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Catholic women's college in Indiana admits trans people

Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades issued a statement calling on the Saint Mary's College Board of Trustees to rectify its inclusion policy.

Una universidad católica de mujeres en Indiana admite a personas trans

Una universidad católica de mujeres en Indiana admite a personas trans

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Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades issued a statement this week in which he asked the Board of Trustees of Saint Mary's College, a Catholic institution for women, to rectify the update of its inclusion policy which allows it to admit biological men who consider themselves women.

"I learned last week that the Board of Trustees of Saint Mary’s College, a Catholic women’s college in our diocese, has changed its admission policy and will now consider for admission not only applicants 'whose sex is female' but also applicants 'who consistently live and identify as women.” In a letter to colleagues and students at Saint Mary’s, the president explained that 'Saint Mary’s will consider undergraduate applicants whose 'sex assigned at birth is female or who consistently live and identify as women,'" Rhoades explained in a statement published on the website of the diocese of Fort Wayne - South Bend.

The bishop explained that the board president's letter expressed his commitment to operating as a Catholic women's university and included a quote from Pope Francis about loving others and recognizing the value and worth of others. "This was evidently part of the rationale for the change in admission policy," Rhoades highlighted.

"It is disappointing that I, as bishop of the diocese in which Saint Mary’s College is located, was not included or consulted on a matter of important Catholic teaching. Bishops have a particular responsibility to 'promote and assist in the preservation and strengthening” of the Catholic identity of the Catholic colleges and universities in their dioceses (cf. Ex corde Ecclesiae #28). For this reason, I am writing about this recent decision of Saint Mary’s College," said the bishop.

'This ideology is at odds with Catholic teaching'

Rhoades explained that admitting as students biological men who "consistently live and identify as women suggests that the university affirms a gender ideology that separates sex from gender." In his opinion, "it states that sexual identity is based on the subjective experience of the individual."

"This ideology is at odds with Catholic teaching," he added.

On many occasions, Pope Francis has re-affirmed the Church’s teaching on the sexual embodiment of the human person and has criticized various forms of gender ideology. The letter from the president of Saint Mary’s quotes Pope Francis on the importance of love but does not mention the Holy Father’s continual rejection of gender ideology – the same ideology behind this new policy.

In its inclusion policy, the university details that it "does not discriminate in admission, employment, or administration of its programs and activities on the basis of race, national or ethnic origin, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender expression, gender identity, age, disability, genetic information, military service, or any other characteristic or class protected under federal, state or local law."