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Bishops forbid sex changes at Catholic health institutions

Parents protest drag queen story hour

Kena Betancur | AFP

John Burger - published on 03/22/23

Committee on Doctrine urges medical profession to help those who are confused but do so according to the order of nature.

Catholic health care services must not perform interventions, whether surgical or chemical, that aim to transform the sexual characteristics of a human body into those of the opposite sex or take part in the development of such procedures. Thus says a “doctrinal note” issued this week by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Doctrine.

The note was issued in the midst of ongoing efforts to mainstream gender theory, which holds that it’s possible that a person born male could actually be a female, and vice versa, and that it’s legitimate that that person undergo medical interventions to help him change sex. 

The Committee on Doctrine urged Catholic health care services to “employ all appropriate resources to mitigate the suffering of those who struggle with gender incongruence, but the means used must respect the fundamental order of the human body. Only by using morally appropriate means do healthcare providers show full respect for the dignity of each human person.”

Issued March 20, the note cautioned that as the boundaries of what is technologically possible continue to expand, “it is imperative to identify moral criteria to guide our use of technology. … An indispensable criterion in making such determinations is the fundamental order of the created world. Our use of technology must respect that order.”

The Doctrine Committee, chaired by Brownsville, Texas, Bishop Daniel E. Flores, said that particular care should be taken to protect children and adolescents from gender ideology, as they are still maturing and “are not capable of providing informed consent.”

“The search for solutions to problems of human suffering must continue, but it should be directed toward solutions that truly promote the flourishing of the human person in his or her bodily integrity,” the Doctrine Committee said.

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