In Des Moines, Iowa the local Catholic Diocese has released a series of policies rejecting the concepts of transgenderism and refuting the validity of ‘gender reassignment.'
The new policies will prevent biological boys from playing in girls' sports, the imposed use of pronouns that contradict biological gender, the use of ‘gender reassignment medications on church property and establishes that students must use restrooms and locker rooms that correspond to their biological gender.
The new diocese policies, reported by Breitbart Tuesday, were initiated by Bishop William Joensen and are set to apply to the 17 area Catholic schools, four hospitals, and 80 parish churches.
A Diocese statement announcing the policy addresses the situation of the students sympathetically, stating
“Prior to any policy the Diocese of Des Moines fervently hopes that all persons experiencing gender dysphoria know what the Catholic Church tirelessly affirms, that they are unconditionally loved by Jesus Christ and by the Church and that they are vital members of the Body of Christ who have a home in the family of God.”
According to Breitbart, state Democrats and LGBTQ activism groups are heavily criticizing the diocese. Some, such as Democratic state Senator Claire Celsi, have done so potentially without having actually read it given that her response directly contradicts the diocese's statement.
Diocese of Des Moines codifies ostracism of transgender kids. These schools want public dollars and want to treat kids in a way that might cause them to commit suicide. This is not what Jesus would do. https://t.co/dha1FioqSh
— Claire Celsi (@SenClaireCelsi) January 4, 2023
“Diocese of Des Moines codifies ostracism of transgender kids. These schools want public dollars and want to treat kids in a way that might cause them to commit suicide. This is not what Jesus would do,” she tweeted.
The new policies include,
- “Any parochial, organizational, or institutional
documentation which requires the designation of a person’s sex is to reflect that person’s biological sex. No person may designate a “preferred pronoun” in speech or writing when related to ministry activities of any kind, nor are parishes, organizations, or institutions to permit such a designation.”
- “All persons must use the bathroom or locker room that matches their biological sex.”
- “Where a dress code or uniform exists, all persons
are to follow the dress code or uniform that accords with their biological sex.”
- “Participation in parish, school, and co-curricular activities must be consistent with the biological sex of the participant. Some sports and activities may be open to participation by persons of both sexes.”
- “Admission to single-sex programs, including but not limited to single-sex schools, camps, and retreats, is restricted to persons of the designated biological sex.”
- “No person is permitted to have on-site or to distribute any medications for the purpose of gender reassignment. Also, students and those entrusted to the care of the Church are not permitted to take ‘puberty blockers,' even if self-administered, on parish or school property, with the purpose of a potential or actual ‘gender reassignment.'”
Addressing the topic of Gender Dysphoria the diocese takes a strong position denouncing so-called ‘Gender affirming care,' stating,
“In a culture that advances a highly subjective conception of love, many families of an adult or child with gender dysphoria will feel a sense of obligation to support their loved one by acceding to and advocating for an uncritical sense of ‘whatever is going to make them happy.' Family members may wrestle with a sense of confusion, misgivings, self-recrimination, and uncertainty over how best to support their loved one.
They will likely face pressure—either directly or indirectly—from the prevailing culture to affirm and validate their loved one’s newly adopted gender and, in conjunction with medical personnel, to “resolve” the dysphoria by electing to pursue surgical and hormonal interventions aimed at altering the biological sex of the affected person.
Such treatments, especially for children, are invasive and disruptive when aspects of the entire person are taken into consideration: biological, psychological, and spiritual.
Additionally, from the perspective of reason and natural law, consistent with the tenets of Catholic Christian faith, these treatments do not promote the common good of society, particularly when it comes to the institutions of marriage and family, the complementarity of the sexes as established by God, the generation and nurturing of children, and overall human flourishing in relation to other persons in society.”
The diocese goes on to cite Pope Francis who vocally questioned whether “the so-called gender theory is not an expression of frustration and resignation, which seeks to cancel out sexual difference because it no longer knows how to confront it. Yes, we risk taking a step backwards. The removal of difference in fact creates a problem, not a solution.”
The policy set forward later states the church's justifications in part:
“The human person, created in the image and likeness of God, is a ‘unified creature composed of body and soul.' The soul is the spiritual principle of each human person and the ‘subject of human consciousness and freedom.' Yet man is truly himself only ‘when his body and soul are intimately united;'”
“Our biological sex, expressed by our body, is a gift from God and is unchangeable. A person’s biological sex is expressed in and through the body. It cannot be changed because it is bestowed by God as a gift and as a calling, and ‘the gifts and the call of God are irrevocable;'”
“A person’s ‘gender’ is inseparable from biological sex. The Catechism states that ‘Sexuality affects all aspects of the human person in the unity of his body and soul.' Therefore, while biological sex and gender—or the socio-cultural manifestation of sex as well as ‘psychological identity' —can be distinguished, they can never be separated;”
And, “Respect for creation includes respect for one’s biological sex.”
The Daily Mail reported that the left-leaning Interfaith Alliance of Iowa also criticized the diocese calling the new policies “dangerous” and alleging they advance “bigotry.”