Vatican Says Gender-Affirming Surgery, Surrogacy ‘Violate Human Dignity’

copy of the 20-page "Infinite Dignity" declaration issued by the Vatican's doctrine office sits on a journalist desk as the prefect che Vatican's Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith, Cardinal Victor Manuel Fernandez, meets the journalists during a press Conference at the Vatican, Monday, April 8, 2024. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
Copy of the 20-page “Infinite Dignity” declaration issued by the Vatican’s doctrine office sits on a journalist desk as the prefect che Vatican’s Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith, Cardinal Victor Manuel Fernandez, meets the journalists during a press Conference at the Vatican, Monday, April 8, 2024. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

OAN’s Abril Elfi
4:14 PM – Tuesday, April 9, 2024

The Vatican has released a new document stating that gender theory, gender-related surgery, and surrogacy are violations to “human dignity.”


On Monday, the document called Dignitas Infinita, which is Latin for “Infinite Dignity,” was released after more than five years in development by the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith (DDF).

“In the light of Revelation, the Church resolutely reiterates and confirms the ontological dignity of the human person, created in the image and likeness of God and redeemed in Jesus Christ,” the document states in its beginning.

The document addresses more than a dozen issues, including abortion, human trafficking, poverty, euthanasia, and more through papal teachings and scripture. 

“Regarding gender theory, whose scientific coherence is the subject of considerable debate among experts, the Church recalls that human life in all its dimensions, both physical and spiritual, is a gift from God,” the document states. “This gift is to be accepted with gratitude and placed at the service of the good. Desiring personal self-determination, as gender theory prescribes, apart from this fundamental truth that human life is a gift, amounts to a concession to the age-old temptation to make oneself God, entering into competition with the true God of love revealed to us in the Gospel.”

Pope Francis has previously stated that gender ideology is one of the world’s “most dangerous ideological colonizations.” 

“Another prominent aspect of gender theory is that it intends to deny the greatest possible difference that exists between living beings: sexual difference. This foundational difference is not only the greatest imaginable difference but is also the most beautiful and most powerful of them. In the male-female couple, this difference achieves the most marvelous of reciprocities. It thus becomes the source of that miracle that never ceases to surprise us: the arrival of new human beings in the world,” the document continues. 

After several months of revisions, Pope Francis finally gave Dignitas Infinita the go-ahead to be published on March 25th. The document was presented by Cardinal Víctor Manuel Fernández, the DDF prefect, during a press conference held in Vatican City on Monday.

The text elaborates on the Church’s long-standing ethical criticisms of surrogate pregnancies, which it claims are at odds with the pro-life stance, while also restating the Church’s teachings on abortion.

“The Church also takes a stand against the practice of surrogacy, through which the immensely worthy child becomes a mere object,” the document states. “First and foremost, the practice of surrogacy violates the dignity of the child. Indeed, every child possesses an intangible dignity that is clearly expressed – albeit in a unique and differentiated way – at every stage of his or her life: from the moment of conception, at birth, growing up as a boy or girl, and becoming an adult,” the dicastery wrote in the document. “Because of this unalienable dignity, the child has the right to have a fully human (and not artificially induced) origin and to receive the gift of a life that manifests both the dignity of the giver and that of the receiver.”

Surrogacy via in vitro fertilization typically requires the artificial fertilization of multiple human embryos, some of which are often later frozen or destroyed.

The Catholic Church has stated that human life must be protected and valued from the moment of conception to natural death, regardless of developmental stage or life circumstances. 

Additionally, it has expressed serious concerns about the global surrogacy industry, which involves wealthy Western couples paying poor women from third-world countries to carry their embryos to term.

“Although not comprehensive, the topics discussed in this Declaration are selected to illuminate different facets of human dignity that might be obscured in many people’s consciousness,” the text reads. “Some topics may resonate more with some sectors of society than others. Nevertheless, all of them strike us as being necessary because, taken together, they help us recognize the harmony and richness of the thought about human dignity that flows from the Gospel,” it continues. “This Declaration does not set out to exhaust such a rich and crucial subject. Instead, its aim is to offer some points for reflection that can help us maintain an awareness of human dignity amid the complex historical moment in which we are living. This is so that we may not lose our way and open ourselves up to more wounds and profound sufferings amid the numerous concerns and anxieties of our time.”

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