Catholic Church wrongfully condemns gender-affirming care

On March 25, Pope Francis, the head of the Catholic Church, ordered the publication of a 20-page document condemning gender-affirming care, gender theory and surrogacy. The document’s existence has been rumored since 2019 yet was not made official until last month. I can’t help but wonder if the authors of this document are finally relieved that after years of hard work and writing, their bigotry will now make a lasting impact on the people the document targets.

You almost have to applaud the Church. I mean, it took decades to address the child abuse and predators in power, but not even seven months after blessing same-sex marriages, the Church was able to spit out a peace offering for conservatives. Give them their same-sex marriages, but make sure they’ll never have children of their own via surrogacy. Let them be gay, but draw the line at gender! Because both spectrums can’t exist at once, right?

In a time where reproductive rights are flaunted around like it’s a “this or that” question in America, allowing Supreme Court justices who were finished having children before the turn of the century to decide what’s morally right, should the Church really be throwing in its two cents about this issue? After years of fighting abortion and coveting life, they’ve decided that life is only valuable when done “naturally.” Keep in mind, these are the same people praying to the Virgin Mary, the Blessed Mother who acted as a surrogate for Jesus.

Notably, the document claims that those who seek to alter their biological sex are attempting to “make oneself God.” I have to wonder if the Vatican is even aware of what gender-affirming care entails. From what I’ve researched, at no point are patients handed the keys to the kingdom during this process. The water is not turned into wine, and they are not feeding 5,000. This ideology is harmful and actively works to permanently separate members of the LGBTQ+ community from the Church.

Even if they do support same-sex marriage, how can they tell these couples that, even though an “exception” was made for them, they have to reject perhaps their biggest allies and fellow queer individuals because God’s vision can’t be stretched any further.

I want to address this issue both as a cisgender woman and as someone raised loosely in the Catholic Church. Having attended a private Catholic middle school, I say with full confidence that the Church’s beliefs trickle down. What begins as a 20-page declaration soon becomes an educational booklet on “Proper Family Structures” that a group of early pubescent teenagers are instructed to read, memorize and retell on religion class exams.

I believe that the students will start calling each other “gay” as satire. The young girls, perhaps some closeted, begin to reframe their future in accordance with the only resource on family that they know apart from their own. What the Church says matters, and as a Catholic, I’ll say the same thing to my priest that I’ll say to my legislators: get your moral beliefs out of my uterus and keep your opinions far from my rights.


Featured photo courtesy of Diliff, Wikipedia