This Monday, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) issued a new statement against sex reassignment surgery as debates about transgenderism rages on.
“Modern technology offers an ever-increasing range of means—chemical, surgical, genetic—for intervening in the functioning of the human body, as well as for modifying its appearance. These technological developments have provided the ability to cure many human maladies and promise to cure many more,” a Doctrinal Note put out by the USCCB states.
Nevertheless, the bishops state that healthy ethical reasoning involves pondering the place of technology in issues of such significant moral weight. Technology doesn’t exist in a vacuum, and its morality is intimately connected with its right use.
“As the boundaries of what is technologically possible continue to expand, it is imperative to identify moral criteria to guide our use of technology,” The USCCB adds. “As the range of what we can do expands, we must ask what we should or should not do. An indispensable criterion in making such determinations is the fundamental order of the created world. Our use of technology must respect that order.”
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What is this fundamental order? Well, according to the bishops, it includes the sexual dichotomy of maleness and femaleness.
“Human bodiliness is, in turn, intrinsically connected with human sexual differentiation. Just as every human person necessarily has a body, so also human bodies, like those of other mammals, are sexually differentiated as male or female: ‘Male and female he created them’” (Gen 1:27), the USCCB writes. “Saint John Paul II reminded us that, in the Book of Genesis, we learn that ‘Man is created ‘from the very beginning’ as male and female: the life of all humanity—whether of small communities or of society as a whole—is marked by this primordial duality.'”
The note ends by stating, “The search for solutions to problems of human suffering must continue, but it should be directed toward solutions that truly promote the flourishing of the human person in his or her bodily integrity… The mission of Catholic health care services is nothing less than to carry on the healing ministry of Jesus, to provide healing at every level, physical, mental, and spiritual.”