If you don’t like ”X”, don’t be or do “X”. Isn’t that how liberal logic normally goes? But why don’t they do that for Catholicism?
Before we look at this screed, let’s take a look at the author, Kevin Molloy, according to his New Ways bio:
About Kevin Molloy
Kevin Molloy has worked in ministry with youth and undergraduate college students since 2013. He received his A.B. in Religious Studies from the College of the Holy Cross, Massachusetts, and his M.A. in Systematic Theology from Union Theological Seminary, New York. In addition to ministry, Kevin studies and teaches Liberation Theology, with a particular interest in LGBT liberation and queer theologies.
A few things we can learn from this? Don’t send your kids to College of the Holy Cross or Union Theological Seminary if you want them to have a shred of understanding of the Catholic faith. Besides, Union Theological Seminary isn’t even Catholic. I’m just thinking a guy who was educated by non-Catholics and doesn’t actually understand Catholicism might not want to critique bishops who know far more about what the Catholic Church teaches.
Minnesota Bishops’ Anti-Transgender School Policy Lacks Science, Theological Imagination
March 4, 2020/3 Comments/in Hierarchy, Parish Life & Pastoral Care, Schools & Youth, Uncategorized /by Kevin Molloy
Bishops in Minnesota have adopted anti-transgender policies for Catholic schools in their dioceses that will continue to marginalize and harm the well-being of transgender students.
It’s ridiculous to excoriate Catholic bishops for upholding the teachings of the Catholic Church. NOBODY is holding a gun to anyone’s head and making them go to a Catholic school. You want to allow your child to live under a delusion that their body is somehow in conflict with their soul? I find it tragic, but there are many other places that would allow you to inflict that type of damage on your child.
In guidelines adopted last year, the bishops of Minnesota set forth principles to govern the policies on gender identity of all Catholic schools in the state. The bishops claim that in setting out these guiding principles, they intend to affirm the “God-given irrevocable dignity of every human person.” The list of governing principles, however, have limited theological understandings of God and flawed scientific, biological, and psychological understanding of sex and gender. They also ignore the lived experience of trans and non-binary people.
“Limited theological understanding of God” according to whom? Oh, yes, the guy with the sub-par, typical, Jesuit education and a non-Catholic advanced degree. Isn’t that the definition of “limited theological understanding of God?” Yes, let’s listen to him drone on about the Catholic theology he knows nothing about.
In “Guiding Principles for Catholic Schools and Religious Education Concerning Human Sexuality and Sexual Identity,” the Minnesota bishops base a significant portion of their argument on the Genesis creation stories, arguing that God only creates males and females. Any “sexual identity,” they argue, must be in congruence with one’s sex assigned at birth. According to the “Definitions” set forth in the Minnesota bishops’ document, to have a gender identity that does not match assigned sex is not only impossible, but it is a betrayal of “the inner unity and reality of the human person made body and soul in the image and likeness of God.”
Do you think Mr. Molloy has ever heard the term “dualism?” (coughheresy***) Do you think Mr. Molloy has ever seen the Summa Theologia? (Gee, what a fool that Thomas Aquinas was!) Karlo Broussard, who apparently didn’t get his degree from Union Theological Seminary and has a wee bit more of a grasp on actual Catholicism than Molloy, lays it out very well here. (Send your kids where he went if you want them to understand Catholicism.) https://www.catholic.com/magazine/online-edition/one-way-to-debunk-transgender-philosophy
By the way, rather than reading Kevin’s paraphrasing, here’s the document he’s frothing about: http://www.mncatholic.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/20.0304-Sexual-Identity-Guiding-Principles-FINAL.pdf
More troubling than these foundational definitions are the proposed applications of these theological principles. The bishops restrict the use of pronouns by students to those that match their assigned sex. Students are restricted to use only facilities and participate only in extracurricular activities that are based on their assigned sex. The bishops forbid any expression of one’s gender that does not match one’s assigned sex, claiming that such an expression “causes disruption or confusion regarding the Church’s teaching on human sexuality.”
So, the bishops are for truth, reality and science? They’re for witnessing Catholic teaching vs. “gender ideology?” Shocker!
Two affirmations are particularly troubling for both trans students and their allies. While the document offers the assurance that all students and families deserve respect and charity, the bishops also say that interactions with students should be marked with “the truth about human dignity and God’s love.” Since the bishops’ definition of truth about human dignity is entwined with oppressive views about gender identity, this policy might be used to protect those who deny a trans student’s identity or disparage their experience.
Uh, the bishops’ definitions are intertwined with TRUTH. Truth is never oppressive. In fact, it’s the basis for the dignity of the human person. Peoples’ “experience” doesn’t negate truth in any way. Often it warps our view of it, but reality remains.
Let’s say one has experienced some sort of abuse, whether mental, physical or emotional, and it’s warped their view of love. It doesn’t change the truth about love. It just means they have a malformed view of it. I once dealt with a woman who was sure her boyfriend loved her. Do you know why she felt that way? Because he made sure she was sitting down before he hit her! Did that experience equal truth? Yeah, no. Would it have been good for me to let her go on thinking that was Truth?
