Faith Leaders Affirm the Inherent Beauty and Dignity of Being Created Male or Female

December 15, 2017 By Public Affairs Office

WASHINGTON—Following the USCCB General Assembly inNovember 2017, a group of ecumenical and interfaith partners gathered withbishops of the Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage todiscuss gender ideology. As a result of this discussion, faith leaders todayissued an open letter entitled "Created Male and Female".

Archbishop Charles Chaput, O.F.M. Cap. of Philadelphia,chairman of the USCCB Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth,Bishop James Conley of Lincoln, chairman of the Subcommittee for the Promotionand Defense of Marriage, Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, chairman ofthe Committee for Religious Liberty, and Bishop JosephC. Bambera of Scranton, chairman of the Committee on Ecumenical andInterreligious Affairs signed the letter.

"We hope this letter communicates to the public ourshared understanding of the goodness of the creation of humanity as male orfemale and underscores our commitment to service of this truth with bothclarity and compassion," said Bishop Conley.

The religious leaders stressed the importance ofacknowledging the reality of sexual identity, noting, "Children especially areharmed when they are told that they can 'change' their sex or, further, givenhormones that will affect their development and possibly render them infertileas adults. Parents deserve better guidance on these important decisions, and weurge our medical institutions to honor the basic medical principle of 'first,do no harm.'"

The leaders close with a hope: "We hope for renewedappreciation of the beauty of sexual difference in our culture and forauthentic support of those who experience conflict with their God-given sexualidentity."

The letter is available at: and follows three previous openletters: "The Protection of Marriage: A Shared Commitment," issued December 6,2010,"Marriage and Religious Freedom: Fundamental Goods That Stand orFall Together," issued January 12, 2012, and "The Defense of Marriage and theRight of Religious Freedom: Reaffirming a Shared Witness," issued onApril 23, 2015, which are available at

Keywords: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, ArchbishopCharles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap., Bishop James D. Conley, Archbishop Joseph E.Kurtz, Bishop Joseph C. Bambera, Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life andYouth, Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage, Committee forReligious Liberty, Committee on Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs, marriage,religious liberty, gender ideology

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