Vatican issues new document criticizing ‘gender theory’
The Vatican’s Congregation for Catholic Education has issued a document on the question of gender theory, which, while containing no new doctrinal elements or developments, seeks to present the Catholic Church’s position on the question in a non-polemical manner and expresses the need to dialogue on the subject.
The text is signed by the prefect and secretary of the congregation, respectively, Cardinal Giuseppe Versaldi and Archbishop Angelo Vicenzo Zani. But nowhere is it said that Pope Francis has seen or approved the document. This would suggest that the text is meant to serve as a basis for dialogue and discussion for those involved in the field of education and is not meant to be seen as a final answer on this controversial subject.
Cardinal Versaldi, in a presentation released to the press with “Male and Female,” explains that bishops worldwide have been attentive to the question of gender over this past decade. During the congregation’s plenary assembly in February 2017, “the ideology of gender” emerged as “an emergency issue” in the educational sector, so the assembly decided that the congregation should write a document to help those working in the field of Catholic education. Cardinal Versaldi said the various Vatican dicasteries provided input, but he did not say if the members of the board of the congregation (that is bishops and cardinals from around the world) were consulted.
The 31-page document, which is being sent to the presidents of all bishops’ conferences, bears the title “Male and Female He created them.” It was released by the Vatican press office on June 10 and is subtitled “Towards a path of dialogue on the question of gender theory in education.”
The text explains that “gender theory” expresses an ideology 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.”
The text notes points on which the Vatican and gender theorists find agreement and sources for dialogue, like “a laudable desire to combat all expressions of unjust discrimination.”
It says 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” with the consequence that “human identity becomes the choice of the individual, one which can also change over time,” as Pope Francis explains in his apostolic exhortation on the family, “Amoris Laetitia” (No. 56).
While recognizing that this ideology contrasts with the Christian vision of anthropology, the document says that “if we wish to take an approach to the question of gender theory that is based on the path of dialogue, it is vital to bear in mind the distinction between the ideology of gender on the one hand, and the whole field of research on gender that the human sciences have undertaken, on the other.”
The document recalls that Pope Francis indicated that while the ideologies of gender respond “to what are at times understandable aspirations,” they also seek “to assert themselves as absolute and unquestionable, even dictating how children should be raised,” so precluding dialogue.
“Other work on gender has been carried out which tries instead to achieve a deeper understanding of the ways in which sexual difference between men and women is lived out in a variety of cultures,” the statement points out. “It is in relation to this type of research than we should be open to listen, to reason and to propose.”
The document provides a brief overview of the “cultural events” of the 20th century, “which brought new anthropological theories and with them the beginnings of gender theory.” It says these theories “were based on a reading of sexual differentiation that was strictly sociological, relying on a strong emphasis on the freedom of the individual,” and, in mid-century, “studies were published which accentuated time and again the role of external conditioning, including its influence on determining personality.”
This led to the problem of “the separation of sex from gender...seen as dependent upon the subjective mindset of each person, who can choose a gender not corresponding to his or her biological sex.”
“When such studies were applied to human sexuality, they often did so with a view to demonstrating that sexuality identity was more a social construct than a given natural or biological fact.”
According to the document, “At the beginning of the 1990s, its focus was upon the possibility of the individual determining his or her own sexual tendencies without having to take account of the reciprocity and complementarity of male-female relationships, nor of the procreative end of sexuality. Furthermore, it was suggested that one could uphold the theory of a radical separation between gender and sex, with the former having priority over the latter. Such a goal was seen as an important stage in the evolution of humanity, in which ‘a society without sexual differences’ could be envisaged.”
All this led to the problem of “the separation of sex from gender,” according to the document, which added, “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 (transgenderism).”
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“The propositions of gender theory converge in the concept of ‘queer,’ which refers to dimensions of sexuality that are extremely fluid, flexible, and as it were, nomadic. This culminates in the assertion of the complete emancipation of the individual from any a priori given sexual definition, and the disappearance of classifications seen as overly rigid.”
The text continues: “The duality in male-female couples is furthermore seen as conflicting with the idea of ‘polyamory,’ that is relationships involving more than two individuals. Because of this, it is claimed that the duration of relationships, as well as their binding nature, should be flexible, depending on the shifting desires of the individuals concerned. Naturally, this has consequences for the sharing of the responsibilities and obligations inherent in maternity and paternity. This new range of relationships become ‘kinship,’” which are “based upon desire or affection, often marked by a limited time span that is determined, ethically flexible, or even (sometimes by explicit mutual consent) without any hope of long-term meaning.”