Neither does experience make bad good or a wrong right. We can think of a thousand examples for those. It is what is referred to in the scientific, moral or psychiatric realm as a dysphoria. The remedy for it is not to feed it but to treat it.
Additionally, the bishops state:
“The consciences of students and employees will be respected with the assurance of their inviolable right to the acknowledgement that God has created each person as a unity of body and soul, male or female, and that God-designed sexual expression and behavior must be exclusively oriented to love and life in marriage between one man and one woman.”
The policy makes clear that those who uphold the bishops’ definition of sex and gender will be protected.
No, everyone will be protected, even if it’s from themselves. Duh. Catholics have the right to accept or reject Catholic teaching, but the Church doesn’t have the duty to affirm them when they are wrong. She has the duty to teach and defend Truth.
By explicitly making these two assertions in the policy guidelines, without making any specific protections from bullying and harassment for trans students, the bishops further marginalize and unjustly discriminate against these vulnerable youth.
Not sure if this is an intentional lie or merely an oversight, but there’s a bullying policy found right below the document he’s trashing here: https://www.mncatholic.org/guiding-principles-for-sexuality-identity-in-catholic-education/ Oops. And, no, they don’t have a specific bullying policy for those suffering with gender dysphoria. It’s a blanket policy for anyone being bullied.
Theologically, the “Guiding Principles” limit the creative potential of God. Because God created the universe out of nothing, God’s creative capacity is without bounds. To say that God can only make humans whose gender identity matches a person’s sex assigned at birth is to deny God’s ultimate power of creation. Feminist and queer theologians have rejected the idea that God operates within or ordains binaries. They see the male vs. female dichotomy as a function of finite beings who themselves have set up systems of binaries, and a projection onto God.
And at this point all you can do is say “says who?” God is all-knowing and all-loving. He doesn’t make peoples’ souls to be in conflict with their bodies because, well, that would be counter to the all-loving part. “Queer whoever” can think what they like, but this isn’t in any way Catholic. So, again, we’ve got idiot when it comes to Catholicism commenting on Catholicism and a Catholic entity. I’ve never really been sure what this means, but “Step off!” seems appropriate here.
Fr. James Martin, SJ has criticized similar understandings of gender and sexual identity by Church authorities as, “mainly a dialogue with philosophers and theologians, and with other church documents; but not with scientists and biologists, not with psychologists, and certainly not with LGBT people.”
And James Martin, SJ is wrong six days out of seven. OK, maybe seven out of seven. He may very well indeed agree with you, but that would be rather narcissistic to think that equals Truth. In this instance, Kevin’s got all but the last group wrong, and that’s not even complete. Catholic philosophers, documents, theologians, scientist and biologists, and even sometimes the LGB disagree with those promoting “transgenderism.” And then there’s even those who formerly considered themselves “T” who have said it was a dysphoria and are full of regret. But, again, Catholics are called to embrace Catholic doctrine (aka -TRUTH) no matter who agrees.
The Minnesota bishops should immediately rescind these guidelines until they take the experience of trans people seriously, listen to the LGBTQ community to hear how they experience gender and sexuality in relationship to God, and consult 21st century science and psychology to ensure the well-being of students entrusted to their care. Had the bishops chosen to open a true dialogue, they would hear the truth about trans people from trans people. That might allow them to show respect, sensitivity, and preferential compassion to trans people as “God-given blessings” rather than continue to oppress and harm an already marginalized population—the antithesis to Jesus’ mission.
Truth isn’t up for negotiation, Kevin Malloy. The bishops are charged with guarding the faithful and teaching Truth. That is Jesus’ mission. True dialogue doesn’t entail twisting the truth to try to appease.
The bishops could adopt policies like Alverno College in neighboring Wisconsin and Loyola University in nearby Chicago, who understand the foundational Catholic principle of caring for each person in unique ways. Catholic policies, should be oriented to supporting and affirming students in their own gender expression and sexual identity. Jesus, who offered binary-destroying love and compassion to all people, is the model for how to respond to transgender people
Uh, neither college understands Catholicism and its relationship to Truth. I’d like to know if they are next going to affirm those who consider themselves “transfeline” or “transabled?” These are also tragic dysphoria, but hey, Kevin Malloy hasn’t lived their experience.
For more information on how official Catholic doctrine and policies continue to harm the transgender community, and how some Catholic communities are working to be affirming and inclusive, see the “Transgender” category, or click here. For resources about transgender people and Catholicism, click here. If you are interested in hosting a session of “Trans-Forming Love,” New Ways Ministry’s workshop on pastoral ministry with transgender people, click here.
—Kevin Molloy, New Ways Ministry, March 4, 2020
Remember when New Ways tried to pass themselves off as faithful Catholics? At least they’re getting a little more honest. They don’t believe in the doctrine of the Church and they never really have.