Activist priest Franciscan Father Daniel P. Horan claimed earlier this month that Bishop Michael Burbidge is transphobic after the Catholic bishop of the Diocese of Arlington preached against the dangers of gender ideology. Father Horan accused Bishop Burbidge of dehumanizing people who are trans and not basing his teaching on facts. Another critic, trans advocate Rev. Emma Chattin of the Metropolitan Community Church, dismissed the bishop’s position in an interview with NBC News: “With all due respect, [Bishop Burbidge] is not a physician, is not a psychologist.”
Bishop Burbidge received all this backlash for his clear and compassionate teaching document, “A Catechesis on the Human Person and Gender Ideology,” which explains the basic Catholic teaching on sex and gender and outlines the loving and Christian response to those suffering from gender dysphoria.
Instead of calling the bishop names and questioning his credentials, let’s look at the facts and listen to the stories of real people who have been hurt by gender ideology. Gender ideology, as clearly defined in Bishop Burbidge’s teaching, is “the claim that a person’s biological sex and personal identity have no necessary connection and could in fact contradict each other.” Gender dysphoria, more specifically, is the distress a person experiences when they believe there is a mismatch between their biological sex and gender identity.
A closer look at the research shows that rates of gender dysphoria are skyrocketing, and the teens affected are also suffering from mental illness and high suicide rates. Instead of high-quality mental health treatment and patience, they receive so-called gender-affirming therapy and medical treatments that leave them irreversibly sterilized and physically altered.
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