Bishop Thomas Paprocki, of Springfield, Illinois, is being attacked for saying that one cannot change his or her sex and that he won't permit promotion of transgenderism in diocesan schools and churches.
In a sensitively worded but thoroughly-grounded-in-truth pastoral guide regarding the handling of gender identity issues in his diocese, Bishop Paprocki declared unequivocally, "A person cannot change his or her gender," and "should accept and seek to live in conformity with his or her sexual identity as determined at birth."
Predictably, however, the bishop's new policy - which simply reaffirms perennial Church teaching on the issues of human nature and human sexuality - has been attacked as "threatening," "harmful," and, "punitive" by promoters of homosexuality and transgenderism, both inside and outside the Catholic Church.
As such, Bishop Paprocki now needs our support. Please support his clear teaching about human sexuality by signing this petition.
It is neither "threatening" nor "harmful" nor "punitive" for a bishop to teach his flock about the immutability of human sexuality, and to set clear expectations for the faithful of his diocese, especially for those who attend and work at diocesan schools and churches.
Bishop Paprocki has made clear that certain policies regarding the Diocese of Springfield are non-negotiable:
- All persons will be addressed and referred to with pronouns in accord with their biological sex;
- All correspondence, documents, and records will reflect the subject person’s biological sex;
- All persons will use bathrooms and locker rooms that correspond with their biological sex while on diocesan or parish property.
And, these directives apply not only to diocesan schools, but to all Church employees and volunteers.
Bishop Paprocki explained that the policy was developed "due to the increased pressure on Catholic schools and other institutions through the courts and legislatures, requiring [public] schools to allow boys who believe they are girls to use girls’ restroom and locker room facilities and play on girls’ sports teams, and vice versa."
"Such [a] policy protects our leaders from being forced to sort through these complex and sensitive matters reactively, under the pressure of inevitably sensitive situations," he continued. "Such policy also protects our leaders at the local level from being pressured and intimidated on the basis of what is believed to be their own personal interpretation and opinion."
At the same time, Bishop Paprocki acknowledged that gender dysphoria is a real psychological condition, in which a biological male or female believes he or she is the opposite gender, and said: "It is of paramount importance to handle such situations with gentle and compassionate pastoral skill and concern."
However, in respect of the ill effects on children and families from authorities going along with false conceptions of human sexuality, the bishop declared: "Fueling the confusion that families face in these circumstances is not merciful. It is imperative to be clear on the reality of human biology as a gift from God that we cannot change."
Indeed. Bishop Paprocki's clarity is to be applauded.
Please SIGN this petition, and let the bishop know that you appreciate strong, yet thoughtful, leadership from Shepherds of the Catholic Church.
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