McBLOG - US Catholic School sexuality & gender guidelines should surprise no-one

US Catholic School sexuality & gender guidelines should surprise no-one

Over 100 Catholic schools in Cleveland (USA) have set out clear guidelines for sexuality and gender based on Catholic teaching – and they should be music to your ears. The real question is – do NZ faith-based schools adopt similar biblical-based guidelines? If not, why not.


According to a report from the DailyWire, over 100 Catholic schools in Cleveland have set out clear guidelines for sexuality and gender – and they should be music to your ears. The real question is – do NZ faith based schools adopt similar guidelines.

The Catholic Diocese of Cleveland has issued new guidelines on sexuality and gender. In a press release, the diocese clarified that the guidelines were a formal policy version of existing church teachings on the subject.

The diocese said “Since questions of sex, sexuality, and gender identity have become increasingly prevalent in our society, it is our hope that the policy will help to ensure these matters are addressed in a consistent and authentically Catholic manner across our diocesan institutions and diocesan Catholic schools, and that those we serve will have a clear understanding about expectations and accommodations related to those matters.”

Reverend Edward Malesic, the Bishop of Cleveland, stated in an accompanying letter that biological sex coincides with God’s divine plan.

“The human person is a unity of body and soul; we experience the world through our bodies, and it is through the virtuous expression of our bodies that we reveal God. Through times of questioning and confusion, we must accompany our brothers and sisters in Christ with compassion, mercy, and dignity so that we might lovingly help them navigate the confusion and arrive at truth.”

So what are these guidelines as they apply to the schools. I don’t think you’ll find any of them surprising. But possibly refreshing to hear.

Parental Notification. In the case of a person who is a minor, if and when a member of the staff or faculty of an institution becomes aware that such minor is experiencing gender dysphoria or gender confusion, the institution shall, with reasonable promptness, notify such minor’s parents or guardian of that fact. The foregoing notwithstanding, if there is a reasonable concern that so notifying the parents of the minor will result in physical abuse of the minor, an institution should in such cases consult with the Diocese Legal Office and the Bishop’s designated moral theologian prior to determining if such information should be disclosed to parents or guardians. The initial presumption, however, should be that such a disclosure should be made absent a compelling reason not to. Furthermore, the fact that a parent or guardian might refuse to utilize preferred pronouns at odds with their child’s God-given biological sex or to otherwise refuse to treat their child in any manner inconsistent with their God-given biological sex is not abuse and is not a compelling reason to not disclose.

Pronouns and Names. Only pronouns that accurately reflect a person’s God-given biological sex shall be used when addressing that person. No person may designate a “preferred pronoun” in speech or in writing, and no institution shall permit such designation by any person on institutional email, correspondence, or other communications. Legal names or abbreviated versions of a legal name ( e.g., Dan, instead of Daniel), when requested by a person, should be used when addressing a person. Nicknames may be used when addressing a person experiencing gender dysphoria or gender confusion as a pastoral accommodation, provided such is agreed to by parents in the case of minors, and provided that no such nickname shall be used if the purpose and/or effect is to (i) obscure or contradict the person’s God-given biological sex, (ii) promote the idea that one’s gender is different than one’s God-given biological sex, or (iii) if doing so would cause scandal.

Would cause scandal. ‘Would cause confusion’ might be a better phrase

Bathrooms and Facilities. When using an institution’s bathrooms or facilities, all persons must use the bathrooms or other facilities that correspond to their God-given biological sex. Upon request, accommodation may be made in the sole discretion of the institution’s leadership for the use of available single-user bathrooms.

Single-Sex Institutions, Programs, and Activities. A person may only be admitted to an institution that is designated as single-sex consistent with his or her God-given biological sex. A person may only participate in institutional activities (whether curricular or extracurricular, athletics, ministries, or other programs) that are designated as single-sex consistent with his or her God-given biological sex. A possible exception to this is the allowance of biological females competing on athletic teams designated for biological males when deemed appropriate in the sole discretion of the institution’s leadership. Any other type of exception must be approved by the diocesan bishop.

I can only think it would be deemed appropriate where there is an allowance already for mixed teams. Are there other exceptions? Maybe a non-contact sport where physical strength isn’t the key?

Parish or School Dances. No person may attend a dance, mixer, or similar event sponsored by an institution with a date of the same God-given biological sex or publically express and/or display sexual attraction to or romantic interest in members of the same-sex at such event. An institution may, in its discretion, allow a person to attend such events without a date or companion, with a companion (whether of the same sex or not) who is a platonic friend, or as part of a group of platonic friends.

I’m assuming that would apply to public displays of sexual attraction for both guy girl and same-sex couples Most schools don’t want that happening.

And coming as a group is very common.

Personal Appearance & Dress. Every person is expected to present and conduct themselves in a manner consistent with their God-given biological sex. Specifically, this means that every person is expected to refrain from acting in a manner the purpose of which is to hold themselves out as being a sex or gender that is inconsistent with the person’s God-given biological sex or which, regardless of intent, has the effect of causing confusion or scandal regarding the person’s sex or gender relative to the person’s God-given biological sex. This includes, but is not limited to, dressing consistent with their God-given biological sex and complying with any applicable sex-specific dress code.

I’m thinking that with current fashion, that could be a bit of a challenge as to what is now deemed fully male and fully female appearance. But in terms of uniform, it sets a clear standard. It’s an area where too many schools have got themselves all muddled up trying to be woke.