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The text explains that the church clearly has problems with this vision of sexuality, identity and relationship, but it also notes points on which the Vatican and gender theorists find agreement and sources for dialogue, like “a laudable desire to combat all expressions of unjust discrimination” and that “forms of unjust discrimination have been a sad fact of history and have also had an influence within the Church.”
“This has brought a certain rigid status quo, delaying the necessary and progressive inculturation of the truth of Jesus’ proclamation of the equal dignity of men and women, and has provoked accusations of a sort of masculinist mentality, veiled to a greater or lesser degree by religious motives,” the text acknowledges.
Another important point of agreement is “the need to educate children and young people to respect every person in their particularity and difference, so that no one should suffer bullying, violence, insults or unjust discrimination based on their specific characteristics (such as special needs, race, religion, sexual tendencies, etc.).”
The document then goes on to outline the Christian anthropology, which, it says, “has its roots in the narrative of human origins that appears in the book of Genesis, where we read that ‘God created man in his own image...male and female he created them.’”
It says, “These words capture not only the essence of the story of creation but also that of the life-giving relationship between men and women, which brings them into unity with God.”
The congregation’s document argues that “there is a need to reaffirm the metaphysical roots of sexual difference, as an anthropological refutation of attempts to negate the male-female duality of human nature, from which the family is generated.”
Drawing on the teaching of Benedict XVI and Francis, it says, “The denial of this duality not only erases the vision of human beings as the fruit of an act of creation but creates the idea of the human person as a sort of abstraction who chooses for himself what his nature is to be.”
It continues: “Man and woman in their created state as complementary versions of what it means to be human are disputed. But if there is no pre-ordained duality of man and woman in creation, then neither is the family any longer a reality established by creation. Likewise, the child has lost the place he had occupied hitherto and the dignity pertaining to him.”
The document concludes by saying that “Catholic educators are called to go beyond all ideological reductionism or homologizing relativism by remaining faithful to their own gospel-based identity, in order to transform positively the challenges of their times into opportunities by following the path of listening, reasoning and proposing the Christian vision, while giving witness by their very presence, and by the consistency of their words and deeds.”
It adds, “The culture of dialogue does not in any way contradict the legitimate aspirations of Catholic schools to maintain their own vision of human sexuality, in keeping with the right of families to freely base the education of their children upon an integral anthropology, capable of harmonizing the human person’s physical, psychic and spiritual identity.”
[Read the full document from The Vatican’s Congregation for Catholic Education, “Male and Female,” here.]
Gender theory ... the idea that men and women have more in common with each other than differences between each other ... isn't an opinion, it's factual and based on science. But the church has to double down on its "complementarianism" because otherwise it wouldn't have any basis (other than sexism) for treating women in the church like poop. The real damage is to the children in Catholic schools who may grow up believing this garbage.
Crystal - you obviously haven't read the document, just this article. It is excellent and is much needed counter to the suicidal urge of the gender gestapo. The feminist argument, under the guise of equality, is at the root of the gender confusion, even as it must now play second or third fiddle in the grievance ranking to male homosexuality, transgenderism and queerness. Its principal lie is that women are the same as men except for trivial aspects. This is in essence antiwomen as it treats all feminine attributes as poop.
1) It demands for women a masculine detachment to sex that destroys her relational needs.
2) It denies and denigrates the feminine biological particularities and vulnerabilities, promoting sterilization via contraception (so she can serve the man's more continuous sexual desire) or a sterile sexual lifestyle aka lesbianism.
3) It treats every unwanted child as garbage to be sucked out and it's absolutist choice mantra has no answer to gendercide (over 125 million girls selectively aborted around the world). Every woman who decides or is forced to abort her child has forever wounded the most intimate relationship of her life. No wonder there are epidemics of suicide. This is an alternative Handmaid's Tale where the real leaders are genderless feminists who have seduced vulnerable women by this satanic fruit, made a mockery of marriage and institutionalized child abuse via public school disinformation propaganda.
