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CSP's Respond to Gender Policy from the Diocese of Cleveland

September 12, 2023

LGBTQ+ friemdly

The Community of St. Peter is a faith community in the Catholic tradition that is open, welcoming, and affirming. All are welcome at our Eucharistic table. We affirm and celebrate the unique gifts that each of us contributes to the Body of Christ. Therefore, we stand together in opposition to the Diocesan Policy on Issues of Sexual and Gender Identity, as it fails to recognize the full humanity of the LGBTQ+ community and celebrate each of their unique identities as members of the Body of Christ.

We are appalled that when the LGBTQ+ community would be well-served by the fostering of an affirming environment, the diocese has chosen instead to publish a policy that states gender dysphoria is the diagnosis and discipline is the cure. The sentiment in this policy reveals a lack of compassion and a misunderstanding of human sexual development.

The Bishop assures us that a moral theologian was consulted along with several diocesan offices. However, he makes no mention of consulting mental health counselors, parents of LGBTQ+ youth, or, in fact, those about whom this policy was written.

In a 2023 survey of 28,000 LGBTQ young people across the US, The Trevor Project found that “roughly half of transgender and nonbinary young people found their school to be gender-affirming, and those who did reported lower rates of attempting suicide.”1 This data shows that the pastoral response of any community that is meant to be a safe space for children is to be gender-affirming. Light comes in a rainbow of colors. We should celebrate them all.

We are indeed created in God’s image, so what would we expect but diversity, a myriad of expressions, surprises beyond our imagination?

God does not speak in black and white.

The Community of Saint Peter urges all the faithful of the Diocese to ponder the policy and discern a proper response. The Community of Saint Peter recommends that the Bishop rescind the policy and invite a thorough review by a more diverse committee of faithful, including members of the LGBTQ+ community, school counselors, and parents. Then he will have a richer understanding of “divine revelation.” We would also like to stress that our doors are always open to LGBTQ+ persons and allies, and we are waiting to celebrate and affirm all that you are.

The Board of Trustees and the Pastoral Team

September 12, 2023

1 2023 U.S. National Survey on the Mental Health of LGBTQ Young People; The Trevor Project; Euclid Avenue, Suite 125 Cleveland, OH 44103

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