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Abp. Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco, CaliforniaPatristicNectarFilms/YouTube

May 19, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco slammed puberty blockers and other transgender procedures for children last week, calling the experimental practices “terrible” and an affront to the “created order.”

“There’s so much scientific evidence of the harm this does to children, giving them puberty blockers, and not just in terms of their sexual development but otherwise, too, [and] in other aspects of physical health,” the archbishop said in a video interview with the Daily Caller.

“It’s terrible,” he said. “But the other side has captured the narrative and many people have been duped into thinking this way. It perplexes me, I don’t know how anyone could think that something that’s so obvious as ‘a boy is a boy and he needs to grow into being a man,’ … can be a question.”

Cordileone identified transgenderism as a consequence of a broader rejection of sexual complementarity between men and women. “I think it’s the next step of getting further and further away from the original created order of ‘male and female he created them,’” he said. “God created the human race male and female with the sexual complementarity, and the more we deny that and get away from it, the further and further away it goes.”

The archbishop also revealed to the Daily Caller that bishops are currently working to “give some guidance” about the “very alarming” trend of transgender procedures for minors. “This is a discussion that is emerging among the bishops and we are in the works of trying to grapple with this and give some guidance to our people,” he said. 

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) previously condemned child “sex-change” practices in an open letter with other religious leaders three years ago. “Children especially are harmed when they are told that they can ‘change’ their sex or, further, given hormones that will affect their development and possibly render them infertile as adults,” the bishops said.

“Parents deserve better guidance on these important decisions, and we urge our medical institutions to honor the basic medical principle of ‘first, do no harm,’” the letter added, declaring that “sexual difference is not an accident or a flaw.” The Vatican has similarly dismissed attempts to confound biological sex as based on “nothing more than a confused concept of freedom,” rather than “the truths of existence.”

Archbishop Cordileone’s new comments come amid an international reckoning on the effects of transgenderism on children, with the U.K., Sweden, Finland, and multiple American states moving to suppress harmful transgender drugs and surgeries in recent months.

Last fall, the U.K. High Court ruled that minors under 16 cannot properly consent to puberty blockers, the first step of so-called “medical transition” for gender-confused kids. The court cited “unknown physical consequences” of the drugs and described puberty blockers as a “pathway” to sterility and “much greater medical intervention.”

“The UK ruling, from an endocrinology point of view, is that these interventions are experimental, that young people can’t understand the implications of initiating puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and surgeries — and that makes sense based on our understanding of brain development,” Will Malone, M.D., an endocrinologist and founding member of the Society for Evidence-Based Gender Medicine, told Medscape last month.

“If you start puberty blockers [early in puberty], and then put these kids straight onto cross-sex hormones, then it’s almost certain they will be infertile, as well as many other irreversible changes,” he said, echoing other experts.

Indeed, although up to 97.8% of boys and 88% of girls naturally come to accept their sex by adulthood, according to the American Psychological Association, gender-confused children given puberty blockers almost always progress to cross-sex hormones, often sterilizing them for life. Both types of drugs are linked to life-threatening side effects and neither has been approved by the FDA for gender dysphoria or evaluated in long-term studies with gender dysphoric minors.

Cross-sex hormone use leads to gonadectomy — frequently regretted removal of sexual organs — in the vast majority of people referred to gender identity centers, a 2018 study found.