Thank God the Catholic Church provides an alternative to this death-cult. As the bible says "male and female, he created them" (Gen 1) and "This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live." (Dt 30)
I disagree with pretty much everything you wrote :) Science shows that individuals are somewhere along a continuum rather than clustered at the opposite poles of gender. This is true not just psychologically/emotionally, but physically too. Here's an example - "Scans prove there's no such thing as a 'male' or 'female' brain" ..."https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn28582-scans-prove-theres-no-such-thing-as-a-male-or-female-brain/
What about the latest research on psychological differences? Stanford Professor Shah "But over the past 15 years or so, there’s been a sea change as new technologies have generated a growing pile of evidence that there are inherent differences in how men’s and women’s brains are wired and how they work." (Link below). Or, if you disqualify male scientists, try Diane Halpern, PhD, past president of the American Psychological Association, "She found that the animal-research literature had been steadily accreting reports of sex-associated neuroanatomical and behavioral differences, but those studies were mainly gathering dust in university libraries...In her preface to the first edition, Halpern wrote: 'At the time, it seemed clear to me that any between-sex differences in thinking abilities were due to socialization practices, artifacts and mistakes in the research, and bias and prejudice. ... After reviewing a pile of journal articles that stood several feet high and numerous books and book chapters that dwarfed the stack of journal articles … I changed my mind.' Why? There was too much data pointing to the biological basis of sex-based cognitive differences to ignore, Halpern says."You might need to update your book of Nora.https://stanmed.stanford.edu/2017spring/how-mens-and-womens-brains-are-different.html
The latest research was done in England in on a huge scale and they found that men and women are often more alike in thinking, behaviors, desires physically and otherwise than groups of men.
Crystal - you even deny the physical differences of men and woman? If that were true, all women sports teams or events should be disbanded as discriminatory in favor for single-sex open events, where women try to compete in tennis, soccer, boxing etc. Wherever a man can be topless, a woman should also be. Any future draft would require women be forced to fight. Note that this only proves my point further - only women would be hurt once again by this gender blindness.
Nonsense first off any draft should include women and women fighting. It isn't women who don't want this but men. Women are not willing to be drafted to just play nurse or secretary. We are on with the draft but we get same treatment, promotions, same protections from being raped by colleagues as men and same chances to fight at the front lines
Again it is more men than women who don't want their daughters out in public topless. These decency rules were made by men.
I don't deny that professional men's sports would exclude women and most men for lack of talent but then most men could not beat most professional women at their specialty sport either. So that proves nothing. As I have pointed out to you in the past Tim certain races are better than others at certain sports so does this mean to you that those lesser equipped men from one race be treated with more restrictions and freedoms based on their lesser abilities than the other stronger physically race? Hint, it's often not the white guys who come out stronger and faster.
Thank you. An interesting sidebar: I read last week somewhere that Bishops, in the “early days” of dealing with sexually abusive priests, sent them off to receive months or years of gay conversion therapy. No wonder the problem is still raising its ugly head. The very sad truth is that many, maybe most, abusers were themselves abused by priests or nuns when they were children or teens or young adults. It’s the repitition compulsion at work...
What is suicidal is for the Church to avoid science in service of ancient metaphors. What causes suicide is for lesbian, gay, trans, etc youth to know their own sexual nature and have the Church deny both their lives experience and call it sinful or disordered.
My teenage daughter is fortunate not to have gone to Catholic school. She win the parental lottery, as we accept her reality as being LBQ. Reactionary parents would likely have led her to self destruction.
Michael - I can understand the emotional conflict in thinking straight when it comes to theology and dealing with your own daughter. I don't know the cause of her gender dysphoria and whether it was in any way influenced by her parental upbringing, but you even associate it with the possibility of self-destruction, and that can never be healthy. For some reason, we have seen a sky-rocketing in suicide of young people since 1999 (boys and girls, CDC statistics), but two societal trends that match that timeframe are 1) the rise of the self-declared non-believers (nones) and 2) the increasing acceptance of all things LGBTQIA..., coupled with social and legal intolerance of Christians. Neither trend is helping young people and no doubt the reasons for thinking suicide an option are very complex, but the Church's main obligation is to preach the Gospel in its fullness, in good days and bad.
Good for you, Michael. When I told my Mom she was devastated. When I asked her if she would rather have me gay or have me kill myself, she said, without hesitation, she would rather I kill myself. And she meant it!!!
Oh Sheila , I am so sorry. Ignorance fosters such fear and a lack of compassion. You should pray for her in order so you can heal.
Sheila - I am sorry your mother said that (I hope it was said in fear or anger and was not meant or that you have reconciled). I know from a previous post you were seduced by at least one woman. Your sex has not treated you very well. I only want you to live, and live eternally, by the salvation brought by Jesus.
