The Australian Catholic Bishops Conference has released a guide on gender and identity which has been welcomed by Christian schools across Australia.
The ‘Created and loved’ guide outlines a pastoral approach shaped by the theological, medical and legislative context in which Catholic schools operate.
It is designed to respond to the individual social and pastoral needs of students.
The bishops consulted widely with specialists in education, including principals and teachers, sought advice from parents with children facing various gender questions, heard from bioethicists and other experts in the field, and from the international Church community.
Increasing rates of gender incongruence in Australian society are seen as an invitation to reflect deeply on the biblical and Christian witness to human dignity.
The guide offers principles that can be used by Catholic education authorities for their own local contexts.
“The Catholic Church and our schools begin from the foundational principle that each person is created in the image and likeness of God, and is loved by God,” said Archbishop Peter A Comensoli, chair of the Bishops Commission for Life, Family and Public Engagement.
“That principle guides this document, which we offer to our schools to support them in walking compassionately alongside each student we are invited to educate.”
‘The thoughtful, comprehensively researched and deeply caring response in the Guide reflects the commitment to best practice in responding to these issues found across Christian schools’, said Mark Spencer, Director of Public Policy for Christian Schools Australia.
“Valuing the worth and dignity of every person and looking at each student holistically, rather than seeking to define a person by any single characteristic allows genuine care for our students seeking to address all their needs” – Mark Spencer
Like Catholic schools, Christian schools across Australia operate as communities of faith, Christian learning communities where all staff are called to live in accordance with the doctrines, tenets and beliefs of the school and to authentically witness to that faith in their relationships with students and families.
Created and Loved can be accessed here.
Article supplied with thanks to 96five.