Catholic World News

Archbishop: Trump failed to address essence of transgender issue

August 02, 2017

The Archbishop for the Military Services has issued a statement in response to President Donald Trump’s announcement on Twitter that persons who identify themselves as transgender will not be permitted to serve in the military.

In a series of tweets, the president said on July 26 that “after consultation with my Generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States Government will not accept or allow transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military. Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail. Thank you.”

“Certainly military readiness is of utmost importance to our servicemen and women who selflessly risk personal safety to defend the values and freedoms of our Nation,” Archbishop Timothy Broglio said in response. “The President’s announcement and the prevailing response, however, fail to address the essence of the issue—the dignity of the human person.”

The prelate added:

Gender ideology undermines basic Christian anthropology by defining the person as a disembodied mind and the body as a mere instrument. A Catholic response to gender ideology considers multiple insights including medical, psychological, philosophical, theological, pastoral, and legal perspectives. The Church honors human dignity by drawing near in order to accompany people.

Sexual orientation and gender identity issues reflect a rapidly increasing and incorrect societal attitude that individual behaviors in life should pursue immediate and personal choices rather than eternal truth. In extending the maternal care of the Church to the faithful of this Archdiocese, it is opportune to reaffirm that personal choices in life, whether regarding the protection of the unborn, the sanctity of marriage and the family, or the acceptance of a person’s God-created biology, should be made not solely for a penultimate reality on this earth but in anticipation of the ultimate reality of sharing in the very life of God in heaven.

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  • Posted by: [email protected] - Aug. 03, 2017 9:41 PM ET USA

    Let's not mix privilege with rights. Transgender do not have any rights to serve. It is a privilege based on the rules and what Commander in Chief believes is best for military fighting ability and how we spend our defense dollars.

  • Posted by: Ken - Aug. 03, 2017 10:20 AM ET USA

    Exactly my response, Frodo.

  • Posted by: Randal Mandock - Aug. 03, 2017 8:56 AM ET USA

    Agree with Frodo1945. Trump is not a moral theologian, but a secular leader who sets secular policy. If this policy accords with natural and divine law, more power to it. But it is not Trump's role to explain the moral and philosophical implications of his position. It is enough that he states the obvious: sexual desire interferes with a fighter's ability to perform his mission. That is why military training (USMC, at least) stresses self control of all aspects of the carnal appetites.

  • Posted by: james-w-anderson8230 - Aug. 03, 2017 12:58 AM ET USA

    The Archbishop fails to address the essence of the transgender problem. These people have deep seated psychological problems that need to be addressed. The last thing they need is sex change operations which will devistate them for the rest of their lives.

  • Posted by: toothin - Aug. 03, 2017 12:38 AM ET USA

    The statement put out by Bishop Broglio sounds like a very obtuse avoidance of the issue at hand, and it never says clearly we cannot accept transgender. It hints at it. That is not helping. What is wrong is trying to allud to big theological ideas but never really explaining how they apply to this very human issue.

  • Posted by: jalsardl5053 - Aug. 02, 2017 5:42 PM ET USA

    The Commander-in-Chief functioned 100% as that. His statement is spot on, based on appropriate consultation, and having a very specific and proper goal in mind. The appropriate pragmatism serves to *somewhat* mitigate the reaction of the usual suspects.

  • Posted by: Frodo1945 - Aug. 02, 2017 10:24 AM ET USA

    That's your job Bishop, not the Commander-in-Chief's job