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St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican CitySteve Jalsevac / LifeSiteNews

ROME, March 15, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) and the Congregation for Catholic Education are each preparing to release documents on “gender theory,” the radical ideology behind transgenderism. 

The Congregation for Catholic Education’s document, expected to be released in the next two months, won’t “enter the heart of the debate,” the dicastery’s secretary Archbishop Angelo Vincenzo Zani said. Instead, it will repeat “important educational principles.”

The CDF’s document will go “deeper” on the issue, Zani said. It’s unclear when that document will be released.

Gender ideology holds that a person can be born with a body that does not match his or her “perceived” male or female identity. The ideology holds that surgery and hormones are required in an attempt to make the body appear to look like the sex with which one “identifies.” The Church rejects this ideology, teaching that God creates persons as male or female and that the body and soul are so united as to form one complete being. According to Church teaching, it’s impossible to be “born in the wrong body.”

As reported by Aleteia, the archbishop said that “Catholic education has a role regarding sexual education, to integrate it into the ‘complete fulfillment of man.’”

Zani cited Amoris Laetitia’s condemnation of a “society without sexual differences” thanks to gender theory. This eliminates “the anthropological basis of the family,” Pope Francis wrote in that exhortation, which continues to generate controversy for seemingly undoing millennia of Church teaching on marriage and the Eucharist. Amoris Laetitia does, however, contain some strong condemnations of transgenderism.

“Yet another challenge is posed by the various forms of an ideology of gender that ‘denies the difference and reciprocity in nature of a man and a woman and envisages a society without sexual differences, thereby eliminating the anthropological basis of the family,’” the pontiff wrote. “This ideology leads to educational programmes and legislative enactments that promote a personal identity and emotional intimacy radically separated from the biological difference between male and female. Consequently, human identity becomes the choice of the individual, one which can also change over time.”

READ: Church of England official: Transgenders could be ‘re-christened’ after ‘sex change’

Throughout his papacy, Pope Francis has criticized “ideological colonization” that forces philosophies like gender theory onto developing nations. But, when he received at the Vatican a woman who underwent surgery to attempt to be more like a man, Pope Francis described her as “he that was her but is he.”

He also suggested this woman who presents herself as a man is “married” to another woman.

In 2016, though, Pope Francis said it was “terrible” that schools are teaching kids they can pick their own gender.

“Speaking with Pope Benedict, who is well, and has a clear mind, he was telling me: ‘Holiness, this is the epoch of sin against God the Creator,’” Pope Francis told the bishops of Poland. “God created man and woman. God created the world this way, this way, this way, and we are doing the opposite.”

Catholic bishops already warning the faithful about gender theory

During this pontificate, LGBT activists have ramped up their efforts to promote homosexuality and transgenderism in the Church. Emboldened by the endorsements of ultra-liberal bishops, Vatican advisor Father James Martin, SJ has been one of the most vocal clerics saying the Church should stop calling same-sex attraction “intrinsically disordered.”

Martin supports men using women’s bathrooms and same-sex couples kissing during Mass.

Some problems to Church life posed by gender theory are whether a man who has undergone a “sex change” could be a “godmother” or vice versa, the fact that sacramental records list a person’s real sex, and what to do if a woman who “became” a man sought ordination to the priesthood.

Catholic schools are now having to deal with students who demand to use the bathroom designated for the opposite sex. The rise of transgenderism has also rendered uncertain the future of single-sex education, a hallmark of many Catholic schools.

In 2000, the CDF issued confidential guidance to bishops noting that “sex-change” procedures do not alter a person’s gender. The document instructed bishops never to alter the sex listed in parish baptismal records and said Catholics who have undergone “sex-change” procedures are not eligible to marry because in the eyes of the Church they would be marrying someone of the same sex.

In 2015, the U.S. Catholic bishops issued a teaching document on God’s design for human sexuality.

“By creating the human being man and woman, God gives personal dignity equally to the one and the other,” it said, citing paragraph 2393 of the Catechism. “Each of them, man and woman, should acknowledge and accept his sexual identity.”

READ: San Diego bishop: Some Catholics have ‘corrosive and repugnant’ views on homosexuality

“Except when performed for strictly therapeutic medical reasons, directly intended amputations, mutilations, and sterilizations performed on innocent persons are against the moral law,” it said of “sex change” operations.

Then, in 2017, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops joined a statement with other faith leaders warning, “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.”

“Gender ideology harms individuals and societies by sowing confusion and self-doubt,” the statement said, and it’s a “false idea” that someone can switch genders.

The Canadian Catholic bishops have also spoken out against gender theory, as have other bishops around the world.   

Despite the strong statements on gender from the U.S. bishops as a group, some individual bishops have allowed the promotion of transgenderism in their dioceses. One notable example of this is Los Angeles Archbishop Jose Gomez’s sanctioning of an annual religious education conference that features workshops on transgenderism.