Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on the Collaboration of Men and Women in the Church and in the World

INTRODUCTION

1. The Church, expert in humanity, has a perennial interest in whatever concerns men and women. In recent times, much reflection has been given to the question of the dignity of women and to women’s rights and duties in the different areas of civil society and the Church. Having contributed to a deeper understanding of this fundamental question, in particular through the teaching of John Paul II,1 the Church is called today to address certain currents of thought which are often at variance with the authentic advancement of women.

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Human Sexuality and Sexual Behavior, A Social Statement of the American Lutheran Church, a predecessor church body of the ELCA: Rejoicing in Our Sexuality

1. God created human beings male and female. Both are created in his image as persons of unique worth and dignity. Whether male or female, all persons share some physical attributes of the other sex. Qualities such as gentleness, compassion, helpfulness, and artistic appreciation often are regarded as feminine. Qualities such as assertiveness, initiative, vigor, and strength often are regarded as masculine. Yet, all are human qualities found in greater or lesser measure in all human beings, female and male.

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Rights of All Persons

A portion of the world’s population is gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (GLBT). Around the world, political and religious institutions have targeted GLBT persons for discrimination in housing, employment, health care, and access to redress for such discrimination. Some falsely portray the basic human rights laws that protect GLBT persons from hate crimes as unfair “legal preference.”

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Gender-Selective Abortion

Gender-selective abortion—choosing abortion solely or primarily because of not preferring the unborn child’s sex—is often practiced in several places in the world. Due to cultural biases, female fetuses are generally targeted for abortion in such cases much more often than males.

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Affirming Diversity / Multi-Cultural Education in the Public Schools

WHEREAS, There are no exceptions, no foot-notes, no qualifiers to Jesus’ commandment to “love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22: 39, Mark 12: 31, Galatians 5:14, Romans 13: 9, James 2: 8);

WHEREAS, The love of God that we experience through Jesus Christ dispels our fears of those who are in any way “different” from ourselves; [1 John 4: 18]

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Reaffirming the United Church of Christ’s Denouncement of Violence Against Lesbian and Gay People and Calling for the Inclusion of Transgender People Within That Antiviolence Statement

WHEREAS, the United Church of Christ Council for Christian Social Action first issued a policy statement concerning justice for same gender-oriented people over thirty years ago; and

WHEREAS, the Tenth General Synod in 1975 issued the pronouncement, “Civil Liberties without Discrimination Related to Affectional and Sexual Preference,” and similar national statements have been issued in 1969, 1973, and at every General Synod since 1975; and

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Non-Discrimination in Lay Employment

Resolved, the House of Deputies concurring, That the 76th General Convention commit The Episcopal Church not to discriminate in employment of lay employees based on race, color, sex, national origin, age, familial status, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.

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Inclusive Church Paper Work

Resolved, the House of Deputies concurring, That this 76th General Convention of The Episcopal Church recommends and encourages all bodies of The Episcopal Church to utilize all available resources to revise and adapt forms to be fully inclusive of all people: by including lines not only for one’s legal name, but also for one’s preferred name as well as one’s gender identity and pronoun preference.

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