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  WINDY CITY TIMES

Illinois bishop issues anti-LGBTQ guide
2020-02-11

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Bishop Thomas Paprocki, of the Diocese of Springfield (Illinois), has issued a new policy on gender identity that reportedly threatens LGBTQ church workers as well as Catholic school employees, a New Ways Ministry article stated.

Procedures for implementing this policy include not recognizing a person's pronouns if divergent from their assigned sex at birth, ensuring all documents reference only a person's assigned sex at birth, and requiring people to use bathrooms and locker rooms on church property according to assigned sex.

Paprocki also suggests counseling for people with gender dysphoria—but only from clinicians who "hold a correct Christian anthropology of the human person and who understand and adhere to Catholic teaching." He also said, "A person cannot change his or her gender. A person should accept and seek to live in conformity with his or her sexual identity as determined at birth."

In a press release sent to Windy City Times, leaders of DignityUSA—the world's largest organization of Catholics supporting justice, equality and full inclusion of LGBTQI+ people in the church and society—called the new policy "perilous to the physical and mental health of transgender and nonbinary people." Although issues around Gender Dysphoria may be complex, to equate it with a condition of self-harm like anorexia shows a fundamental and dangerous ignorance of current psychological and medical understanding, according to DignityUSA Executive Director Marianne Duddy-Burke.

The approaches prescribed in this document are of deep concern," Duddy-Burke continued. "The guidance this document gives to schools and other Catholic organizations on dealing with transgender and non-binary people and families could cause real harm. It denies the truth of their realities and says parents who help their transgender kids get the kinds of services they need are subjecting them to 'child abuse and genital mutilation.' Once again, Bishop Paprocki is displaying a dangerous and willful ignorance of current medical and mental health standards."

In 2014, Windy City Times noted that Paprocki—who, the previous year, held a mass exorcism that coincided with same-sex marriage being signed into state law by Gov. Pat Quinn—compared supporters of same-sex marriage to children in need of punishment by their parents.

Paprocki's full pastoral guide regarding gender identity is at www.newwaysministry.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Pastoral-Guide-and-650-Gender-Identity-Policy.pdf. The New Ways Ministry article is at www.newwaysministry.org/2020/02/10/bishop-paprocki-threatens-transgender-church-workers-catholic-school-students-in-new-policy.


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