pick up. Should we run out, please let me know or call the office and give your name and we will print up more copies, holding one for you. The urgency, I feel, is to provide the medical truth regarding many of the potentially dangerous behavioral, hormonal and surgical treatments that are being misrepresented as a form of “therapy”, when they truly are not.
This condition is certainly “a cross” for all our brothers and sisters who are so impacted, and they deserve our sincere caring and prayers. I invite anyone who is dealing with a transgender or same-sex attracted “cross,” that would like to confidentially discuss these issues (for yourself or a family member) to call me and let me know. I will gladly answer your questions, but my primary concern is to have you help me learn more and more about the complexity of these issues. I want (and I encourage us all) to always be with you in your difficulties and strive to help you make genuinely therapeutic choices.
Sincerely yours trusting in the healing mercy of God.