Where would the world be without your macho nonsense. Women do not do the things you say based on any reaction to men but for other reasons you are far too paranoid to dialogue on respectfully. Different races of men think and act and desire more differently than men and women. Outside of procreation there is no difference to what both men and women need to be happy. You just judge women who want the same things as men as feminist macho or bad or wrong when actually they are just following their actual human nature. Instead of the prison stereotype version of humanity our sexist church, against what Christ commanded, have chosen to force down women's and men's throats.
Women and men want the same things in and out of bed. Refusing to let people be who they are because it does not fit your agenda makes you an oppressor of others. When did Jesus tell you to judge by the persons flesh how you should treat them. Never - Jesus tells us the flesh is nothing and only the Spirit in a person is what counts.
Nonsense Nora. You and Crystal never notice how your sexist/racist ideology keeps tripping you up. Let me try to explain. It would be unjust to segregate sports leagues by race and it would be unjust NOT to segregate sports' leagues by sex. I note you both are not calling for the desegregation of sports leagues (at least yet).
Tim - Sports leagues are segregated by level of skill in their sports. When sports are needlessly segregated by sex it is as wrong as if they were segregated by race. That does not make me racist or sexist but instead those who set up the teams. Have you noticed how most hockey teams are white men and most basketball teams are filled with African American Men. That was not designed to intentionally discriminate by race but by talent and like with women, certain physical attributes apply to different genders , as they do with races. These differences do not make any sex or race better or more human, or more or less deserving of restrictions on their goals, religiously or occupation wise, where these qualities have no influence, like priesthood.
Nor do these differences indicate that restricting by race or gender, in regards to whom someone can be allowed to be attracted to, and fall in love with, is a constructive or not deeply damaging reaction.
You live in an imaginary world Nora. Sports leagues are intentionally segregated by sex and not by skill. For example, a less-skilled male soccer player is not allowed to try to get on the women’s team, no matter how poorly he plays. He is excluded solely because he is a man. Same with many other sports. In tennis, there is a tournament for mixed doubles. But, teams with a stronger and weaker man on one side are not permitted. It is pure segregation based on sex, and you support it, unless you want to destroy women’s sports.
Wow, I step away for a minute and now my soul's in danger ;) ...
1) I didn't say men and women weren't physically different. I said they were more alike than different. But we're all on a continuum - you could find a man who was too frail to play football and a woman who could do so.
2) It's a terrible testament to Catholicism that someone would rather have their child dead than gay. This church has a lot to answer for.
3) I think the Episcopal church is really outstanding. That doesn't stop still Catholic me from having opinions on this church.
Amen! Unjust discrimination - you mean the raping and rejection women's human soul from their calling from God to equally be ordained as priests and bishops! Oh no says Mr bishop!
That kind of hating is just fine with us!
Jesus calls it sin but we bishops never really cared about what Jesus thought was right. Not when we have better leaders like Augustine and Pope Benedict xvi.
Jesus reminds us, our Lord is the one whose commands we choose to follow. Jesus commands all of his followers to treat no one differently than they want to be treated. Pope Francis and all our hierarchy sin continually while they allow these abusive sexist laws against women being ordained equally to men to stay in effect.
Sad how the writers seem so clueless about how individuals come to question their biological sex and gender identity, or their sexual orientation. They seem to think this is done for frivolous, selfish, or hedonistic reasons or because those who question are not sufficiently versed in the Vatican-approved male-female complementarity paradigm, i.e., "we could clear this all up with better indoctrination." Sad too how many of their claims are beyond the scope of their expertise, particularly when they get into areas of personality and sexuality. Women, just to let you know, your talents lie in the area of the concrete, not the theoretical, so go make a sammich.
This is probably rocking the liberal Catholic world. I'm sure it'll be reflected in the comments section!
We simply feel potty for these poor deluded Aces who care in the closet, even to themselves
Cardinal Sarah, ‘Gender ideology is a Luciferian refusal to receive a sexual nature from God’.
Cardinal Robert Sarah is perhaps the noblest person living today. He is a holy priest, a loving shepherd, and a man of great character and intellect.
He is an expert in the pedagogy and the cathecism. Reasoned argument backed by real evidence? Not so much.
Asexuality is different, not holy. That he rejects the is truth about himself as even a possibility is tragic.
It is appropriate to address the issue by its name "Gender Theory" and then to always address the topic as the factual dimorphic sexual nature of human beings.
Gender belongs only in the lexicon of language description or analysis.
(LE chat or LA table.)
In this regard, I prefer dogmatism to dialogue.
The proposition that each baby is a blank slate regardless of the DNA of its every cell and its anatomy visible to all the world when naked straight from the womb is simply preposterous.
