Using some of his most powerful language to date, Pope Francis has joined the American College of Pediatricians in denouncing the transgender ideology behind contemporary ideas of fluid sexual identity among children.
In his new letter on marriage and the family, Amoris Laetitia (“The Joy of Love”), Francis said that sex education should teach “respect and appreciation” for sexual differences, as a way of helping the young to overcome self-absorption. This respect includes self-acceptance and learning to embrace the body one is born with, rather than playing with fictional identities that deny reality.
In a convergence of faith and science, the Pope said that especially when experiencing difficulties with gender identity, “the young need to be helped to accept their own body as it was created,” a proposal encouraged by the physicians of the American College of Pediatricians.
Thinking that we enjoy “absolute power over our own bodies,” Francis warned, leads to the delusion that “we enjoy absolute power over creation.”
“An appreciation of our body as male or female,” he added, is “necessary for our own self-awareness in an encounter with others different from ourselves.”
An effort to cancel out sexual differences based in anatomy is a symptom of a society that “no longer knows how to deal with it,” he wrote.
As he has done in the past, Francis decried an ideology of gender that “denies the difference and reciprocity in nature of a man and a woman and envisages a society without sexual differences, thereby eliminating the anthropological basis of the family.”
The Pope’s words echoed a recent statement from the American College of Pediatricians, which warned against the physical and psychological dangers to children posed by advocates of transgenderism. Failing to identify with one’s biological sex signals a psychological disorder that must be dealt with, not pandered to, the physicians proposed.
The doctors declared that human sexuality is “an objective biological binary trait” rather than an infinite series of self-determined “genders.” The norm for human design, the doctors said, “is to be conceived either male or female. Human sexuality is binary by design with the obvious purpose being the reproduction and flourishing of our species,” and therefore, “XY” and “XX” are “genetic markers of health – not genetic markers of a disorder.”
While everyone is born with a biological sex, the doctors noted, a child’s awareness of his or her sexuality develops over time and “may be derailed by a child’s subjective perceptions, relationships, and adverse experiences from infancy forward.” Helping them accept their objective sexual identity is one of the objectives of good parenting and intelligent education.
“A person’s belief that he or she is something they are not is, at best, a sign of confused thinking,” the physicians said. “When an otherwise healthy biological boy believes he is a girl, or an otherwise healthy biological girl believes she is a boy, an objective psychological problem exists that lies in the mind not the body, and it should be treated as such.”
Treating gender confusion as a good and normal thing constitutes an attack on children that can only mean serious problems for them in the future. Or in the words of the pediatricians, it is “child abuse.”
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