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Bishop John Stowe of Lexington, Kentucky, in a video message for 2020 'Pride Month'YouTube

ST. LOUIS, Missouri (LifeSiteNews) — More than a dozen Catholic bishops met recently for a closed door pro-transgender conference at Jesuit-run St. Louis University, organized by the heretical, pro-LGBT New Ways Ministry.

The move comes as the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) is working on formalizing a universal policy in line with the doctrinal note published by the doctrinal committee of the bishops’ conference in March 2023 condemning transgender surgeries and hormones as gravely immoral acts of mutilation and chemical sterilization.

READ: US Catholic bishops condemn genetic engineering, transgender surgeries and drugs

The purported reason for the closed door conference was “to listen to trans people [sic] and their families, as well as to theologians, medical professionals and those in church ministry,” according to the dissident National Catholic Reporter, and “to help bishops better understand the experience of trans people [sic] and inform the pastoral care in their respective dioceses.”

There were reportedly about 40 attendees at the conference. Notably among those present was heterodox, pro-LGBT Bishop John Stowe of Lexington, Kentucky, who voiced his support for transgender ideology saying, “that we are not talking about something that is fabricated, that people have a right to be called as they wish to be called… This is not just an issue of gender theory; it’s people’s lived experience,” suggesting that people should be called by false transgender pronouns and names.

He added that he thought hearing about transgender-identifying individuals’ “transitions,” which often include mutilating surgeries and drugs condemned by the Church, “was powerful and moving.”

READ: Transgenderism is a sin against at least four of the Ten Commandments: Franciscan priest

National Catholic Reporter did not name other bishops who attended the conference and said that “New Ways Ministry chose not to comment on this year’s gathering.”

LifeSiteNews reached out to New Ways Ministry as well as Bishop Stowe for comment, but did not receive a reply before publication.

The event was the second such pro-transgender conference for bishops sponsored by New Ways Ministry, founded by the notoriously dissident, pro-LGBT Sr. Jeannine Gramick, who was prohibited from conducting her pro-homosexual “ministry” in 1999 by then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger and Pope St. John Paul II for her scandalous and grave departures from Catholic teaching on sexual morality. However, she has been highly praised and welcomed to the Vatican by Pope Francis, who has thanked her for her activism, despite her continued dissent from the Church’s moral doctrine.

New Ways Ministry openly rejects Catholic teaching and divine revelation on homosexuality, marriage, and gender.

The first pro-transgender event News Ways Ministry hosted for U.S. bishops took place in January 2023 at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., which similarly pushed its deviant sexual agenda under the guise of “pastoral outreach.”

LifeSiteNews contacted the chancery of Bishop Daniel Flores of Brownsville, Texas, to ask if he had been invited or attended the event, since as head of the USCCB’s doctrinal committee, he was most responsible for the doctrinal note of 2023 that condemned transgender ideology and procedures.

Bishop Flores’ chancery told LifeSiteNews that it was unaware of the event and the bishop had not attended. His absence is significant, given his leading role in steering a doctrinally correct and clear policy for the U.S. bishops and Catholic institutions throughout the country.

At the USCCB plenary session last June, two prominent pro-LGBT American cardinals attempted to stall a formal revision to the U.S. bishops’ directives to Catholic hospitals and healthcare institutions that would ban transgender surgical mutilations and chemical castration through puberty blockers and hormone infusions, in line with the doctrinal note that Bishop Flores’ doctrinal committee published earlier that year.

READ: Pro-LGBT Cdls. McElroy, Tobin challenge formalization of US bishops’ decree against trans surgeries

At the time, Cardinal Robert McElroy of San Diego called for greater so-called “pastoral outreach” to homosexual and gender-confused individuals, claiming the instruction did not address “the existential question of those who are suffering from dysphoria.”

McElroy joined Cardinal Joseph Tobin of Newark in calling for consultations with “transgender” persons to be part of the revision process of the directives. Tobin criticized the instruction for its “limited consultation” with gender-confused individuals, in a thinly veiled attempt to stall a condemnation of the ideology and practices adopted by such persons.

The pro-transgender conference hosted by New Ways Ministry appears to be an attempt on the part of liberal bishops to engage in “consultation” with “transgender” persons, albeit in the absence of such bishops as may oppose the ideological agenda in favor of Catholic teaching and authentic pastoral practice, such as Bishop Flores, who penned the condemnation last March.


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