[Fox News] Vatican preparing document on ‘immoral tendencies’: Gender theory, surrogacy and more

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The Vatican is preparing to release a document examining the issues of gender theory and surrogacy.

The Holy See announced Tuesday that a press conference will be held on April 8 to present the document, titled Dignitas infinita Latin for “Infinite Dignity.”

Cardinal Víctor Manuel Fernández – the prefect of the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith – will be presenting the text, which he has said offers a “strong criticism of the immoral tendencies of contemporary society.”

The document is expected to reaffirm the Catholic Church’s established opposition to gender ideology, gender reassignment surgery and surrogate pregnancies on the basis of human dignity.

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Father Brian Graebe, a priest with the Archdiocese of New York who holds a doctorate in theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, told Fox News Digital that the document is likely intended to emphasize that “when it comes to fundamental matters of human biology, the church reinforces what she has always taught.” 

“I think that would be a very welcome document,” Graebe added.

Pope Francis, forced to confront the rapid rise of gender ideology in recent years, has called it one of the world’s “most dangerous ideological colonizations.”

The pope made the comments in a 2023 interview with Argentinian newspaper La Nación. 

“Why is it dangerous?” the pope said at the time. “Because it blurs differences and the value of men and women.”

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“All humanity is the tension of differences. It is to grow through the tension of differences,” the pope continued. “The question of gender is diluting the differences and making the world the same, all dull, all alike, and that is contrary to the human vocation.”

The Catholic Church teaches that human life is sacred and should not be modified or artificially manipulated.

The church’s opposition to surrogacy – the scientifically assisted gestation and delivery of a baby by a woman other than its biological mother – is prohibited on the same ethical grounds as “gender affirming” treatments.

“[Gender ideology and surrogacy] both speak to the integrity of the body and the fact that to be human is to be body and soul,” Graebe told Fox News Digital. “And so both gender theory and surrogacy – they manipulate the body in a way that goes against God’s intention for it. And they treat the body – the way they approach it – almost as commodities.”

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Surrogacy via in vitro fertilization typically requires the artificial fertilization of multiple human embryos, some of which are then frozen or destroyed.

The Catholic Church has also voiced grave concern over the international industry surrounding surrogate pregnancies – couples from wealthy countries paying for their embryos to be brought to term by impoverished women in the Third World.

“It’s not that we don’t want couples to have children. No one’s a bigger proponent of children and families in the Catholic Church, but that doesn’t come at any cost or by any means,” Graebe told Fox News Digital. “Children are a gift from God, not a commodity to be purchased at a price.”

Outside the Catholic Church, IVF procedures have generated intense debate among members of the pro-life movement who are trying to find a coherent platform for fertility technology.

Infinite Dignity will be the first major document prepared by the dicastery since Fiducia Supplicans – which outlined when people who are in same-sex or otherwise “irregular” couples can be blessed individually without approval of their relationship.

While Fiducia Supplicans did not authorize same-sex marriages, it was met with sharp criticism from Catholic bishops around the world. Catholic leaders accused the dicastery of using vague language that some worried would confuse the faithful.

“I think the document [Infinite Dignity] is a timely one. I would say that I look forward to it in the sense that this is an issue that Pope Francis has been particularly outspoken on and sometimes in a very strong way,” said Graebe. “To the extent that it is a response to the outcry of Fiducia Supplicans – I don’t know if this had been intended all along or this is a way to reassure.”

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