Editor’s note: This article is the first in a series addressing the serious matter of authentic Catholic teaching on “transgender” issues.
(LifeSiteNews) — With instructions issued just one week ago by the Vatican’s Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith (DDF) concerning the admission of “transexual” persons to the sacraments and such roles as sponsor for Baptism and Confirmation, transgender ideology and practices have been placed once again in the limelight within the Catholic Church. And to any objective observer, it is clear that the Vatican is now attempting to impose the acceptance of “transgenderism” in practice upon the whole Church, in contradiction to authentic Catholic moral teaching and previous statements issued by the Vatican concerning the same issue.
At the same time in the U.S., the Catholic bishops are working on formalizing an instructional document to follow the letter that the doctrinal committee of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops published in March condemning “gender-transitioning” surgeries and puberty blockers. In the letter, the bishops identified the underlying errors of dualism and the rejection of God’s will as Creator of the human race and author of the sexual difference between man and woman.
When this letter and the related policies were discussed among the bishops in June, pro-LGBT Cardinals Robert McElroy of San Diego and Joseph Tobin of Newark, New Jersey objected and argued for the need to “listen” and “consult” members of the LGBT community.
In similar support of the “rainbow” agenda, several bishops offered or approved pro-LGBT “Pride” Masses in June within their dioceses. These Masses were blasphemously and sacrilegiously used to openly promote LGBT lifestyles while flaunting total disregard for Catholic sexual morality.
Meanwhile, conservative legislatures and governors in the U.S. have taken legal action to protect children from curricula and adult sexual grooming that leads directly to the surgeon’s operating table, resulting in the permanent sterilization and disfigurement of the child.
It is in this context that this article, and several to follow, will address what authentic Catholic teaching has to say about the stark reality of transgender practices and ideology. Catholic theology is certainly not the only authority or lens through which to speak to the issues of transgenderism. But given the push to accept transgender ideology within the Church, what Catholic theology has to say on the matter carries an urgency and weight that is only increasing by the day.
To be clear, transgender issues touch upon matters of biology and science, as well as medical practice, medical ethics, law, education, parental rights, and psychology, all of which are knowable by natural reason.
However, transgender issues also touch upon revealed matters: creation, the constitution of the human person through both body and soul, sexual difference as determined by God at man’s creation, the purpose of sexual differentiation and the sexual act, the commandments regarding marriage and chastity, sin and repentance, the sacraments of matrimony and the priesthood, consecrated celibacy, the obligation to affirm the truth and reject lies, and the obligation to protect children from physical and spiritual harm.
Cutting through the euphemisms: transgender surgeries are the mutilation of healthy, functioning sexual organs
In order to speak clearly on transgenderism, the first point of order will be to cut straight through the deceitful euphemisms with which the bloody, gruesome reality of “gender transitioning” is cast into soft-sounding phrases that hide the brutality of what is being proposed.
These euphemisms include “top and bottom surgeries,” “pausing puberty,” “gender identity,” “gender assignment,” “gender affirming care,” and the like.
Why are these euphemisms? Well – to deal with just two – what are “top and bottom surgeries?” What does it mean to “pause puberty?”
“Top surgery” is cutting off the breasts of a girl or woman or adding tissue to look like breasts to a boy or man. “Bottom surgery” is cutting off the penis of a boy or man and attempting to construct in its place a vagina and vaginal canal, or the attempt to attach a penis and testicles to the already existing vagina of a girl or woman.
The cutting off of entire parts of the human body is the moral species of action called mutilation. “Transgender surgeries” are mutilations of healthy, properly functioning sexual organs of the human body. The surgeries are an attempt to change the natural, sexual organs of the male or female body with the sexual organs of the opposite kind of body. The result is the destruction of the sexual organs that are naturally part of the male or female body and the replacement of these parts with non-functioning sexual parts of the opposite sex that cannot be fully and naturally integrated with the rest of the body.
Focusing for now on the act of mutilation, in the case of healthy functioning organs, such an act is always, intrinsically, and gravely evil. This is why there are laws in civilized societies against mutilation. The act is rightly understood as violent, inhuman, cruel, grotesque, humiliating, and a cause of serious, permanent, irreversible, physical injury.
The dehumanizing character of mutilation can be seen in the fact that it has often traditionally been reserved to acts of punishment against slaves, criminals, and enemies in war. Without condoning such acts in the above-mentioned circumstances, it can nonetheless be seen that of its very nature, mutilation humiliates and dehumanizes a victim precisely because it disfigures and grotesquely injures the beautiful human body and the integrity of its parts.
Further, the mutilation of sexual organs carries the added offense of being a form of sexual abuse. A woman whose breasts are cut off against her will would rightly be understood to have suffered a gross form of sexual assault akin to rape. When perpetrated against a minor, the mutilation of sexual organs is an especially grave and criminal act of physical and sexual abuse.
Despite all the lies and rhetoric to the contrary, the physical harm of these mutilations is irreversible. Not only can functional organs not be put back in place after being removed, should a person wish to “de-transition”, but the new superimposed sexual organs of the opposite sex are not functional, and sexual drive is deadened after surgeries.
