“God created mankind in his image; in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.”– Genesis 1:27
Our Fundamental Belief in the Dignity of the Human Person
- All persons have inherent dignity and deserve love and respect because they are created in the image and likeness of God.
- We should reach out with special compassion to the marginalized and the hurting.
- All are welcome in our churches. Jesus died for all and it is both the Church’s duty and the Church’s joy to help all to know and to follow Jesus.
Laws Can’t Change the Nature of the Human Person
- God created humanity male and female, blessed them, and found His creation very good. We are all called to accept and embrace our God-given biological sex.
- This does not mean we adhere to stereotypes or rigid social roles; it simply means to recognize the truth, goodness, and reality of who we are as a woman or a man.
- Man and woman were designed by God in relation to one another, and only man and woman can form a conjugal union that brings forth children. This is a gift and a responsibility.
- The human person is not self-made.
Laws Can’t Change the Nature of the Human Family
- A man and a woman, in marriage, are irreplaceable – not interchangeable. Children have a right to be raised by a mother and father whenever possible. This, in turn, enables society to flourish.
- When we disconnect sexual activity from the permanence of marriage and from the natural openness to children, or when we deny our God-given sexual identity, we make our relationships more about us and our feelings than about giving ourselves or serving others. On a large scale, this can have a community effect too, as in the further erosion of the family and its attendant social consequences.
- Governments, the Church teaches, should uphold the family as the foundation of society. The law should recognize and protect the unique gift that authentic marital relationships offer the world.
- It is not unjust to treat different things differently. Two people of the same sex cannot form a conjugal union that brings forth children. Men and women, though of equal dignity, are not the same, and this truth is what makes it possible for them to unite and bring new life into the world.
- It is unjust to disregard the reality of who we are as created male or female, or to honor that disregard by others.
- The redefinition of humanity involved in gender ideology does particular harm to women and girls, whose hard-won rights in the economy and society are put at risk when men can claim the word and identity of “woman” for themselves for any pursuit or purpose.
Moving to Redefine the Human Person in the Law Endangers Religious Freedom
- The government has no right nor power to deny or neglect the truth that human beings are male or female.
- Those who simply believe in the truth of the human person as revealed by God – a truth also acknowledged by people of essentially all cultures and religions for all of human history – are suddenly being called “bigots.”
- People have been punished for acting on their belief in marriage or the truth about male and female – they’ve been sued, lost their jobs, and had their businesses ruined.
- Christian schools, hospitals and charitable institutions could be threatened and could lose access to public funds, non-profit status, or licenses to operate. This has already occurred, with Catholic agencies being forced to discontinue adoption and foster care, all because of their belief that children do best with a married mother and father. Unfortunately, we can expect persecution and marginalization for holding these views to only intensify.
Pray, Sacrifice, and Be Informed About What is Going On
Let us be people of prayer, courage, and mercy. Let us pray for our courts, lawmakers, and for our nation. Let us also study, educate ourselves, and be courageous witnesses for the truth. And finally, may all we do show the love and mercy of Jesus Christ.
Promoting the Catholic Vision of the Human Person and Responding to the Challenges of Gender Ideology
Gender theory/ideology has led to confusion among many Catholics in their understanding of the human person. Parishes, schools and families need to address these topics in ways that provide compassionate pastoral care while faithfully transmitting Church teaching on sexual identity. The Person and Identity Project has developed resources to assist the faithful: https://personandidentity.com/.
Teaching Document from Bishop Michael Burbidge: