As many in the world celebrate "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, The Vatican has blasted modern gender theory, claiming in a new document that it seeks to "annihilate the concept of 'nature'."
The document, which carries the title "Male And Female: He Created Them" was released by the Vatican June 10 without prior announcement. Described as an aid for Catholic schoolteachers and parents on how to address the topic of gender theory in line with Church teaching, the document questions the motives of transgender people, saying their gender transition is "only a 'provocative' display."
As NCR reports, the text opens by saying that society is facing "an educational crisis, especially in the field of affectivity and sexuality."
It then claims that cultural "disorientation" has destabilized the family as an institution,"bringing with it a tendency to cancel out the differences between men and women, presenting them instead as merely the product of historical and cultural conditioning."
"From the point of view of genetics, male cells (which contain XY chromosomes) differ, from the very moment of conception, from female cells (with their XX chromosomes),"
In cases where a child is born with ambiguous genitalia, it says "it is medical professionals who can make a therapeutic intervention."
"In such situations, parents cannot make an arbitrary choice on the issue, let alone society," it recommends.
"Instead, medical science should act with purely therapeutic ends, and intervene in the least invasive fashion, on the basis of objective parameters and with a view to establishing the person's constitutive identity."
Finally, the document denounced theories that attempted to "annihilate the concept of nature" and "educational programmes and legislative trends that ... make a radical break with the actual biological difference between male and female".
The Vatican says this "radical separation" between gender and sex has the goal of achieving "a society without sexual differences."
As one would expect, Reuters reports that LGBT rights advocates denounced the 30-page document as harmful and confusing, saying it would encourage hatred and bigotry
Groups that minister to LGBT Catholics immediately criticized the document. New Ways Ministry, one such group, called it a:
"harmful tool that will be used to oppress and harm not only transgender people, but lesbian, gay, [and] bisexual people, too."
The educational aid does not carry Pope Francis' signature, and the text makes no reference of the pontiff reviewing the document, but Francis, whose early pontificate was defined by his "Who am I to judge?" answer to a question about an alleged gay priest working at the Vatican, has made contradictory remarks about gender theory and transgender people throughout his six-year papacy.