When even Pope Francis calls bs on transgenderism, the gig truly is up

Pope Francis is often justifiably criticised for his ‘Liberation Theology’; flirtations with leftist nostrums like open borders and climate change. But while the Church in its long history has at times been at the forefront of revolutionary change, it is at the same time a necessarily deeply conservative institution. Francis has finally found an issue on which, in the true conservative tradition of Burke, the Church can stand in front of the ‘progressive’ parade drunk on change for its own sake, and say, “Hold! Enough!”

The Catholic Church has emerged as this week’s unlikely champion of open dialogue and intellectual freedom.

On Monday, the Vatican’s Congregation for Catholic Education published a report called Male and Female He Created Them to lay out the church’s views on the proper role of modern gender theory in Catholic education…The report, unsurprisingly, comes out in favour of traditional sex roles and gender identities.

Of course, those views have not been welcomed by LGBT activists or their friends in the media. Their attacks have been vicious, accusing the Vatican of encouraging hatred and bigotry…It is remarkable that so much powerful invective can be heaped on a document that advocates “listening carefully to the needs of the other” to reach “an understanding of the true diversity of conditions”.

Yet, if the Church’s stance on sexuality is conservative, at the same time, its championship of intellectual freedom is a radical stance against an increasingly closed Western mind.

The report comes as liberal democracies such as Australia are moving beyond a healthy respect for difference towards the normalisation of radical medical interventions to make children’s bodies conform to their desired gender roles.

The diagnosis and treatment of a medical condition called gender dysphoria is on the rise in Australia, particularly in Victoria, where the number of children referred to the Royal Children’s Hospital’s “gender service” has risen from one or two a year in the early 2000s to about 300 last year…Many people believe performing these kinds of medical procedures on children is monstrous. Yet gender activists have sought to close down all debate over these procedures, labelling their opponents “transphobic” — or worse.

Of course, the Church has its own, ahem, ‘history’ in the matter of children and sex. But, rather than fallaciously dismissing the Vatican’s report out of hand due to the Church’s past sins, its past is a stark warning about the consequences of powerful organisations suppressing uncomfortable truths.

The quashing of debate in this manner is dangerous, doubly so where children are concerned. The Vatican knows this only too well…The medical profession also has a culture of confidentiality, but if we can’t talk about transgenderism now, we’ll be forced to talk about it later.

Like the voices in the Catholic wilderness who tried to raise the red flags over institutional abuse, medical and scientific professionals who raise doubts about the dubious claims of the transgender lobby are silenced, attacked, vilified and subjected to career destruction if they dare to speak out. Yet the same chickens that have come home to roost so brutally for the Church may well one day descend on the medical profession.

Certainly some, and (who knows?) maybe many or most of these future adults will feel they were betrayed by the doctors and counsellors who allowed them as children to choose their own genders. When these objectors reach their late 20s to find themselves socially isolated, sterile and trapped in a body they no longer want, there will be hell to pay.

Tomorrow’s angry survivors of gender therapies will demand an investigation into why their treatments were railroaded into medical best-practice guidelines. They will want to know why critics were sidelined or silenced. And they will spark a debate a decade from now that we should be having today.

I speak from experience, my own and others’, when it comes to the single-minded vindictiveness and deranged viciousness of the transgender lobby. To publish criticism of transgender ideology is to invite a world of vilification, threats and abuse from people who claim to be on the side of “compassion”.

When it comes to the protection of children, considered criticism should be encouraged, not condemned… when critics are silenced, mistakes are made. The Catholic Church was on the wrong side of that reality on sexual abuse. It is on the right side in calling for reasoned debate on childhood gender dysphoria.