HomeForeignPope, Vatican Say No Room For Sex Change, Surrogacy

Pope, Vatican Say No Room For Sex Change, Surrogacy

The Vatican has reiterated its staunch opposition to sex changes, gender theory, surrogate parenthood, abortion and euthanasia in a text dubbed “Dignitas Infinita” (Infinite Dignity).

Other social themes, such as poverty, migration and human trafficking are also emphasised as being potential threats to human dignity.

The text was signed by Pope Francis.

The pontiff has often been criticised by Catholic conservatives over his perceived liberal stance.

Some conservatives have accused him of steering the Catholic Church too far away from some traditional teachings.

But for some liberals, he has not done enough to encourage to Church to evolve by any tangible measure on these questions.

In 2023, Pope Francis said transgender people could be baptised in the Catholic Church as long as doing so did not cause scandal or “confusion”. He also allowed priests to bless same-sex couples under certain circumstances, although the Vatican said it continued to view marriage as between a man and a woman.

Last year, the Pope directed the Vatican’s powerful doctrine office, and the new man steering it with whom he is close, Cardinal Victor Manuel Fernández, to look at the complexities of “new questions” facing people in the world today.

Cardinal Fernández came under fire for a book he wrote and published in the late 1990s which discussed human sexuality in great detail.

Certainly, on issues like same-sex unions and the role of women in the Church, the Pope has seemed liberal in tone, with the potential for some practical change in the pipeline.

On other issues though, Pope Francis has left little room for doubt about his immoveable stance. Some of his strongest language on doctrine has been reserved for two such topics dealt with in the new document that he has approved.

He has previously described the practice of surrogacy as “despicable” and so-called gender theory – a school of thought which challenges the idea that gender roles are fixed by biology – as “an ugly ideology”.

Now, the Dignitas Infinita declaration calls abortion an “extremely dangerous crisis of the moral sense” and says that surrogacy is a “violation” of both the woman and the child.

It also emphasises that a person’s sex at birth is seen as a gift, and any attempt to change it risks conceding “to the temptation to make oneself God”.

The exploitation of the poor, migrants and women are also described as affronts to human dignity.

Pope Francis continues to show that talk of him being either “progressive” or “conservative” is far too simplistic.

The 87-year-old became Pope in 2013. In an autobiography published last month, he said that he had no intention of retiring and planned to remain in post for life.

BBC

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