Adobe Stock

The Vatican released a twenty page document entitled “Dignitas Infinita,” or “Infinite Dignity.” The document has been five years in the making and discusses the Catholic Church’s position on gender theory, surrogacy, and gender surgery amongst others such as human trafficking and abortion. “In the light of Revelation, the Church resolutely reiterates and confirms the ontological dignity of the human person, created in the image and likeness of God and redeemed in Jesus Christ,” the document begins. “The Church’s Magisterium progressively developed an ever-greater understanding of the meaning of human dignity, along with its demands and consequences, until it arrived at the recognition that the dignity of every human being prevails beyond all circumstances,” is declares.

In addressing gender theory, the document denies the idea that one can and should changer their own gender. “Regarding gender theory, whose scientific coherence is the subject of considerable debate among experts, the Church recalls that human life in all its dimensions, both physical and spiritual, is a gift from God. This gift is to be accepted with gratitude and placed at the service of the good,” it asserts. It claims, “Desiring a personal self-determination, as gender theory prescribes, apart from this fundamental truth that human life is a gift, amounts to a concession to the age-old temptation to make oneself God, entering into competition with the true God of love revealed to us in the Gospel.” “It follows that any sex-change intervention, as a rule, risks threatening the unique dignity the person has received from the moment of conception,” warns the statement. It also asserts the reality of sexual differences between men and women.

While affirming the church’s staunch position against abortion, the document also remains staunchly against surrogacy. “…the child has the right to have a fully human (and not artificially induced) origin and to receive the gift of a life that manifests both the dignity of the giver and that of the receiver,” says the document. It warns that “the legitimate desire to have a child cannot be transformed into a ‘right to a child’ that fails to respect the dignity of that child as the recipient of the gift of life.” Surrogacy and IVF have been a growing point of discussion in evangelical circles as well as the abortion debate rages on and many evangelicals are questioning the ethics of IVF.

LGBTQ+ advocates blasted the document. “The suggestion that gender-affirming health care — which has saved the lives of so many wonderful trans people and enabled them to live in harmony with their bodies, their communities and (God) — might risk or diminish trans people’s dignity is not only hurtful but dangerously ignorant,” said Mara Klein, a nonbinary, transgender activist. “On top of the rising hostility towards our communities, we are faced with a church that does not listen and refuses to see the beauty of creation that can be found in our biographies,” added Klein. The statement did take issue with countries that have outlawed homosexuality and imprisoned or tortured homosexuals, writing, “it should be denounced as contrary to human dignity the fact that, in some places, not a few people are imprisoned, tortured, and even deprived of the good of life solely because of their sexual orientation.”

More from Beliefnet and our partners
Close Ad