In a recently released document entitled ‘Male and Female He Created Them‘, the Vatican has spoken out on gender theory, transgender people, intersex people, and gender fluidity as it should be taught in Catholic schools. The document describes that gender being determined by “personal feeling rather than biology” is an attempt to “annihilate nature,” among other claims met with backlash from LGBT+ activists.
Due to Catholic schools’ right to determine their own Relationship and Sexuality Education (RSE), programmes in line with the Vatican’s rhetoric could be taught in Ireland.
A spokesperson for the Department of Education told the Irish Independent that schools develop a policy on Relationships and Sexuality Education (RSE) reflecting the school’s values as outlined in their mission statement.
The spokesperson continues, “The right of schools to uphold their ethos and characteristic spirit is recognised by the Department of Education and Skills, including the delivery of RSE within the characteristic spirit of the school”
For Catholic schools, this might mean Relationships and Sexuality Education in line with the teachings of the Vatican.
Essentially, the Department of Education relinquishes its power to stop the rhetoric, which ignores the lived experiences of youth, from being taught to young people who attend Catholic schools.
The Vatican’s document includes ideas such as the complete rejection of the terms ‘transgender’ and ‘intersex.’ It also asserts that male and female sex organs were made ‘complimentary’ and were created only for procreation.
It is also significant that the document was released at the start of Pride month, which has been met with much anger.
Sara R. Phillips of the Transgender Equality Network Ireland commented on the Vatican’s document by saying it “ignores the real and legitimate experiences of young trans people and their families.”
She adds: “the document provides little by way of practical information for schools and families, many of whom are already working successfully and in collaboration with representative organisations such as TENI and BeLong To, to create safe, supportive and welcoming learning environments for trans and gender variant young people to grow and flourish in education.”
See the full document from the Vatican here.
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