No Catholic educator must be permitted to teach otherwise.
Then on the firm foundation of reality those who rear and educate children can tackle the issues of conformity and non-conformity with gender stereotyped behaviour defined differently in different cultures, we can protect and support the "pansy" boys and the "butch" girls on the firm basis of acknowledged individual differences, gifts and talents.
The slate is not blank at birth. It is written in the first trimester in a process called epigenesis. To think that biology is the servant of metaphors about Complimentarity is superstition. It is worse than being an anti-vaxer.
A defect in first trimester epigenesis? What a laughable bit of pseudoscience. You are on dangerous ground, Michael. Planned Parenthood already does abortions for any reason (no questions asked) and the radical pro-aborts in NY and Illinois have introduced legislation to remove all data collection and oversight. Over 125 million girls have been selectively aborted by genetic testing (See the NYT writer Maria Hvistendahl's reporting "Unnatural Selection" - http://www.marahvistendahl.com/unnatural-selection ). Let's not give epigenetic pseudoscience to the eugenecists.
What of intersex people? They are neither male nor female, but biologically both male and female in a way. Yet they will not procreate. Which box would the Church put them in?
The religious environment of gender and sexuality, which is taken as 'natural law' is posited as setting the conditions that should effectively limit the choices available. In a collective conscience, these conditions include governmental laws, political pressures from groups and varying political parties, the contemporary climate of opinion and common expectation on how man and women should behave and act based on their gender recognized at birth. In that decision-making context, we assume it would be decided on what to do based on the human limitations of our dualistic nature. But the logic fails and the purported shortcomings is much more complex than trying to indoctrinate those with gender dysphoria or transgendered individuals into a traditional view of gender and that of family and marriage in order to procreate. Many still want those things and need community.
No, we simply don't accept their definition of the natural order. It is a sophistry inside a fallacious appeal to authority. It is not the concept of nature we object to, but that there is only one. We also have absolutely no faith in their competence on all matters sexual. It would be funny, except that some people tragically take them seriously. They need to be outed, first to themselves, as non-heterosexuals. They put the BGI into LGBTIQ. The need to be much more Q. Methinks she doth protest too much. They do not respect people's experience (including their brother clergy), making them totally unworthy of respect. Indeed, they are so sexually abnormal and unaware that any marriage they contract would Have to annulled. Have I left anything out?
Michael - I think you have a bad case of Clerical Derangement Syndrome. You assume the clergy must be homosexual because they teach the scriptures. Don't you realize you are in effect blaming the teaching against homosexuality on homosexuals. You complain that the Church is insufficiently respectful of people's experience, yet you show them no respect for their spiritual experience. You complain that they appeal to an otherworldly authority, when your whole outburst is an unscientific appeal to the ever-changing LGBT..... academic authority. Methinks you doth protest too much.
What happened to there is no Jew or Greek, man or woman, slave or free but all are one in the Lord?
It's in the Gospel of Matthew so can not possibly be a "good" to which we should be respectful or observient. And yet Matthew is much less difficult than Mark.
Appeal to authority is a logical fallacy. It is pedagogy, not reason. Jesus was quoting scripture and commenting in a rabbinical debate of the day. You miss the context, as did St. Augustine who misunderstood the Eden myth as a historical fact rather than an allegory in blame.
Yes - we can't leave out the disadvantages transgendered individuals may face trying to access medical care, employment, housing, and a sense of safety and security after being turned away by people they care and love. The dignity of all persons must never be forgotten.
This document, like Thomism and the Catechism, are pedagogy, not reasoned argument.
This is very interesting since I cannot believe we have come to the point where are young people no longer feel the need to be identified male or female. They want to be fluid which I can understand a little. Not wanting to be placed in a box that dictates how you must perform. It is a new world for sure. My nephew fits into this new category. For confirmation he took the name Joan and I was surprised how other male took female names and females took male names.
There is no need to equivocate over Francis' position, as the author does. He has on several occasions called "gender ideology" "demonic" and told bishops the same.
As for the so-called spectrum of sexuality, it is a philosophical and theological error to equate empirical results re: sexuality with the nature of man and woman created by God and destined through marriage to reflect the communion of persons in the Trinity.
First, there are disorders of sexual development whose genetic etiology is largely known, but whose psychological consequences are not very predictable. And, yes, we are also learning about epigenetic causes and their trans-generational influence, also with unpredictable results. Neither of these are positive changes, but *disorders* - there's that awful word that captures the essential thing, nature gone wrong.
