The Eunuch’s Guide to Pediatric Gender Dysphoria
Bishop Thomas Paprocki
Bishop Thomas John Paprocki of Springfield, IL does not seem to have an advanced degree in medicine or behavioral health
Image via NPR

According to Catholic News Agency:

Bishop Thomas Paprocki of Springfield in Illinois issued a pastoral guide last month regarding diocesan policies on gender identity, expounding on existing policy that schools and other diocesan institutions will recognize students and adults by the biological sex with which they were born.

In the guide, Paprocki noted the need to approach the issue with compassion and sensitivity, while also adhering to Church teaching and the truth.

I have consulted the guide to see just what passes for “compassion and sensitivity.” What is truthful according to the prelate?

[Some parents] feel compelled to “solve” the problem by
surgically and hormonally changing the biological sex of the affected person. Such treatments,
especially for children, are invasive and disruptive physically, chemically, psychologically,
emotionally, and spiritually.

The bishop is misleading. Children are not candidates for surgery and he has skipped a couple of steps: Social transition prior to puberty and puberty blockers as children enter puberty. Moreover, no one is trying to “change the biological sex” of a child. That is impossible.

 Dr. Jack Turban at Harvard Medical School wrote a compelling piece in the New York Times last Thursday. Therein:

For prepubescent children, the only intervention would be a “social transition.” This may involve allowing the child to take on the name, pronoun, style of dress and so on that matches their gender identity. Mostly, it means not placing limits on children around how they express their gender and not promoting shame around gender “atypical” behaviors. Two studies to date have shown that transgender children who are allowed to socially transition have mental health nearly indistinguishable from that of cisgender children. This is in stark contrast to children who weren’t allowed to socially transition, who had elevated rates of anxiety and depression.

In other words, Bishop Paprocki, well before we get to medications, children must be permitted to explore their gender identity. The alternative — not permitting a social transition — kills kids and that is not hyperbole.

Dr. Turban moves on to puberty blockers which Paprocki also ignored:

At puberty, a child may be offered what’s called a “puberty blocker.” This medication pauses puberty to buy adolescents more time to decide whether they want to later take estrogen or testosterone, medications to go through the puberty that matches their identity. Without puberty blockers, a child will go through physical changes like voice deepening or breast development that are difficult to reverse and often require surgery.

Dr. Turban cites this study showing that access to puberty blockers during adolescence is associated with lower odds of transgender young adults considering suicide.

Dr. Turban goes on to address the purveyors of needless anxiety:

Despite fearmongering, these are safe medications that doctors have been using for decades for cisgender children who go through puberty too early. They also are reversible — if the medication is stopped, puberty will progress.

Returning to Paprocki’s “guide:”

Fueling the confusion that families face in these
circumstances is not merciful. For the sake of the family and the loved one, it is imperative to be
clear on the reality of human biology as a gift from God that we cannot change.

Repeat after me: Gender affirmation has no bearing on biology.

…it must be clear that our schools and Church institutions (including
sacramental records and school records) will refer to such persons with the gender pronouns, along
with bathroom and locker room use and sports activities that acknowledge their God-given

The Church has every right to establish policies consistent with articles of faith. However, this is just obstinance in defiance of medical science. It is obtuse stupidity to reject the established fact that gender and natal sex are separate constructs.

In fact, in some cases, parents are submitting their children to
hormonal therapies at pre-pubescent ages in order to prepare for sexual transgender surgeries later.

That is an outright lie! There is no reason whatsoever to medicate prepubescent (no hyphen) children. Shame on the bishop for spreading such misinformation. People lie when the truth does not support their argument.

Viewed through a Christian lens, such cases amount to child abuse and genital mutilation.

What on earth is this guy talking about? “[S]uch cases” do not exist and no one is mutilating children’s genitals. The bishop is fear mongering so that adherents will conform to Church dogma.

Child abuse would occur when a parent follows Paprocki’s moronic guidance.

The bishop concludes by linking to idiotic videos at one of Witherspoon Institute’s sites. They feature none other than Katy Faust. In October, 2018 I reviewed one of these stupid things. It is a fount of misinformation and ignorance on the part of someone who is more interested in Christianity than the wellbeing of vulnerable kids in distress.

At the time these were hosted by Vimeo. I complained and it looks like Vimeo whacked the account. I cannot figure out how these are being hosted now. If any of my very clever readers can sort it out, please let me know.

Regarding Bishop Paprocki’s guide, I have paid no attention to Church teachings which comprise a majority of the treatise. I ignored this content because religious beliefs should have no bearing on how doctors treat a pediatric medical condition.

Jehovah’s witnesses are not supposed to get blood transfusions. The rule is grounded in scripture (Acts 15:29, Leviticus 17:10 and other passages). Christian Scientists routinely refuse medical care for their children, opting instead for a church healer. When children die as a result of such negligence, parents are usually found guilty of manslaughter or third degree murder.

Parents who follow Paprocki’s misinformed guide for the proper care of gender dysphoric children are going to kill their kids. Will the bishop accept responsibility for their needless, pointless deaths?

Does Bishop Paprocki have the first clue about how serious a condition gender dysphoria is? If the science does not conform to Church teaching then he should simply shut up.

Attempting to prove that the science is wrong or that the Church is correct requires intellectual dishonesty. There is no shortage of duplicity in the bishop’s treatise.

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By David Cary Hart

Retired CEO. Formerly a W.E. Deming-trained quality-management consultant. Now just a cranky Jewish queer. Gay cis. He/Him/His.