California Bishops on Compassion and Truth
In a letter issued in September, the California bishops highlighted the Catholic Church’s mission to emulate Jesus by accompanying and showing solidarity with marginalized and suffering individuals.
While affirming the beauty and truth of God’s creation, the bishops stressed the importance of combining compassion with truth and charity.
The Balanced Approach to Gender Dysphoria
The California bishops emphasized that support for individuals experiencing gender dysphoria should be marked by genuine Christian charity and a commitment to the truth about the human person.
They underscored the idea that compassion that lacks both truth and charity is not in line with the Church’s mission.
Various Approaches by the Church
The Catholic Church’s response to questions related to gender dysphoria has taken various forms. In some instances, bishops have issued pastoral letters to provide clarity and guidance.
Oklahoma City Archbishop Paul Coakley and the Diocese of Cleveland, for example, have addressed the issue by emphasizing the need for a loving environment while upholding the truth of God’s created reality.
Policies on Biological Sex and Gender Identity
Archbishop George Lucas of Omaha, Nebraska, and Bishop Donald DeGrood of the Diocese of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, issued policies directing Catholic schools to affirm the biological sex of their students rather than their “gender identity.
” Similarly, bishops in Minnesota mandated that Catholic schools adhere to Catholic teaching on biological sex, including maintaining segregated bathroom facilities and sporting events based on sex, not “gender identity.”
U.S. Bishops’ Directives on Gender Dysphoria Interventions
During the summer, the U.S. bishops voted to proceed with updates to their Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic institutions.
These updates guide health facilities in refraining from performing interventions, whether surgical or chemical, that aim to transform the sexual characteristics of a human body into those of the opposite sex.
This reflects the Church’s stance on addressing gender dysphoria with compassion while adhering to the truth of God’s creation.