Last week, the Massachusetts Legislature passed a new transgender identity anti-discrimination bill to little opposition, not even the Catholic legislators who would normally vote with the Church, because they were given a clear message otherwise. More on that in second.
So now a couple hundred guys in dresses and gals in trousers in the commonwealth have been granted special legal status that continues the charade that a man can be a woman and vice versa.
This in a state where 50% of the population is putatively Catholic (although only about 11% of them go to Mass so …).
Meanwhile, the Catholic bishops of Massachusetts have released a statement that’s plumbs new depths of milquetoast and unhelpful. There’s not a single word about the truth of human sexuality, nothing about the love we have for those who are deeply afflicted. Nothing about the beauty of the Catholic Church’s teaching on the ultimate meaning of ourselves as men and women. Instead we get incomprehensible gobbledy-gook, a bunch of statements that add up to nothing:
Pope Francis, for example, in his recent encyclical, “Amoris Laetitia”, acknowledges the pluralism within and among cultures regarding sexuality and marriage, but he also warns against an absolute separation of the physical and cultural understanding of sexuality and gender. We too recognize wide disparities about sexuality in American society.
And in recognizing those wide disparities, does the Catholic Church offer any objective truth? Do we have anything to say about the reality and substance of human sexuality? If we do, it’s not in this statement.
The conclusion of the statement is basically an abasement at the altar of political correctness, pledging that true Catholics will be “respectful” and that Catholic institutions will “respect the civil law while upholding the principles of our faith and our religious freedom.” I can’t wait to see what kind of guidance parishes are about to get on that.
Meanwhile, back to the Catholic legislators. I have reliable sources that tell me that certain Beacon Hill legislators who wanted to vote with the Church on this bill called the Archdiocese of Boston’s Pastoral Center for guidance and were told that the Church didn’t have a position on the bill.
That’s right, the Church doesn’t have a position on the enshrinement of transgender rights in law. So the legislators did the politically expedient thing and voted for the bill. Who can blame them?
Last one out, turn off the lights.