March 9, 2023 | Tennessee Register
Gender ideology has permeated the culture, rewriting society’s understanding of the differences of the sexes, and leading to a sharp increase in the number of people, particularly teen girls, who are seeking a gender transition.
The role of Catholics and the Church is to accompany the people facing these issues to guide them to the truth and to the Gospel, said Mary Rice Hasson, the Kate O’Beirne Senior Fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, D.C.,
Hasson was the speaker at a Diocese of Nashville Catholic Schools Office teacher in-service program on Friday, Feb. 17. More than 600 administrators, teachers, and staffers at the Catholic schools in the diocese attended the program held at the Catholic Pastoral Center.
“Accompaniment has a purpose. It’s loving the person. But because you love the person, you lead the person closer to God,” said Hasson, an attorney who directs the Catholic Women’s Forum, a network of Catholic professional women and scholars, and is co-founder of the Person and Identity Project, an initiative that equips parents and faith-based institutions to counter gender ideology and promote the truth of the human person.
“We need to love people enough to tell them the truth,” she said. “It’s not love to encourage someone to believe something that’s not true.”
Catholics can look to Pope Francis’ approach to gender ideology for guidance, Hasson said. The pope reaches out to people who identify as transgender to take care of their needs while also speaking forcefully against gender ideology as a false anthropology, she said.
In his apostolic exhortation “Amoris Laetitia,” Pope Francis wrote: “It is one thing to be understanding of human weakness and the complexities of life, and another to accept ideologies that attempt to sunder what are inseparable aspects of reality. Let us not fall into the sin of trying to replace the Creator. We are creatures, and not omnipotent. Creation is prior to us and must be received as a gift. At the same time, we are called to protect our humanity, and this means, in the first place, accepting it and respecting it as it was created.”
From the perspective of gender ideology, Hasson said, “There is no God. I create who I am.”
From the Christian perspective, “the most fundamental thing … is we are created by God,” Hasson said. “He gave me my dignity because He created me in His image.”
MARY RICE HASSON, J.D., is the Kate O’Beirne Fellow in Catholic Studies at the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, D.C. She also directs the Catholic Women’s Forum, a network of Catholic professional women and scholars seeking to amplify the voice of Catholic women in support of human dignity, authentic freedom, and Catholic social teaching. She co-authored, with Theresa Farnan, Ph.D., Get Out Now: Why You Should Pull Your Child from Public School Before It’s Too Late, among several books she has written.