Dear Parishioners,
In recent years, transgender ideologues have mounted a cultural offensive that swept all rationality before them. First, biological science and objective reality were trashed as internal feelings came to matter more than biological facts. Then, existing procedures for dealing with transgender ideation were trashed, allowing anyone who believed themselves to be the opposite sex to simply declare their new identity—and presto-chango—that’s what they are.

Next came language engineering in which the lexicon police require media, employers, colleagues, and family to use the preferred pronouns declared by transgender people under the threat of social media exclusion, loss of employment, and in some cases, losing custody of one’s own children. The present administration bureaucrats promulgated regulations that required doctors to provide transgender hormones and surgeries even if they violated their moral and religious beliefs. Catholic hospitals have been sued (St. Joseph in Paterson) for refusing to perform transgender hysterectomies.

Soon, womanhood itself was canceled. Females began being called by ridiculous terms such as “people with birthing ability.” Female athletes were forced to compete with transgender “woman” in such sports as track, swimming, and volleyball. Girls and women’s locker rooms were open to anyone claiming to be female. A Supreme Court Justice nominee was unable to give a definition of a women when asked.

Then, they came for the children. Activists took to social media platforms such as TikTok to push transgender ideology onto youth and silently invade the most culturally traditional households. The number of children who claim to be the opposite sex went from a bare trickle to a flash flood. In the name of preventing youth suicides, the present administration, medical associations and professional journals crafted standards of care requiring that youngsters and teenagers claiming to be transgender, or nonbinary receive only “gender affirming” support—meaning that their ideation is to be accepted unquestioningly.

Under the new regime, children claiming not to be their biological sex first receive unquestioning “social affirmation” —they are never called by their “dead (birth) names” and are referred to only their “preferred” pronouns. Worse, children and adolescents are next given “genderaffirming” medical care, in which doctors prescribe drugs and hormones to prevent normal puberty. Gender transition surgeries have become increasingly routine with thousands of girls as young as the age of 12. If someone cannot vote or buy tobacco until they are 18, why would anyone be allowed to change their given sex before they are a legal adult?

Some people truly do suffer from gender dysphoria and that is tragic. These souls must be treated with respect and compassion. But sadly, the number of people that truly suffer from this has always been small, until the last five years or so. Common sense and science have been thrown out and only feelings count.

Now, young people who transitioned are increasingly returning to their born sex, a process known as “detransitioning.” Their stories are often tragic and compelling. For example, Chole Cole, an 18-year-old detransitioner, recounts how she was “affirmed” in her sex confusion at age 12 and had her breasts removed at 15. Now, 18, she understands she is a woman and is issuing a clarion warning, saying, “My teenage life has been the culmination of excruciating pain, regret, and most importantly injustice.” Cole has decided to sue the doctors who she says allowed her to be irreversibly harmed by medical and surgical interventions.

Being a teenager is not easy. Trying to figure out who you are, at times being awkward, feeling your body is rebelling are all typical feelings as one grows up and grows older. These feelings pass and the “ugly duckling” does turn into a swan. To allow children to pick their sex is ridiculous. Feelings come and go, biology is forever.

Let us be aware of the culture war that is going on around us. Let us be prepared to speak the truth, “follow the science” and most of all be compassionate and logical. This is a topic I never thought I would ever address in a pastor’s column, but I feel I cannot be silent on an issue that does not give life, but only destroys it.

Fr. Monteleone

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