U.S. Bishops Ban Sex Reassignment, No One Born with the ‘Wrong Body’

transgender children
AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis

ROME — The United States Catholic Bishops have issued guidelines banning surgical and chemical intervention aimed at exchanging “the sex characteristics of a patient’s body for those of the opposite sex.”

In a March 20 “Doctrinal Note,” the bishops rule out certain forms of medical interventions in Catholic healthcare institutions such as puberty blockers and sex reassignment surgery, insisting that the do not promote the authentic good of the human person but are, in fact, injurious.

“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,” they declare.

While modern technology offers important interventions that have led to the cure of many maladies and promises for more, the bishops write, it also “produces interventions that are injurious to the true flourishing of the human person.”

The interventions advocated by many as treatments for “gender dysphoria” or “gender incongruence” do not respect “the fundamental order of the human person as an intrinsic unity of body and soul, with a body that is sexually differentiated,” the doctrinal note states, and thus Catholic healthcare services must not perform them.

The bishops recall a fundamental tenet of the Christian faith that “there is an order in the natural world that was designed by its Creator and that this created order is good,” and therefore, we are called “to respect it.”

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This respect for creation is especially important in the case of the human person, “since humanity occupies a singular place in the created order, being created in the image of God,” the bishops continue.

We did not “create human nature” and nor do we “own” our human nature, they continue, “as if it were something that we are free to make use of in any way we please.”

In their text, the bishops also argue that no one is born with the “wrong body.”

“The soul does not come into existence on its own and somehow happen to be in this body, as if it could just as well be in a different body,” they write. “A soul can never be in another body, much less be in the wrong body.”

Citing Saint John Paul II, the bishops note that man is created from the very beginning as male and female and is thus marked by a “primordial duality,” contradicted by abstract “non-binary” alternatives.

Catholic health care services are urged 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,” the bishops argue.

“Catholic health care services are called to provide a model of promoting the authentic good of the human person. To fulfill this duty, all who collaborate in Catholic health care ministry must make every effort, using all appropriate means at their disposal, to provide the best medical care, as well as Christ’s compassionate accompaniment, to all patients, no matter who they may be or from what condition they may be suffering,” the statement says.


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