Statement on the Doctrinal Note on the Moral Limits to Technological Manipulation of the Human Body

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                     
March 20, 2023

Contact: Brian Reardon

Statement on the Doctrinal Note on the Moral Limits to Technological Manipulation of the Human Body

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Doctrinal Note on the Moral Limits to Technological Manipulation of the Human Body released by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops addresses the health care needs of transgender persons in light of Catholic moral tradition.

"Catholic health care providers will continue to respect the dignity of our transgender patients and provide them with the same quality care we provide to all our patients. We recognize that the well-being of the whole person must be taken into account in deciding about any therapeutic intervention or use of technology in caring for our patients," said Sr. Mary Haddad, RSM, president and CEO of the Catholic Health Association of the United States (CHA).

Sr. Mary added, "The Note recognizes that the science of gender identity is evolving and instructs Catholic health care providers to follow research carefully and to evaluate new treatments according to sound moral principles grounded in the good of the human person with his or her own integrity. Our members are committed to careful analysis of new scientific evidence and its application in relation to guidance from the Ethical and Religious Directives (ERDs). As public-serving ministries, Catholic health care providers also follow applicable federal and state laws which recognize the freedom of Catholic institutions to follow the ERDs in ways that make our health care authentically Catholic. We remain committed to honoring the human dignity of everyone, including transgender patients and their families, and to providing them with the best possible medical and spiritual care."

She also noted the Vatican's 2019 document Male and Female He Created Them which encourages a "path of dialogue that involves listening, reasoning and proposing."

"Our goal," Sister Haddad said, "is to create a dialogue between patients and providers that will assure the health of the whole person. As our Church continues our process of listening and dialogue, we have an opportunity to embrace the spirit of Pope Francis by creating a culture of encounter. We look forward to our active participation in this important dialogue."


Download a PDF of the statement

The Catholic Health Association of the United States is the national leadership organization of the Catholic health ministry, representing the largest nonprofit provider of health care services in the nation.

  • 1 in 7 patients in the U.S. is cared for in a Catholic hospital each day.
  • Catholic health care, which includes more than 2,200 hospitals, nursing homes, long-term care facilities, systems, sponsors, and related organizations, serves the full continuum of health care across our nation.

Media Contact

For specific media assistance, please contact Brian Reardon, Vice President, Communications and Marketing.

Media Resources