VATICAN CITY, June 10 (Reuters) - The Vatican condemned gender theory on Monday as part of a "confused concept of freedom", saying in a new document that the idea of gender being determined by personal feeling rather than biology was an attempt to "annihilate nature".
LGBT rights advocates denounced the 30-page document, called "Male and Female He Created Them", as harmful and confusing, saying it would encourage hatred and bigotry.
The document, the Vatican's first on gender theory, was written by the Congregation for Catholic Education as an "instruction" to Catholic educators on how to address the topic of gender theory in line with Church teaching.
It was released as lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people around the world have been celebrating "Pride Month" amid a surge in demands for acceptance of the idea that gender is more complex and fluid than the binary categories of male and female, and depends on more than visible sex characteristics.
"The concept of gender is seen as dependent upon the subjective mindset of each person, who can choose a gender not corresponding to his or her biological sex, and therefore with the way others see that person," the Vatican booklet says. Read more via Openly
Vatican Rejects Notion That Gender Identity Can Be Fluid
The Vatican on Monday flatly rejected what it cast as the notion that individuals can choose their gender, releasing its first extensive document on the issue as Western countries are increasingly wrestling with the social and legal implications of more fluid definitions of identity.
The document, issued by the Vatican department overseeing Catholic education, echoed past statements by Pope Francis. It argued that acceptance of flexible ideas of gender posed a threat to traditional families and ignored the natural differences between men and women.
It lamented “calls for public recognition of the right to choose one’s gender, and of a plurality of new types of unions, in direct contradiction of the model of marriage as being between one man and one woman, which is portrayed as a vestige of patriarchal societies.”
The idea of gender moving along a spectrum was “nothing more than a confused concept of freedom in the realm of feelings and wants.”
The document broke little new ground in casting doubt on gender theory and promoting traditional Roman Catholic teaching on the intrinsic biological differences between men and women. But for some Catholic advocates for a more inclusive and understanding approach to L.G.B.T. people, the Vatican document represented a significant step backward.
Some advocates saw a particular slight in that the document, which was dated Feb. 4, was released in June, during L.G.B.T. pride month, though the purpose of the timing was unclear. More broadly, the document marked a clear attempt by the church to weigh in as countries like the United States respond to increasing acceptance of gender and sexual fluidity. Read more via New York Times
Vatican Doubles Down By Stating Gender Is Not Fluid
The Roman Catholic Church has released its first extensive document on gender theory, reiterating the church’s position that gender cannot be chosen or changed, and continuing to assert its opposition to same-sex relationships.
It is in keeping with statements made by Pope Francis opposing the idea of gender mutability, although he has taken a more conciliatory tone toward LGBTQ people than his predecessors and even met privately in 2015 with a transgender man from Spain who later said he found Francis to be “kindness personified.” Read more via Advocate