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DES MOINES, Iowa (ChurchMilitant.com) - LGBT activists are criticizing the diocese of Des Moines, Iowa, over its yet-to-be-released gender policy.
The new document, recently obtained by Iowa's KCCI News, instructs all diocesan parishes, schools, organizations and institutions to show compassion toward those with gender dysphoria, while remaining faithful to the Church's teaching.
So-called trans people are "unconditionally loved by Jesus Christ and by the Church," the leaked guidelines profess. But affirming someone's gender dysphoria fails to express genuine compassion, it explains.
The set of instructions urges everyone to acknowledge and accept their God-given sexual identity. Using preferred pronouns, bathrooms and locker rooms that don't align with a person's biological sex is prohibited. The same applies to sports teams and even dress codes. According to the policy, while on diocesan property, one may not possess, use or distribute medications intended for so-called gender reassignment.
The guidelines sparked a maelstrom of condemnation from gay activists. A spokesperson for the LGBT activist group One Iowa told KCCI:
To call this compassionate is to confuse hatred with love. This is the exact opposite of compassion. This is not even equivalent, not even remotely close, not even in the same ballpark. Not even the same city. Not even in the same state. Not even in the same universe is this compassionate.
Connie Ryan, executive director of the Interfaith Alliance of Iowa, accused the policy of being "dangerous" and "harmful" and said that it promotes "bigotry."
In a statement, Ryan remarked, "Iowans of faith are not monolithic in their beliefs about anything, including beliefs about gender identity. Many churches are open and affirming and put into practice the understanding that all children of God, including people who are transgender, are worthy as they live out their authentic selves."
"The Des Moines Catholic Diocese and others who follow suit do not speak for all people of faith or all Christians," she continued.
A growing number of dioceses across the country are establishing guidelines that uphold Church teaching, as religious leaders face what is considered unprecedented, tumultuous territory.
In 2020, the diocese of Springfield, Illinois, issued a pastoral guide that acknowledged, "Gender dysphoria is a real psychological condition" that should be handled with compassionate care and concern. It also maintained:
The Church teaches that our identities as male and female are part of God's good design in Creation, that our bodies and sexual identities are gifts from God, and that we should accept and care for our bodies as they were created. A person cannot change his or her gender.
The following year, the diocese of Lansing, Michigan, launched a gender policy requiring parishes, schools and charities to recognize people by their biological sex. It echoed the diocese of Springfield's pastoral guide, affirming that the differences between male and female, including sexuality, are a God-given good.
Incorporating wisdom from the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the pastoral guide explained, "Each of the two sexes is an image of the power and tenderness of God, with equal dignity though in a different way."
In 2022, the diocese of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, issued an extensive policy for schools and ministries, admonishing priests to withhold the sacraments of confirmation and Holy Communion from transgendered individuals until they properly understand and accept Church teaching. It also discouraged students from celebrating transgenderism, so as not to confuse classmates.
The celebrity homosexualist Jesuit Fr. James Martin rebuked Sioux Falls' guidelines on social media, saying, "First, people should be able to, and encouraged to, 'celebrate' who they are and, more importantly, how God made them, including LGBTQ people. This is an essential part of a healthy spirituality for anyone." Martin then pulled a line from Psalm 139 to support his heresy: "I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made."
First, people should be able to, and encouraged to, "celebrate" who they are and, more importantly, how God made them, including LGBTQ people. This is an essential part of a healthy spirituality for anyone. "I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made." (Ps 139)...— James Martin, SJ (@JamesMartinSJ) August 30, 2022
During that same timeframe, the diocese of Green Bay updated the education policy for its 54 Catholic schools, prohibiting the use of pronouns and the wearing of clothes that don't accurately reflect a person's biological sex.
More recently, the archdiocese of Omaha released a similar gender policy for schools that required students, staff and volunteers in its 70 member schools to use names and pronouns consistent with their biological sex. It went a step further and called for conduct to be in accordance with their biological sex at all times, whether in public or virtual spaces. It warned that those who refused to comply with the policy would be dismissed. After some pushback in December, the archdiocese caved, updating the wording to apply to students only.
As Church Militant previously reported, ex-transgender Walt Heyer warned the U.S. Supreme Court in 2019 that transgender ideology is dangerous. Citing a clinical study in a brief submitted to the high court, Heyer and other former transgenders said that following reassignment surgery, people experienced a three times higher-than-average rate of psychiatric hospitalization, a sharp increase in mortality as well as criminal convictions and a dramatic increase in suicides, with transgenders 19 times more likely to kill themselves.
Heyer told Church Militant, "Forty-one percent are known, who identify as transgender, are known to attempt suicide. Then, if they're younger, the ages 10 to 24, 50% of that population are known to attempt suicide."
The diocese of Des Moines affirmed that it truly isn't compassionate to enable someone to perpetuate a lie, knowing it could lead to both physical and spiritual death. Telling the truth is perhaps the first step in setting people with gender dysphoria free. The diocese of Des Moines is expected to release its new gender policy on Monday.