This means that, even apart from a consideration of the chemical sterilization resulting from hormone infusions, the “gender-transitioning” surgeries themselves result in sexual sterilization, making procreation impossible and thereby cutting off the possibility of children and all future generations.
It is this stark reality that is hidden by the insidious euphemism “top and bottom surgery.” The bloody reality is that these “gender-affirming” surgeries are criminal, sterilizing mutilations of a person’s healthy, functioning sexual organs. The soft pitch made to undiscerning parents does not change the fact that these procedures seriously injure and disfigure its victim, who is often tragically a child.
Cross-sex hormones are a direct sterilization of the human body
Prior to and accompanying the mutilation of healthy sexual organs through “gender-reassignment” surgeries – another euphemism used as a tactic to hide the crime of adolescent sterilization – is the use of puberty blockers, deceitfully marketed to parents as simply “pausing puberty.”
In this “pausing” of puberty, the young, developing male or female body is overloaded with chemical infusions of hormones of the opposite sex, intended to prompt the development of the “secondary characteristics” of the opposite sex.
In reality, these chemical infusions are a direct sterilization of the male or female body. The practice of ministering infusions of hormones proper to the opposite sex is legally known as chemical castration and has been typically reserved by law to the punishment of serial sexual criminals.
Whatever the intention behind the use of these cross-sex hormones for adolescents, of its very nature the administration of such hormones constitutes direct sterilization and is therefore gravely immoral and contrary to the good of marriage and the very purpose of sexual difference.
Further, the direct sterilization of a minor is a criminal act of irreversible harm and a form of sexual abuse of a child. Puberty cannot be “paused” and then “restarted” at the drop of a pin. Serious consequences follow upon disrupting the natural process of sexual development in a child during their pubescent years. Not least among these consequences is the chemical impairment or complete destruction of male and female fertility. Such chemical castration of a child is certainly a crime unworthy of a civilized people.
In addition to sterility, cross-sex hormones render sexual functioning, drive, and arousal dead. Therefore, even without the mutilation of “sex-change” surgeries – which render the sexual organs physically unfunctional – “puberty blockers” already make sexual arousal and intercourse and, therefore, procreation impossible. In fact, many parts of the body begin to undergo a kind of chemical disintegration due to the use of cross-sex hormones. There is perhaps no clearer instance of nature taking its vengeance when tampered with grossly.
So both “sex-change” surgeries and “cross-sex” hormones are opposed to the good that is the natural sexual complementarity of man and woman and the good of new life, to which that complementarity is naturally ordered. Both spousal love and children, with all the future generations that may come from one’s children, are destroyed by the physical and chemical attempts to change one’s sex.
Transgender surgeries and puberty blockers are a form of sexual predation
It is widely understood in science and law that sexual maturity and a corresponding ability to make adult judgments is not acquired until adulthood. For this reason, marriage cannot be entered into by a minor. For the same reason, minors cannot give mature, properly informed consent to surgeries and procedures that attempt to change their sex, just as they cannot give mature, properly informed consent to marriage.
Given the serious and permanent consequences for the very ability to have children, the maturity required for consent to “sex-change” surgeries and the use of cross-sex hormones comes only with full sexual development, which includes the development of the adult brain, which happens well after puberty.
Further, given the reality of what “top and bottom surgeries” and “puberty blockers” actually are — mutilations of healthy, functioning sexual organs and direct chemical sterilization — and given the child’s lack of full adult maturity and the confusion of adolescents who wish to attempt to “change” their sex, “transitioning” minors is a form of real, malicious, sexual predation upon vulnerable children.
This means that morally the practice of performing “sex-change” surgeries on minors and the use of cross-sex hormones is akin to the sexual assault or rape of a minor. All such acts are mortal sins of their very nature, cutting off those who promote or engage in them from the grace of God, and meriting an eternal punishment unless repented of.
Sexual difference is ultimately grounded in the difference between the male and female chromosomes. Sexual difference finds completion in the full development of healthy, functioning sexual organs and the corresponding chemical development of the brain, which we see in adult men and women.
Because surgeries and hormone infusions do not change the foundation of sexual difference, the chromosomes, neither do they fundamentally change one’s sex. They are attempts at the impossible founded on lies: that a person was born in the wrong body and can change the sex of the body at the whim of the surgeon’s knife and the infusion of chemicals one’s body cannot naturally produce.
These lies stand at the root of practices that are both gravely sinful and criminal, practices that when perpetrated against a minor constitute physical sexual abuse of a child of a most heinous kind: sexual abuse by way of mutilation of the sexual organs and chemical sterilization.
The first line of defense against such grave evils is to clearly understand the moral species of the actions of which we are speaking. The euphemisms used by the transgender movement and advocates precisely hide the gruesome reality and moral depravity of the actions they seek to impose on children. It is time to cut through the word games and admit that “trans” activists want to mutilate and sterilize little children. They are sexual perverts and predators, and they must be opposed.