CV NEWS FEED // The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) sent a letter to the Biden administration’s Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) criticizing a proposed rule addressing “LGBT discrimination.”
“On behalf of the [USCCB], we respectfully submit the following comments on the proposed [federal rule] on nondiscrimination requirements applicable to grants programs under [HHS],” the USCCB’s Tuesday letter began.
“The Catholic Church teaches each person is created by God in his image, and therefore that each person has immeasurable dignity, and that we should all treat each other accordingly,” the USCCB continued. The letter proceeded to cite quotations from Pope Francis and Pope St. John Paul II that support this teaching.
“Accordingly, the Church stands firmly against all unjust discrimination, including against those among us who experience same-sex attraction or gender discordance, who are equally loved by God,” the letter stated. “They bear the full measure of human dignity we each have received through our Creator and must therefore be treated with kindness and respect.”
“Another fundamental tenet of our faith is that there is an order in the natural world that was designed by its Creator and that this created order is good,” the USCCB wrote.
Building off this point, the letter criticized the main tenets of the “transgender” movement – namely that a man could “become” a woman and vice-versa. The authors affirmed that “‘being a man’ or ‘being a woman’” is “a fundamental aspect of existence as a human being, expressing a person’s unitive and procreative finality.”
The USCCB cited both Scripture and Church teaching to corroborate their position.
The HHS announced the pro-LGBTQ rule in mid-July, stating that “if finalized,” it “would protect LGBTQI+ people from discrimination in important health and human services programs by clarifying and reaffirming the prohibition on discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in certain statutes.”
“People should be able to access health and human services without bias, discrimination, or fear,” HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra said at the time, claiming that the “proposed rulemaking will help to ensure quality, accessible health and human services for LGBTQI+ Americans across the country delivering on our commitment to advance equality for LGBTQI+ Americans.”
Becerra, a noted proponent of abortion and the “transgender” movement, has described himself as a “committed Catholic.” He was named one of the Catholic Accountability Project’s Zeroes of the Month in June 2022 and Subzero in January 2023.
As reported by Daniel Payne of the Catholic News Agency (CNA), the USCCB’s letter this week also criticized how the controversial new HHS policy can undermine the ability of Catholic charities to aid domestic violence victims.
“The letter noted, for instance, that many Catholic charities offer ‘emergency shelter for victims of domestic violence,’ some of which are structured as single-sex environments,” Payne wrote.
Yet the proposed rules would “arguably mandate [the shelters] to house biological men who identify as women in single-sex facilities,” a policy that would violate the core Catholic teachings of “the immutable difference between, and dignity of, men and women.”
“Any charity that has separate men’s and women’s bathrooms or changing areas could be required to allow men to use the women’s facility and vice versa,” the letter suggested, adding further that “any charity may be required to address an employee or beneficiary by pronouns that do not correspond with his or her biological sex” in violation of Catholic beliefs.
The signatories of the letter included USCCB General Counsel William J. Quinn, Legal Affairs Director Michael Moses, and Assistant General Counsel and Director of Religious Liberty Daniel E. Balserak.