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Vatican speaks out against sex-change surgery

The Holy See has described the procedure as “threatening the unique dignity” that a person receives from the moment of conception

Gender-affirming surgery and surrogacy represent major threats to the dignity of human life, and are on a par with abortion and euthanasia, the Catholic Church has pronounced in its latest doctrinal note.

Pope Francis has previously singled out transgenderism as a “dangerous ideology,” claiming it is part of a “global war” against marriage and the family.

At the same time, the Vatican has in recent months somewhat relaxed its rules, allowing priests to issue blessings to same-sex couples outside of religious rituals or liturgies, although stopping short of legitimizing what it still terms as “irregular situations.”

Last November, the Catholic Church also clarified that transgender believers may receive the sacrament of baptism, serve as witnesses in wedding ceremonies, and act as godparents, provided this does not lead to a “public scandal.”

On Monday, in a paper titled the ‘Doctrine of the Faith Dignitas Infinita on Human Dignity’, the Holy See stated that people should accept their lives and bodies as a “gift from God.” As such, any attempts to change this are tantamount to playing God, the document declares.

The Vatican further argued that gender theory aims to deny the “greatest possible difference that exists between living beings: sexual difference.”

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“It follows that any sex-change intervention, as a rule, risks threatening the unique dignity the person has received from the moment of conception,” the document added.

The paper does draw a distinction between transition through choice and cases where surgery is performed on individuals with “genital abnormalities that are already evident at birth or that develop later.”

The Holy See argued that gender theory plays a “central role” in what it termed “ideological colonization.”

The document, which reportedly took five years to produce, does, however, also take aim at countries where “people are imprisoned, tortured, and even deprived of the good of life solely because of their sexual orientation.” Such practices are “contrary to human dignity,” the church said.

Another alleged threat named in the paper is surrogacy, which it described as turning children into “mere objects” and denying them their inalienable right to “have a fully human (and not artificially induced) origin.”

Surrogacy “violates the dignity of the woman,” who ends up being “detached from the child growing in her and becomes a mere means subservient to the arbitrary gain or desire of others,” it claimed.


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