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Archdiocese of Omaha halts gender identity standards

 Archbishop George Lucas
Posted at 3:22 PM, Aug 31, 2022

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — The Archdiocese of Omaha is pausing theimplementation of the previously released gender identity standards.

In a letter to parishioners on Wednesday, Archbishop George Lucas said, "After listening to recent feedback and questions from school administrators and members of school communities we are delaying the implementation of the policy.”

Lucas said it appeared a policy was needed so parents and schools can be clear of the guidelines. Now the church will listen to feedback on will release a new draft “that will be more clearly focused and will not compromise the teachings of Jesus Christ and the church."

The guidelines stated, as one example, "One's gender is determined by one's biological sex, there can be no separation between the two." The policy followed the traditional Catholic Church teaching that there are only two genders and a person cannot change their gender at any point.

Archbishop Lucas said the thought of gender as a personal choice threatens the well-being of young people.

“It is incompatible with our Catholic faith and the mission of Jesus.”

The rules would apply to students, staff and even volunteers. The document also says "all pastoral care is defined primarily by love."

There was pushback.

Creighton University Professor Todd Salzman finds fault with the policy since gender is also influenced by culture.

"A deacon from the South Pacific came to visit and he was wearing a skirt, according to this policy, that would be a violation because a man is wearing a skirt because that's their culture. So what are the parameters for making a judgment?" Salzman said.

Lucas said in the letter if a school cooperates with a student switching genders, the school-parent partnership will suffer "thus requiring discernment about the appropriateness of the family's place in the school."

He goes on to say Catholic parishes may be better equipped to help the family "outside the school setting."

Lucas said a revised policy will be created by the end of 2022 and will be implemented next school year.

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