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Affirming Trans Realities

“This is no ideology” by Fr. Michael Nicosia, ECC

In an interview with journalist Elisabetta Piqué for the Argentine daily newspaper La Nación, published on March 10th of this year (2023), Pope Francis said that “Gender ideology, at this time, is one of the most dangerous ideological colonizations.”

Colonization? For someone who finally affirmed that Manifest Destiny was a bad idea, Francis’ unawareness of how the Western Christian Tradition has and continues to impose its absolutes on others is puzzling to say the least.

“Why is it dangerous?” He explained, “Because it dilutes differences, and the richness of men and women and of all humanity is the tension of differences. It is growing through the tension of differences. The question of gender is diluting the differences and creating an equal world, all blunt, all the same. And that goes against the human vocation.”

Goes against the human vocation? Caught in the snare of Natural Law Theory with its constructions of sexual complementarity, I don’t think the Pope has thought this through yet. The Roman Church in recent memory has opened the door to the possibility that it has gotten things wrong before, so I have a bite of hope.

In 2014 I came across a National Catholic Reporter article by Joshua J. McElwee about Cardinal Gerhard Müller, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith from 2012 until 2017, speaking about liberation theology:

Dominican Fr. Gustavo Gutierrez, a native Peruvian who published A Theology of Liberation in 1971, was one of many liberation theologians under investigation by the doctrinal office when it was under the leadership of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, the future Pope Benedict XVI.

Müller said he first met Gutierrez in a 1988 visit to Peru. Together, the cardinal said, they spoke about liberation theology and how the situation for Catholics across Latin America was "quite different" that for those across Europe.

"We all belong to the universal church," he said. "It's really important to share experiences and learn of the different biographies that exist within the church."

"We are part of a single family which is in the church and this is why we must share experiences and work together," he said. "This is the divine vocation that all are called to be sons and daughters of God."

While the Vatican was able to listen to the experience of the Church in Latin America and again embrace Liberation Theology, this insight has an even broader significance: Different biographies exist in the church! God's LGBTIQ+ children have their own biographies and, hence, their own theologies that are valid and must be heard at this time.

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