08 March 2018
Clergy group issues statement on sex changes
A group of Catholic clergy has issued a statement on “the challenges posed by gender ideology”, describing the issue as “an urgent pastoral question.
Stating that it is essential that every human being “accepts the sex they were born with”, the British Confraternity of Catholic Clergy, a group established prior to the visit of Pope Benedict XVI to the UK in 2010, said Catholics frequently find themselves confused and “given this situation it seems very important to state Catholic teaching in this area clearly and simply”.
It said the advance of “gender ideology” has become impossible to ignore: “As Catholic priests and deacons we commit ourselves to proclaiming Catholic teaching in this area and to ministering with pastoral charity to those most effected.” They said that “increasingly” they are meeting individuals in their parishes who often believe they must change their sex to find happiness.
“Sometimes these people can be very young, which causes anguish to their parents and anxiety to teachers and others concerned with their well-being. To suggest that a person cannot change their sex is immediately met with charges of hatred and bigotry.” Whilst acknowledging that a “small minority” of people do find it difficult to accept their own sex they reject the idea of gender reassignment. The secretary of the Confraternity, a parish priest in south London, Fr Richard Whinder, whilst stressing he was not the author of the statement, told The Tablet: “I was pleased the statement was produced and think it will be a useful point of reference for teaching in the parish.”
The Tablet asked the bishops’ conference for a statement in response to the Confraternity’s assertion that guidance is needed on the issue. A spokesman said: “The bishops agreed in November to reflect and discuss this at the next plenary in April. This they will do.”
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