An initiative of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

Male and Female He Created Them

On June 10, 2019, the Vatican Congregation for Catholic Education released a reflection on human sexuality entitled: ” ‘Male and Female He Created Them’: Towards a Path of Dialogue on the Question of Gender Theory in Education”

The document is the fullest exposition of the concept of gender (gender identity, gender fluidity, ‘transgenderism,’ etc.) that has been released from the Vatican to date. It is concerned with the “educational crisis… in the field of affectivity and sexuality” (no. 1) and reiterates Catholic anthropology, rooted in Sacred Scripture and Tradition. “The Christian vision of anthropology sees sexuality as a fundamental component of one’s personhood” (no. 4).

The document seeks to combat the dualism that is operative in the idea that “one’s gender ends up being viewed as more important than being of male or female sex. The effect of this move is chiefly to create a cultural and ideological revolution driven by relativism, and secondarily a juridical revolution, since such beliefs claim specific rights for the individual and across society” (no. 20). This is precisely what legislation such as the Equality Act does.

There will be further reflection on this document in the coming days and weeks, so watch this space!

And here’s a reminder of a few resources that the USCCB has created or made available on the issue of gender:

Gender Ideology: Select Teaching Resources

Created Male and Female: An Open Letter from Religious Leaders (December 15, 2017)

2 responses to “Male and Female He Created Them”

  1. Bradley Duval says:

    Hello –

    I would like to share a story that I hope will shed some light on the negativity surrounding gender theory. First, I will provide some context as it relates to my story. I am from a small town in Massachusetts. My parents spent a great deal of time raising me to be respectful, motivated, and aware of my body. I graduated from UMass Lowell with Magna Cum Laude as a Criminal Justice major. I am proud to say that, during my 3 years at UMass Lowell, I was able to develop friendships with many people of no particular demographic or status. I shared a bedroom with a homosexual man for a year, and I was just as comfortable with his boyfriend visiting, as he was with my girlfriend visiting. I was recognized in my community as a respectful man with positive intentions. I was given an annual award from a school organization that symbolized my positive impact on the organization, without being a member. I also made several mistakes, and was lucky enough to receive forgiveness after seeking it out.

    It has been two years since I have graduated, and although I have remained close with friends, many others that I met in college have since become nothing more than social media accounts. Social media, to me, has always been a distraction from one’s greater purpose and goals. I do have an Instagram account, as it is generally used to share and support positive moments in people’s lives. Unfortunately, people use their Instagram “stories” to post temporary images reflecting their opinions on political and social issues. This, along with capitalist media, is my least favorite part of society today, because it never includes the whole truth.

    I reluctantly decided to share my support of the “Male and Female He Created Them” Dicastery after fully reading it. I decided to do this because I am a proud supporter of healthy relationships, and I see the ongoing social crisis being amplified by the lack of sanctity in marriage. A fact that has stuck with me since my undergraduate criminal justice studies is that: a person is almost twice as likely to have a criminal record if their family is not intact ie: they have separated parents, step parents, etc.. I was hoping people would recognize me as an anti-discriminant man, question me, and perhaps read the Vatican’s document in order to have a valid opinion on it.

    Unfortunately my audience consisted of people who develop a priori opinions, mostly derived from the titles of negative liberal media articles. Ultimately, my post in support of the “Male and Female He Created Them” was uploaded, along with my name and picture, to another social media platform that I do not have. It was done by an individual who was an active member of the organization that presented me with their annual award. He or she claimed her prior fondness of me, and then commented hateful words that I do not care to spell out. The post received appraisal from many like-minded millennials, who proceeded to insult and shun me in a forum I am not a part of. I could not defend myself, and only found out when my girlfriend was brought to tears as a result of the cyber-bullying of me.

    I personally feel as though there are so many respectful, positive and endearing notions in the Vatican’s recently released document. I was intention to share my thoughts, my feelings, my beliefs, in a way that targeted nobody. I was promoting the value of healthy relationships, maternity and paternity, as well as educating the youth. I know people who struggle with gender identity, however they were scientifically determined to be either male or female at birth. As they developed, all of their reactions to external stimuli, relationships with others, emotions, and desires are legitimate and entitled to respect. However the way one feels cannot take away the fact that there are only two genders in this world. And, as described in the Vatican’s document, one will never find a true sense of self, or be fit to raise children, if they do not embrace their body and sexuality, as they act on “nothing more than a confused concept of freedom in the realm of feelings and wants, or momentary desires provoked by emotional impulses and the will of the individual, as opposed to anything based on the truths of existence”.

    In conclusion, I am deeply disturbed by the ability of some people to be so accepting of such wildly inaccurate and unhealthy claims, while at the same time being so willing to tarnish someone’s reputation over a generally irrelevant posting of a respectful different opinion. As I have said, I was never able to defend myself in front of my peers, and I was ridiculed for sharing how I feel. It is truly unfortunate the way that the news publishers of the internet have pushed proper research and logic to the back-burner in favor for affectivity. I hope this reaches someone who is upset by the negative responses to the questioning of gender theory. If you’re reading this, please know that I have no intention of responding to the many hurtful things that have been said about me behind my back, and I will stand by the message of “Male and Female He Created Them” as long as I live.

  2. Brady Sharp says:

    Bradly, thank you so much for your insightful thoughts. I am deeply grieved by your story and the backlash that you experienced. Unfortunately, such response to anything that is even slightly non-supportive of modern theories of gender, no matter how diplomatically put, is immediately lambasted. As Christians, nevertheless, it seems we have a duty to protect the sanctity of marriage and other constructs that are deeply affected by ambiguous gender conceptions. My question, then, is this: How do you think we, as Christians, may move forward in truth AND love regarding this issue?

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