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College principal, William DohertyScreenshot/Xavier College

MELBOURNE, Australia, May 13, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) – A high school senior at one of Melbourne’s most prestigious boys’ schools who now identifies as female has been encouraged to “come out” by his school principal and Jesuit chaplain.  

After an extensive period of personal discernment, specialist advice and counselling, we note that a Year 12 student has today announced to the Xavier community her [sic] identity as female,” Principal William Doherty wrote in a letter to parents seen by the Melbourne-based Herald Sun

We welcome the opportunity of companioning her [sic] through this emotional and challenging time in her life, through her remaining at the College and into her life beyond at Xavier,” Doherty continued. 

The letter was co-signed by Xavier College Rector, Father Chris Middleton, SJ.  

Both Doherty and Fr. Middleton have declined to provide further comment.   

Xavier College is one of Melbourne’s most prestigious boys’ schools, with annual school fees equivalent to $23,000 USD per student. Founded in 1878, the school boasts beautiful architecture and a “distinct Jesuit character.” 

The announcement comes just weeks after VicHealth and a several other lobby groups began a renewed push for students across the state of Victoria to avoid using terms like “mum and dad,” and begin using more “gender inclusive language

Part of the #speakingupspeaksvolumes campaign also targets parents, suggesting they ask for a person’s pronouns before addressing them.    

The Catholic Church’s teaching on gender remains unchanged, calling into question the Catholic identity and ethos of Xavier College, since it is in violation of the Catholic teaching on this matter. 

As recently as 2019 the Vatican’s Congregation for Catholic Education released the document Male and Female He Created Them, doubling down on the Church’s traditional teaching that the human person is a body-soul composite, and therefore no amount medication, surgery or change in the presentation or self-identification of an individual can change their inherent maleness or femaleness.  

The teaching has been summed up well by Pope Francis, himself a Jesuit: “The young need to be helped to accept their own body as it was created.”  

In 2012, Pope Benedict XVI dealt with the issue of so called “gender theory” in his curial address, saying that “The profound falsehood of this theory and of the anthropological revolution contained within it is obvious.” 

Benedict clarified the Catholic position, stating that “being created by God as male and female pertains to the essence of the human creature. This duality is an essential aspect of what being human is all about, as ordained by God.” 

The Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) teaches that “Sexuality affects all aspects of the human person in the unity of his body and soul. It especially concerns affectivity, the capacity to love and to procreate, and in a more general way the aptitude for forming bonds of communion with others.”  

Furthermore, the CCC adds that every “man and woman, should acknowledge and accept his sexual identity. Physical, moral, and spiritual difference and complementarity are oriented toward the goods of marriage and the flourishing of family life. The harmony of the couple and of society depends in part on the way in which the complementarity, needs, and mutual support between the sexes are lived out.” 

For respectful communication: 

Xavier College – [email protected] 

Archdiocese of Melbourne – [email protected]