Colorado archdiocese advises Catholic schools against enrolling transgender students: 'Incompatible goals'

The Denver archdiocese warned 'the spread of gender ideology presents a danger to the faith of Christians'

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Denver has issued guidance to Catholic schools advising them against enrolling students who desire to be affirmed in the opposite sex, warning that permitting such pupils could hurt the child and sow confusion among classmates.

The archdiocese also urged caution regarding the enrollment of children with same-sex parents, warning that such a situation could lead to "intractable" conflicts.

The archdiocese laid out its reasoning in a 17-page document titled "Guidance for Issues Concerning the Human Person and Sexual Identity," which was reportedly first circulated in 2019 but not reported on until earlier this week after The Denver Post obtained a copy.

Offering advice to school administrators regarding how best to engage with the increasing number of young people struggling with sexuality and gender identity, the document claimed "the spread of gender ideology presents a danger to the faith of Christians," and that the ideology stands in opposition to "Christian anthropology" and Catholic teaching.

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The Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in Denver, Colorado, is the seat of the Denver Archdiocese.

The Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in Denver, Colorado, is the seat of the Denver Archdiocese. (Credit: Google Earth)

Among its guidance, the archdiocese said Catholic schools must not allow students to use pronouns "at odds with the student's biological sex," and also advised educators against promoting acceptance of LGBTQ identities.

Teachers at Catholic schools who want to transition are "not suited to teach in a Catholic school or to carry out the school’s mission in any capacity," the document further states.

While emphasizing the necessity of compassion toward students suffering with gender dysphoria and sexual confusion, the archdiocese asserted that families who rely on secular and medical advice urging parental affirmation of LGBTQ identities present a situation for Catholic schools that is practically "unworkable." 

In such cases, the guidance warns that families and schools "are working from irreconcilable premises and moving towards incompatible goals."

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Denver's Archbishop Samuel Aquila, who has not offered public comment on the guidance, delivers a speech at the Celebrate Life rally and march in front of the Colorado State Capitol on Jan. 3, 2018.

Denver's Archbishop Samuel Aquila, who has not offered public comment on the guidance, delivers a speech at the Celebrate Life rally and march in front of the Colorado State Capitol on Jan. 3, 2018. (Andy Cross via Getty Images)

The archdiocese also drew a distinction between a student who expects to be affirmed as transgender and one who is "confused about or struggling" with sexuality or gender identity, "but who has not taken steps to transition, nor overtly rejected his or her given sexual identity or asserted an alternative ‘identity.’"

Such a situation does not present an incompatibility with Catholic teaching, the archdiocese said, which urged discernment on the part of school administrators to determine if the child and family are willing to uphold the church's standards on such topics.

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The document also offered advice regarding children who exhibit interests or mannerisms typically associated with the opposite sex, noting how the cultural firestorm over gender has left such children especially vulnerable to confusion by spurring "an unhealthy focus on stereotypes."

Regarding families with same-sex couples, the archdiocese maintained that "a Catholic school cannot treat a same-sex couple as a family equivalent to the natural family without compromising its mission and Catholic identity and causing confusion about the nature of marriage for all students enrolled."

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The archdiocese noted how the cultural firestorm over gender has left children with atypical interests especially vulnerable to confusion by spurring "an unhealthy focus on stereotypes."

The archdiocese noted how the cultural firestorm over gender has left children with atypical interests especially vulnerable to confusion by spurring "an unhealthy focus on stereotypes." (Fox News )

The document was met with backlash from some LGBTQ advocates, according to local 9News.

Nadine Bridges, executive director of the state's leading LGBTQ advocacy organization One Colorado, expressed disappointment about the guidance in a statement to the outlet.

"When you are creating a space where some people can be accepted and other folks are not, then you are discriminating," Bridges said. "I wish that the members of the Archdiocese would actually sit down with the community and have a really honest and authentic conversation on being inclusive."

"Not supporting parents, LGBTQ parents, what message does that serve to your students who are trying to get an education?" Bridges added.

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Fox News Digital has reached out to the Archdiocese of Denver for comment.