Pope Francis sparks fury as Vatican says people CAN’T choose gender ‘Annihilates nature’

LGBT rights advocates denounced the 30-page official Catholic document, called “Male and Female He Created Them”, as harmful and said it would encourage hatred and bigotry. The document, the Vatican’s first on gender theory, branded gender fluidity a symptom of “momentary desires” and a “confused concept of freedom”. It was released as lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people around the world celebrate “Pride Month”. And it came amid demand for acceptance of the idea that gender is more complex and fluid than the binary categories of male and female and depends on more than visible sex characteristics. 

Pope Francis has repeatedly argued people cannot choose their genders.

The document claimed the idea of gender being determined by personal feeling rather than biology was an attempt to “annihilate nature”.

It read: “The concept of gender is seen as dependent upon the subjective mindset of each person, who can choose a gender not corresponding to his or her biological sex, and therefore with the way others see that person.”

It says gender theories are “often founded on nothing more than a confused concept of freedom in the realm of feelings and wants, or momentary desires provoked by emotional impulses and the will of the individual, as opposed to anything based on the truths of existence”. 

Francis DeBernardo, executive director of New Ways Ministry, which seeks to united LGBT Catholics and the institutional Church, called the booklet “a gross misrepresentation” of the lives of LGBT people that could encourage violence against them.

He said: ”The misinformation the document contains will cause families to reject their children, and it will increase alienation of LGBT people from the Church.

“People do not choose their gender, as the Vatican claims – they discover it through their lived experiences.

“The Church should respect and encourage this process of discovery, because it is a process by which individuals discover the wonderful way that God has created them.

While the document is not signed by Pope Francis, it has quoted from his speeches and teachings several times and those of previous popes.

The Vatican booklet denounced theories that attempted to “annihilate the concept of nature” and “educational programmes and legislative trends that make a radical break with the actual biological difference between male and female”.

A prominent American Jesuit writer, Father James Martin, tweeted: “The document is mainly a dialogue with philosophers and theologians, and with other church documents; but not with scientists and biologists, not with psychologists, and certainly not with LGBT people, whose experiences are given little if any weight.”

The document was written by the Congregation for Catholic Education as an “instruction” to Catholic educators on how to address the topic of gender theory in line with Church teaching.

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