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Vatican to publish document on gender, surrogacy and human dignity next week

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ROME (AP) — The Vatican will publish a document next week on gender theory and surrogacy that was announced in a bid to respond to opposition from conservatives over Pope Francis’ willingness to bless same-sex unions.

Cardinal Víctor Manuel Fernández, the new prefect of the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith, will hold his first news conference to present the document “Infinite Dignity, on human dignity,” on April 8, the Vatican announced Tuesday.

Fernández, who is very close to Francis, revealed the declaration was in the works after he came under criticism for the roll-out of a December document from his office authorizing priests to offer non-liturgical blessings to same-sex couples.

Conservative bishops, including entire national bishops conferences in Africa, blasted the document as contrary to biblical teaching about homosexuality and said they wouldn’t implement it.

Fernández, who is from Argentina, has said in various media interviews since then that the new document will offer a strong critique of “immoral tendencies” in society today, including surrogacy, sex changes and gender theory.

While Francis has made a hallmark of his papacy to reach out to LGBTQ+ people, he has also strongly denounced what he calls “gender ideology.” He has in particular railed against what he says is the tendency of Western countries to impose their values about gender and sexuality on the developing world as a condition for economic aid.

Francis has also called for a global ban on surrogacy, saying the practice exploits the economic needs of the surrogate mother and violates the dignity of mother and child.

By NICOLE WINFIELD
Associated Press

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