Conduct. No person may publicly advocate or celebrate sexual orientation or identity in ways that are contrary to the Catholic Church’s teaching and that could cause disruption, confusion, or scandal regarding the Catholic Church’s teachings. This includes, but is not limited to displaying symbols such as “LGBTQ pride” rainbows or “LGBTQ pride” flags or other symbols that can be construed as being opposed to Church teaching. In the case of students, “publicly advocating or celebrating” means advocating or celebrating as described in the preceding sentence while on the institution’s property or at any type of event sponsored by the institution or in which the institution is participating. This section does not prohibit open and respectful discussion or debate of matters of sexuality and gender dysphoria in the appropriate setting or forum, as determined in the sole discretion of the institution’s leadership.

Sex/Gender Transition. No person may engage in so-called social transitions, surgeries, or medical treatments that seek to ”transition” the person to a sex or gender inconsistent with his or her God-given biological sex. This includes, but is not limited to, puberty blockers prescribed or taken to delay puberty in those diagnosed with gender dysphoria, and hormone and surgical treatments to “feminize” a biological male or “masculinize” a biological female. For clarification, “social transitioning” is the adoption of pronouns, clothing, haircuts, and other social expressions of gender or sex for the purpose of holding out oneself as being a sex or gender different than one’s God-given biological sex. This does not prohibit medical treatments consistent with Church teaching related to true genetic or physical anomalies, disorders, or medical conditions.

Yep they’re referring to, for example, intersex – which is an actual diagnosable and medical condition. Very different to “identifying” as the opposite sex.

And well done for focusing in on “social transitioning” which is always used as a step to medicalisation and then castration. That’s why the teacher in NZ lost his registration as a teacher. He wouldn’t have under these sensible guidelines.

Records. All institutional records and documents shall reflect a person’s God-given biological sex and legal name. In the case of a change of legal name, existing records on file shall be kept and maintained without alteration. It is not permitted for an institution to change existing records to reflect a person’s legal name change or to in any way purge such records.

Superb guidelines -and what you’d expect from any biblical based school.

However, everyone wasn’t happy, of course.

The Mayor of Cleveland tweeted

As a Christian, the new Catholic Diocese of Cleveland anti-LGBTQ+ policy is a shocking betrayal of the Church teachings that have shaped who I am today.

For me, faith is about universal love and acceptance. Instead, the new policy forces LGBTQ+ kids to hide their authentic selves and attend school in fear of persecution for who they are. I extend my heartfelt solidarity to our LGBTQ+ friends and students. Rest assured that this policy, along with any expressions of hatred, doesn’t go unnoticed.

Um – faith is about universal love and acceptance? It’s certainly about accepting and loving young people as children of God but it’s also based on Scriptural Truth, who we are as created by God, and acknowledging that we are all sinners saved by grace. Opposing sexual experimentation and gender confusion is not loving. Accepting harmful responses to gender confusion such as puberty blockers and chest binding is not loving.

Our authentic self is based on how God sees us – not how we identify or wish to act out.

I’m not sure which teachings the Mayor is referring to but it doesn’t seem to be the teaching of Scriptural truth.

But as I said, these are superb guidelines – but they’re what you’d expect from any school founded upon and based upon biblical truth and guidelines.

This is an area that we have highlighted in our Parent Guide which you can access and download at

It has a whole section on religious state-integrated schools

It reminds us that state-integrated schools exist to provide education within the framework of a particular or general religious or philosophical belief, and associated with observances or traditions relating to that belief. The proprietor of a state-integrated school has the responsibility to supervise the maintenance and preservation of the education with a special character provided by the school.

The Ministry of Education states on their website: “State-integrated schools teach the New Zealand Curriculum, but keep their own special character (usually a philosophical or religious belief) as part of their school programme.” And: “State-integrated schools are schools with a special character. They are funded by the government and teach the national curriculum. They’ll have their own sets of aims and objectives to reflect their own particular values and are set within a specific philosophy or religion.”

The Ministry of Education also states that they cannot require a “state-integrated school to enrol a student unless the person’s parents agree with and accept the special character of the school.” 47

In Schedule 6 of the Education and Training Act 202048 (which specifically deals with state-integrated schools), it says:    

26. Preference of enrolment The children of parents who have a particular or general philosophical or religious connection with a State integrated school must be preferred to other children for enrolment at the school.    

28. Instruction of students
(1) Each State integrated school must instruct its students in accordance with the curricula and syllabuses prescribed under this Act or any regulations made under this Act.
(2) However, the general school programme must reflect the education with a special character provided by the State integrated school, and religious and other examples may be used to reinforce teaching throughout the school day.

In other words, religious state-integrated schools which have religious instruction as part of their special character also have a legal responsibility to ensure that religious instruction, in keeping with their special character, continues to form part of the school programme of education.

Special character schools are expected to integrate the Christian worldview through everything the school does, and the staff it hires. That’s the reason you most likely enrolled your children at the school. That’s your expectation of the school.

It’s not compulsory for children to go to these schools. They can go to the state school or private school or home school – but for those who choose a faith-based school, we should not be surprised that parents enrol their children because they want that worldview taught – whether its Muslim or Christian or new age environmentalism or whatever. Parents can choose.

The real question is – if you have your children in a faith based school, do their guideliines look like this? They should.

And if not, why not?

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