“Male and Female He Created Them”: Bold Winds of Pentecost Affirm Essential Truths of Human Sexuality
One day after Pentecost Sunday, the Vatican Congregation for Catholic Education released “Male and Female He Created Them, Towards a Path of Dialogue on the Question of Gender Theory in Education.” From the very first sentence, it rightly describes “. . . an educational crisis, especially in the field of affectivity and sexuality.” It goes on to diagnose: “‘gender theory,’ which denies the difference and reciprocity in nature of a man and a woman and envisages a society without sexual differences, thereby eliminating the anthropological basis of the family.”
Gender theory is the tip of the spear in the battle for the souls of our children. Maleness or femaleness is the first and most prominent feature of the human person. It is part of our essence, all the way down to our DNA, and all the way up to ways in which we are made in the image and likeness of God. The fruitful union of husband and wife is a reflection of the Holy Trinity. In the Holy Trinity, the Holy Spirit is the personification of the love that proceeds from the Father and the Son. In the marital union, the child is the personification of the love between the husband and wife. Maleness and femaleness is an essential feature in our likeness to God.
But in our age this has been forgotten. Gender transgressors wear the righteous mantle of the persecuted, and enjoy the compassion of our tender-hearted children. Since the triumph of the West through World War II, Judeo-Christian civilization and liberal democracy have enjoyed a shining confidence so complete we have mistakenly presumed that they did not require an ongoing defense. As proof of our strength, we have silently endured every criticism, even as the criticisms have washed away the foundations of Judeo-Christian civilization and liberal democracy. Our children have no sense of the goodness and beauty of Western civilization. Their historical consciousness consists of “a list of abuses and usurpations” perpetrated by their inglorious forefathers, and so they readily assent to the victim narrative which vilifies virtue and is used to justify gender theory.
Needless to say, teachers and educational bureaucrats today are not renowned for their principles or courage. There was a time when to be a Catholic teacher was a vocation involving sacrifice and poverty. In most districts, this is ancient history. Canada’s Catholic teachers, for the most part, have become employees of the state, who deliver state-mandated curricula. They are selected and rewarded for conformity and compliance. Though some may have had misgivings at the abandonment and betrayal of our children to gender ideology, almost no one spoke up. Any thought of defending the Church’s anthropology was abandoned, in the certainty that someone would quote Pope Francis’s famous theological maxim, “Who am I to judge?”
But today is a new day. Paragraph 4 of “Male and Female He Created Them” begins: “The Christian vision of anthropology sees sexuality as a fundamental component of one’s personhood.” Later it continues: “. . . affective-sex education must consider the totality of the person and insist therefore on the integration of the biological, psycho-affective, social and spiritual elements.”
In the Critique section, paragraph 19 speaks candidly and clearly: “Gender theory (especially in its most radical forms) speaks of a gradual process of denaturalization, that is a move away from nature and towards an absolute option for the decision of the feelings of the human subject . . . this understanding of things . . . [is] often founded on nothing more than a confused concept of freedom in the realm of feelings and wants, or momentary desires provoked by emotional impulses and the will of the individual, as opposed to anything based on the truths of existence.”
Paragraph 21 reads: “. . . the utopia of the ‘neuter’ eliminates both human dignity in sexual distinctiveness and the personal nature of the generation of new life. The anthropological basis of the concept of family is thus emptied of meaning.”
Paragraph 32 quotes St. Pope John Paul II: “[The Holy Scripture reveals the wisdom of the Creator’s design, which] ‘has assigned as a task to man his body, his masculinity and femininity; and that in masculinity and femininity he, in a way, assigned to him as a task his humanity, the dignity of the person, and also the clear sign of the interpersonal communion in which man fulfils himself through the authentic gift of himself.’”
There is much, much more in this 30-page document, providing clarity and direction to parents, teachers, and the whole Church, and the irrepressible stirrings of both Natural Law and the Holy Spirit have primed the world to receive it. Back in 2016, when Bruce Jenner re-defined himself as Caitlyn, there were half a dozen imitators who enjoyed automatic social cache for the audacity to transgender. Today, no students where I teach identify as transgendered, and there is a refreshing resurgent conservatism. Students are much more willing to express opinions contrary to those of woke ideologues. There is hope. Spring has finally arrived.