NEW YORK CITY, March 26, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — The Vatican’s envoy to the United Nations blasted gender ideology as a “radical anthropology” at the UN’s annual two-week Conference on the Status of Women (CSW) that ended Friday.
Pope Francis “has been very clear about the dangers to individuals and society flowing from gender ideology,” said Archbishop Bernardito Auza, apostolic nuncio to the Permanent Observer of the Holy See, at the opening of a March 20 panel on “Gender Equality and Gender Ideology: Protecting Women and Girls.”
The pope “is particularly concerned about gender ideology being taught to children, so that boys and girls are encouraged to question, at the earliest ages of existence, whether they are a boy or girl and are told that gender is something one can choose (July 27, 2016),” Auza said in his address, published on Vatican News.
“He has also expressed concern about cultural pressure, what he terms ‘ideological colonization,’ being placed on countries, and cultures and individuals who resist this new and indeed radical anthropology,” the archbishop said.
At the same time, the Holy Father “emphatically” encourages “Catholics and all people of good will to support, welcome, accompany and love all those whose gender identity does not match their biological sex, to affirm their human dignity and defend their fundamental human rights to be free of violence and unjust discrimination,” Auza said.
Auza’s remarks came two weeks after Laura Palazanni, a member of the Pontifical Academy for Life and vice president of Italy’s National Committee of Bioethics (NBC), argued on the Vatican News website that children can be given the puberty-blocking hormone triptorelin in “very restricted cases.”
The subject of the permanence of gender dysphoria is “very complex,” and symptoms experienced at a very young age, such as three or four years old, tend to continue into adolescence. At 16, these children begin to take hormones, and when they are legal adults, they “change sex,” Palazzani said then.
Dr. Michelle Cretella, president of the College of American Pediatricians, told LifeSiteNews in response to Palazzani’s stance, “It is never ethically permissible to give a physically healthy child puberty blocking medication because these drugs cause objective harm.”
Auza focused on the “anthropological underpinnings of gender ideology” in his remarks at the U.N. panel.
“When the natural, complementary duality of man and woman is called into question, the very notion of being — what it means to be human — is undermined,” he said.
“The body no longer is a defining element of humanity. The person is reduced to spirit and will and the human being almost becomes an abstraction until one discerns what nature one is or chooses what gender one wants to be.”
Auza quoted Laudato Si’, the pope’s 2015 encyclical on the environment, which “has become perhaps the most commonly cited papal document in U.N. history,” to back the point.
The pope wrote there:
Acceptance of our bodies … is vital for welcoming and accepting the entire world as a gift, … whereas thinking that we enjoy absolute power over our own bodies turns, often subtly, into thinking that we enjoy absolute power over creation. Learning to accept our body, to care for it and to respect its fullest meaning, is an essential element of any genuine human ecology. Moreover, valuing one’s own body in its femininity or masculinity is necessary if I am going to be able to recognize myself in an encounter with someone who is different.
Auza also quoted Section 56 the 2016 apostolic exhortation on the family, Amoris Laetitia or Joy of Love, in which Pope Francis emphasized that “we are called ‘to protect our humanity, and this means, in the first place, accepting it and respecting it as it was created.’”
Added Auza: “Our sex, just like our genes, our race, our age, and other natural characteristics, are objective givens, not subjective choices.”
The Vatican and the Heritage Foundation sponsored the panel because the consensus on what a woman is has been “getting eroded due to the recent phenomenon of gender identity and gender ideology,” he said.
The LGBTI Core Group — “an informal cross regional group of 28 Member States together with the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, and the NGOs Human Rights Watch and Outright Action International” — stated at the outset of this year’s CSW on that “the understanding of ‘women and girls’ should be based on ‘gender identity or expression’ rather than on their biological sex,” he said.
“This understanding of womanhood would likely have astonished the 15 original members of the CSW in 1947 and most of the delegates who have represented their governments and NGOs here each year since,” the archbishop pointed out.
Moreover, when U.N. Women — or the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women — was founded in 2011, “everyone knew whom it was representing and whose cause it was seeking to advance,” Auza said.
That was the cause of “the approximately half of the human race born with the capacity for motherhood, with two X chromosomes, with particular physical, hormonal, and relational traits that distinguish them from the approximate other half of the human race, men.”
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