Catholic Charity 'Open to Recruiting' Transgender People

An official charity of the Catholic Church in India announced a program to assist transgender people this month. The new program aims to eradicate biases against them, but will not support transgender surgery, which the Catholic Church sees as immoral.

"People who are suffering for no fault of their own because of sexual confusion in their body require our attention and support," declared Father Frederick D'Souza, executive director of Caritas India, in a statement provided to Vatican Radio. The director added that "Caritas is open to work with transgender people. I am even open to recruiting them."

Caritas aims to use this program to eradicate "traditional biases against" transgender people, in order to better their condition in society.

The decision does not represent a surrender to the culture of political correctness, however. True Christian charity involves helping other people without condoning sin, and the Catholic Church is not doing so in this case.

By transgender, Father D'Souza clarified that he means "biological transgenders" and not those who undergo the surgical mutilation of their bodies. "We don't want to confuse the two," D'Souza explained. "We have an opinion on those who undergo sex change, we are not in favour of that. We believe that the natural gender one is born with is what he/she is supposed to cherish and contribute to creation."

Caritas' deputy director, Father Paul Moonjely, explained that the organization's decision to include those suffering with gender dysphoria is not sudden. "We have been reaching out to transgender people in our development programs but have largely failed to recognize them and show data on how many of them we have supported," Moonjely told Vatican Radio.

Caritas India, founded in 1962, works to promote well-being through humanitarian aid, social development, reconstruction, poverty reduction, sustainable development, education, and the social promotion of women and groups of poor people, such as the Dalit caste.

Next Page: India's long history with transgenderism, and why Caritas is a good example for Christians dealing with this issue.