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Washington, D.C. Newsroom, Jul 13, 2023 / 11:08 am (CNA).
The Jesuit-run Loyola University Chicago is offering students a course in “transgender” medicine, including the treatment of children who identify as transgender.
The course listing, which is grouped under a “Family Medicine” department label, purports to “teach students the evidence-based treatment of LGBTQ+ patients in medicine.”
Students in the two-week course may be taught the “initiation and maintenance of hormones for transgender patients,” health care for “transgender children/adolescents,” and “gender confirmation surgery.”
Participants in the course are urged to attend shadow sessions at medical clinics “where the majority of patients identify as LGBTQ+.”
Margaret Higgins, who is listed as department contact on the course listing, did not immediately respond to an email asking for more information about the course.
Dr. Michelle Cretella, a pediatrician spokesperson for the Catholic Medical Association and the co-chair of the Sexuality Council of the American College of Pediatricians, told CNA that “the human person’s sexual identity is either male or female.”
“‘Sexual orientation’ and ‘gender identity’ are social constructs being leveraged for political purposes,” Cretella said. “The history of world cultures and decades of studies demonstrate that embracing sexual lifestyles other than a faithful loving marriage between one man and one woman leads to suffering, disease, and death for both individuals and civilizations.”
“Faith and reason; science and traditional Catholic teaching are complementary when it comes to personhood and health,” Cretella said. “Loyola is sacrificing bodies and souls on the altar of political correctness.”
Though transgenderism — the belief that an individual can “identify” and be counted as a member of the opposite sex or no sex at all — is a relatively novel concept, authorities in the Catholic Church have come out strongly against many elements of the ideology.
Pope Francis said earlier this year that gender ideology is “one of the most dangerous ideological colonizations,” because it “blurs differences and the value of men and women.”
In May of this year, meanwhile, Oklahoma City Archbishop Paul S. Coakley wrote in a pastoral letter that although individuals experiencing gender dysphoria are under “immense pain,” the Catholic Church nonetheless urges them to “accep[t] the gift of your biological sex” and work to “heal your felt incongruity mentally, emotionally, somatically, and spiritually.”
“I ask each person who is experiencing this confusion to trust Jesus with your pain,” the bishop said in the letter.