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Arlington Bishop Michael BurbidgeYouTube screenshot

ARLINGTON, Virginia (LifeSiteNews) — A Catholic bishop has issued a short catechesis to help members of his diocese who may feel ill-equipped to deal with the spreading contagion of transgenderism now afflicting many families, especially those with children in public schools.

A Catechesis on the Human Person and Gender Ideology,” published by Bishop Michael Burbidge of the Diocese of Arlington, Virginia, has drawn the ire of pro-transgenderism & homosexuality forces within the Catholic Church because of its simple proclamation of the most basic truths of Catholicism and natural law.

The Arlington diocese lies across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C., and is notably comprised of increasingly liberal suburbs and exurbs in which gender identity battles are being waged in public school systems.

“No one is transgender,” declares the document. “To use names and pronouns that contradict the person’s God-given identity is to speak falsely.”

“We can never say something contrary to what we know to be true,” advises the document, so the “faithful should avoid using ‘gender-affirming’ terms or pronouns that convey approval of or reinforce the person’s rejection of the truth.”

Immutable truth is an existential threat to transgenderism

The unambiguous language of the document was quickly condemned by Fr. James Martin, SJ —the loudest voice advocating for the normalization of homosexuality and transgenderism within the Church— as an assault on the messaging he has been free to promote in recent years.

Martin has long given credence to the notion that God has created some people to be transgender.

“The worst kind of marginalization, the worst kind of discrimination and the worst kind of hatred is to claim that someone doesn’t exist,” ranted the Jesuit in a tweet. “‘No one ‘is’ transgender,’ says the Diocese of Arlington. Transgender people exist and are beloved children of God.”

In a subsequent tweet, Martin lamented “As the beginning of the school year approaches, some Catholic high schools are barring students from choosing their own pronouns (he/him; she/her; they/them, etc.).”

While Fr. Martin and Bishop Burbidge are in complete agreement that all are beloved by God and that those who experience gender dysphoria are to be treated with respect, justice and charity, Martin believes their gender confusion should be affirmed and celebrated while Burbidge sees them as wounded beings, experiencing “disharmony and alienation between body and soul.”

Burbidge’s teaching refutes the tenets of transgenderism as promoted by Martin and others such as New Ways Ministry’s Robert Shine who over the years have repeatedly sought to undermine the sublime truth of the complementarity of man and woman.

Shine assigns the term “complementarity” a negative connotation, as if it were a social/theological construct conceived expressly to oppress the gender confused.

Burbidge’s catechesis “wholeheartedly endorses the gender complementarity theology at the core of LGBTQ oppression in the church,” asserted Shine, revealing that he views immutable truth as an existential threat to transgenderism.

The grave harm of false affirmation of the gender-confused

“The claim to ‘be transgender’ or the desire to seek ‘transition’ rests on a mistaken view of the human person, rejects the body as a gift from God, and leads to grave harm,” states the document. “To affirm someone in an identity at odds with biological sex or to affirm a person’s desired ‘transition’ is to mislead that person.  It involves speaking and interacting with that person in an untruthful manner.”

“In no circumstances can we confirm a person in error,” explained Burbidge. “Indeed, there is ample evidence that ‘gender affirmation’ not only does not resolve a person’s struggles, but also can in fact exacerbate them.”

Burbidge sees the misinformation being promoted in the secular world of public schools and social media and by pro-LGBT activists within the Church as especially harmful for children:

A child needs to know the truth: He or she has been created male or female, forever.  Affirming a child’s distorted self-perception or supporting a child’s desire to ‘be’ someone other than the person (male or female) God created, gravely misleads and confuses the child about ‘who’ he or she is.  

‘Gender-affirming’ medical or surgical interventions cause significant, even irreparable, bodily harm to children and adolescents.”

The battle is very real; ‘We cannot remain silent’

The publication of Burbidge’s catechesis on the human person and gender ideology comes against the backdrop of recent red hot battles between Christian parents and teachers standing up to liberal school boards within the Arlington Bishop’s diocese.

The Loudoun County School Board voted 7-2 last week to expand the “rights” of “transgender” students. Policy 8040 requires teachers to use “preferred pronouns” and allows boys who identify as girls — and girls who identify as boys — to use restrooms and locker facilities which correspond to the students’ childhood and adolescent self-perceptions.

“Many of our parishioners have children in public school where they are indoctrinated so that they accept ideas opposite to those expressed in this document,” Burbidge explained in a Catholic World Report interview. “Pastors convey to me how concerned parents are, telling them, ‘This is what the school board just voted to do, or our school just adopted this new curriculum.’”

“We cannot remain silent. We must defend the truth and what is right. This document is a response to the requests of our parents,” said Burbidge.

“Just a few years back, I would never have thought we would reach the point where saying that God created us male or female would be a controversial statement,” he continued. “But people in the workplace are now paying a price for saying it. It is difficult to understand. The ideas this document expresses are now countercultural.”

“As a Catholic Church, we have a sacred duty and obligation — out of our love for our young people and God’s family — to speak the truth,” insists Burbidge. “Not only to speak the truth but to explain why we believe what we do and to give Catholics the language they need to explain this to others.”

“Once you deny the truth and what is real, it will lead to extremes of all kinds,” said Burbidge.  “There is no limit to the error that flows from gender ideology.”