What then to make of an ideology that insists that multiple, even theoretically quite individualized sexualities (as a spectrum would suggest), of an ideology that atomizes human nature into oblivion to justify an endless parade of sexual attractions?
Whatever the personal moral culpability of individuals, and as in many sexual matters it may be little, I think the Pope has accurately captured the spirit of the movement which promotes the ideology that justifies it as a normal human variation.
The Pope is speaking organizationally, not scientifically. Ignoring the lives experience if LGBTQIA individuals is ideology, not science or reason. Indeed, in the paradigm they cling to, they imagine that their own lived asexuality is somehow holy. Neither view is really ideology, rather, it is the paradigm used to make sense if reality. The dad thing for us is that their assumption of personal holiness when in reality, they are simply odd ducks, denigrates the truth that even heterosexuals experience. Asexuality is not normal. It is the A in LGBTQIA.
I would not use my last name either if I cited LifeSiteNews
this Vatican document on gender theory is long overdue, but it would be more helpful if it were not full of so may qualified statements, and fear of tramping on people's toes. You are given a biology at birth, it is not a matter of free choice, and attempts to change your identity or the way God made you seem to me to be narcissistic and egoistic. There is also a tremendous amount of lobbying and recruitment by the LGBTQ movement--aided and abetted by the media-- going on behind the amazing amount of publicity that such a small number of people are getting in American society. Their publicity is out of all proportion to their numbers. We badly need a clear, well informed statement by the Church to guide individuals, families, and parents who are being bombarded daily by LGBTQ propaganda. The claim that gender is a social construct--that nurture is more important than nature in determining sexual identity-- is nonsense--and it is also dangerous pedagogy that should be kept out of the public schools.
Sometimes it's just better to say nothing and let things play out rather than say look stupid after it's discovered that the earth does indeed revolve around the sun. Things will clarify in time. Fools rush in where wise men (and women) fear to tread. Sometimes Church leaders act like fools. They embarrass themselves and the Church.
Do as I say, not as I do? Is the biological family really critical to Christianity? Was it ever? If so, why do we have the tradition that Mary and Joseph had a non sexual, non biological relationship, with Joseph choosing to father a child not his own? Why is most of the leadership vowed to be celibate, living with other men, as if God’s idea of male and female were not good enough?
Catholic marriage (and Catholic theology of marriage) have been very important to my life for the past 25 years and I love to encourage others in living this sacrament if it’s right for them. But is it critical to Christianity that everyone conform to this? Not necessarily. Is it an “emergency” that people who do not and never will fit in to the traditional male female marriage are getting an opportunity to find other ways that work for them? I’m sorry to see this letter come out at a time when so many vulnerable LGBT and especially Q or transgender individuals are suffering persecution and driven to suicide. It’s not some kind of light, frivolous, arbitrary thing, and it’s not a threat to Christ. He is greater than that.
The significant part of the entire document, a document for educators, assuming the article describes it accurately, is the fact that a “Galileo” will no longer be admonished, hounded, and persecuted by the Church for differing in opinions. The Church presents its viewpoints clearly. I don’t think it’s a matter of required beliefs. Some science might find areas of significant disagreement. The document precludes Catholics from excluding and discriminating against anyone of a different viewpoint. There needs to be dialogue. That’s what Francis has brought to the Church, thank God!
The document calls for dialogue, which is good, but I suspect it is yet another defense of religious patriarchy and the exclusively male priesthood. Surely they know that patriarchal gender theory (male headship, gender binary) is also a "gender theory"?
The Trinity is a communion of persons, not a patriarchate. The Church is a communion of persons, not a patriarchate. The gender of human beings is not binary. Human beings are male and female, not male or female. There is man in woman, and there is woman in man. Patriarchy is an obsolete, artificial, unnatural gender theory. Religious patriarchy is a cultural aberration, not a dogma of the faith. The exclusively male priesthood is a cultural shackle, not a matter of faith. It is time to discard the patriarchal scaffolding that obscures the Catholic faith.
2000 years doing something wrong is no justification to keep doing it. The Vatican would do well to stop trying to justify what is no longer justifiable.
To paraphrase an old saw, no theory survives contact with living, human beings. The appeal to lived experience is a call to take actual living, breathing human beings, in all their particularity and complexity, seriously. Not mere "tolerance" but actual respect. Theory is not "bad" in and of itself, but theory can be an abstraction used to keep distance from people; theory can reduce its subjects to "its." That doesn't sound like Christianity to me.