Pope Francis condemns gender-affirming surgery and surrogacy in explosive new Vatican document

A new document from the Vatican outlines Pope Francis’s rejection of gender-affirming surgery, surrogacy and abortion. 

The Vatican document, which has been in the works for five years, also largely re-states Catholic teaching on topics including gender theory, surrogacy and abortion. 

Despite the Pope stating that “[the laws around the world criminalising LGBT people] are not right,” in February 2023, this ‘Infinite Dignity’ Vatican document has a distinctly anti-LGBTQ+ slant. 

What is the “Infinite Dignity” Vatican document?

Published on Monday (8 April) a document from the Vatican – The Declaration “Dignitas Infinita” on Human Dignity – outlines a range of perceived threats to humanity.

Amongst the issues, the Vatican document outlines the most pressing topics are the death penalty, war, assisted dying, abortion, sexual abuse and the abuse of women.

The 20-page declaration, which has been in the works for five years, was approved for publishing on March 25 by the Pope.

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“Infinite Dignity” on gender-affirming surgery

The latest Vatican document quotes the Pope saying gender-affirming surgery is a form of “ideological colonization.”

He goes on to say gender theory “is extremely dangerous since it cancels differences in its claim to make everyone equal.

“Another prominent aspect of gender theory is that it intends to deny the greatest possible difference that exists between living beings: sexual difference.”

The document outlines this sexual difference as “the most beautiful and most powerful of them.” Essentially, this is a call for any attempt to obscure the differences between men and women to be rejected.

The Vatican document further highlights a strong dismissal of gender-affirming surgery. It is explained this surgery should be avoided as “the body serves as the living context in which the interiority of the soul unfolds and manifests itself.”

“Any sex-change intervention, as a rule, risks threatening the unique dignity the person has received from the moment of conception,” it adds.

There is a distinction made as medical intervention for those with “genital abnormalities” is permitted.

Despite this perspective in the newly published document, it previously seemed that the Pope held some progressive values towards LGBTQ+ people: he has stated that trans people may be baptised and act as godparents and same-sex relationships could be blessed by the Catholic Church.

He also invited a group of trans women round to the Vatican for meatballs and tiramisu in 2023.

There are also plenty of examples of LGBTQ+ acceptance and inclusion in the Bible.    

Infinite Dignity” on surrogacy

The Vatican document also states that the Church is against surrogacy, which they state “through which the immensely worthy child becomes a mere object.”

The practice of surrogacy, according to the document, “violates” the dignity of the child and woman who “becomes a mere means subservient to the arbitrary gain or desire of others.”

“Surrogacy also violates the dignity of the woman, whether she is coerced into it or chooses to subject herself to it freely,” the Vatican document states.

The Pope has also recently called for surrogacy to be banned.

Infinite Dignity” on abortion 

It’s not much of a surprise that “Infinite Dignity” states that the Catholic church is vehemently against abortion. 

The Vatican document outlines that the “defense of unborn life is closely linked to the defense of each and every other human right.”

Abortion, the document states, is an “offense against life itself”. The text placed abortion alongside the likes of murder and genocide.

“The acceptance of abortion in the popular mind, in behavior, and even in law itself is a telling sign of an extremely dangerous crisis of the moral sense, which is becoming more and more incapable of distinguishing between good and evil, even when the fundamental right to life is at stake.” 

You can read the full declaration here.