Amoris Laetitia 56: Gender Ideology

amoris laetitia memeThis paragraph is difficult, and partly misinformed. Certainly, let’s read it anyway:

56. 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. This ideology leads to educational programs 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”. (Relatio Finalis 2015, 8)

This citation from the synod bishops strikes me as something of an exaggeration of the situation. Individual persons have an experience of life based on their biological reality. Personal history also colors attitudes. And in our culture, the worship of celebrity (not unknown in the Church) creates personalities from persons and sometimes the attention-getters/seekers get more press than perhaps they should.

My reading of the LGBTQ vector is that many people are simply seeking equilibrium with what their God-given human identity is.

It is a source of concern that some ideologies of this sort, which seek to respond to what are at times understandable aspirations, manage to assert themselves as absolute and unquestionable, even dictating how children should be raised.

Raising children is very much a part of the concern. In the past we might have had more of the decisions in infancy to “spare” children who deviated from the male-female norm. It might be that the pendulum has swung. It might also be that celebrities attract followers, and some people are identifying LGBTQ from a sense of fashion rather than biology.

It needs to be emphasized that “biological sex and the socio-cultural role of sex (gender) can be distinguished but not separated”. (Relatio Finalis 2015, 58) On the other hand, “the technological revolution in the field of human procreation has introduced the ability to manipulate the reproductive act, making it independent of the sexual relationship between a man and a woman. In this way, human life and parenthood have become modular and separable realities, subject mainly to the wishes of individuals or couples”. (Relatio Finalis 2015, 33)

The perception of the Church’s stance as extreme hasn’t helped our need top contribute tot he ethics, if not morality of these situations. We certainly know a lot more about human biology. And various impulses: curiosity, necessity, greed, etc., come into play when we are dealing with the transmission of life.

It is one thing to be understanding of human weakness and the complexities of life, and another to accept ideologies that attempt to sunder what are inseparable aspects of reality.

And yet male or female is not a biological reality. And for those who have indulged personal choice as a means of denial or fashion or curiosity do not hear the Church’s wisdom on authentic freedom. We have sidelined ourselves from the cultural discussion.

Let us not fall into the sin of trying to replace the Creator. We are creatures, and not omnipotent. Creation is prior to us and must be received as a gift. At the same time, we are called to protect our humanity, and this means, in the first place, accepting it and respecting it as it was created.

Thoughts?

For your reference, Amoris Laetitia is online here.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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8 Responses to Amoris Laetitia 56: Gender Ideology

  1. FrMichael says:

    “And yet male or female is not a biological reality.” For the vast majority of human beings, the binary and mutually exclusive nature of being either male or female most certainly is a biological reality. No amount of hand waiving by the transexual propagandists and their fellow travelers can obscure the reality that an overwhelming majority of human beings have either either a XX or XY chromosomal pair and that our genitalia match the XX or XY chromosomes. Rightfully does Pope Francis (elsewhere) call the public confusion intentionally stirred up over this issue demonic.

    • Todd says:

      Well, sure. The vast majority of human beings are non-celibate, but that doesn’t make unreal the religious, ethical, or personal choice to abstain from sex. No amount of hand-wringing from the Temple Police and others can deny that some human beings are XXY or XY-XX fused or have other conditions that are authentically trans. And if there are so few trans, they really don’t constitute a threat, do they? “Demonic” is a silly childish adjective. Check the mirror, FrM.

      • Devin Rice says:

        The chromosome combinations that you refer to are considered to be biologically male w/ Klinefelter syndrome.

      • Todd says:

        Okay. But as a pastoral minister I’m more concerned with what people who have them think, feel, and say and less what others say about them.

  2. FrMichael says:

    “And if there are so few trans, they really don’t constitute a threat, do they? “Demonic” is a silly childish adjective.”

    Well, when one of their fellow travelers seems to be the President of the United States, who is prepared to levy sanctions on schools, then this movement does constitute a threat. When entire states are being boycotted because they won’t let adult biological males into female bathrooms, there is a threat.

    “Demonic” is an apt descriptor of a movement that seeks, by lies, to obscure God’s original plan for the human race: male and female. And we all know who the father of lies is.

  3. Todd says:

    So, are you saying the president is trans? As for group restrooms, bathrooms, and showers in schools, I’d be happy if they extended sanctions on them all. If this matter gives a wedge into crimping bullies, I’m all for the end of those demons.

    And by the way, God’s plan is somewhat wider than male and female. No amount of sheep wool made into fake bushy eyebrows can obscure that reality.

  4. FrMichael says:

    I’m saying the president is a supporter of this nonsense. I have no evidence, or even suspicion, that he’s anything than what he appears to be: a happily heterosexually married man.

    “God’s plan is somewhat wider than male and female.”

    Would you care to provide a theological source for that? Mine is Genesis 1:27.

    • Todd says:

      Human biology, however unknown it was to the Priestly source, is a creation of God, also Genesis 1-2. On one hand, I am sure that a few people who self-identify as trans are actually not, but follow a certain path because of trauma or other violence done to them. On the other, I have no doubt that XXY, XY-XX fusion, or other God-given conditions manifest themselves in ways that do not fit into what religious human beings held two or three millennia ago.

      From that, our task as Christians is to listen to people, very carefully, and to abstain from silliness like attributing politics or gender identity to some red-skinned phantom. Let me ask: do you know any person who identifies as trans? Have you sought one out in some attempt to gain a better understanding? My own experience was that I wasn’t prepared to make judgments until I knew actual people.

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