Bishop Says NO Exceptions for Trans Students; Must Wear Uniform, use Bathrooms, Play Sports Based on Biological Sex

Worcester Bishop Robert McManus is bucking the system in Massachusetts and is forcing transgender students to wear uniforms, use bathrooms, and play sports based on their biological sex.

The “Catholic Education and the Human Person” policy, which was approved in June and announced on August 15, will also force students to use pronouns assigned at birth and will apply to school dances. It will ban students from expressing, celebrating, or advocating for “same-sex attraction in such a way as to cause confusion or distraction,” and admonishes students to “conduct themselves at school in a manner consistent with their biological sex.

”The bishop is prohibiting bending the rules for transgender students. The guidelines affect 21 schools in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Worcester, which has more than 5,260 students. It is set to go into effect in the coming academic year.

McManus’ policy cites Pope Francis repeatedly in asserting that the Worcester diocese’s positions on LGBTQ+ issues are “not mere antiquated notions.” The bishop contends that everyone must be respected, “but that does not mean the Church must accept the confused notions of secular gender ideology,” and that “We do not serve anyone’s greater good by falsifying the truth,” according to New Ways Ministry.

Two Catholic high schools in the Diocese of Worcester have rejected the policy, stating in a joint letter that the school’s current policies are sufficient for “respecting the sacred dignity of the students entrusted to our care.”

Xaverian Brother Daniel Skala, who represents St. John’s High School, and Sister Patty Chappell of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, representing Notre Dame Academy, wrote the letter to the bishop on Aug. 11 saying that the boards of trustees of their religious orders decided to forgo implementing the bishop’s policy.“We feel confident that our schools are responding to the issues raised in your memo in a manner that respects the dignity of all persons, aligns to the mission and charism of our sponsoring Orders, and protects and affirms our identity as Catholic schools… We support our respective boards’ recent determination to uphold their established practices, guided by the principles of our Church and Religious Orders, instead of incorporating the [new policies] into their handbooks,” the letter states, according to“We will continue to work faithfully to ensure all school practices uphold the principles of Catholic moral and social teaching while respecting the sacred dignity of the students entrusted to our care,” it added.

Bishop McManus has previously penalized those who disobey issued policies. He removed the Catholic affiliation from the Nativity School of Worcester after it refused to remove its Black Lives Matter and LGBTQ pride flags. The school was also banned from celebrating Mass and the sacraments. It is unknown what action will be taken against the two schools that have refused to implement the new guidelines.

Superintendent of Catholic Schools for the diocese, David Perda, issued a statement noting, “While some schools had policies in place, others did not. Individual situations were arising which underscored a need for a single policy which clearly states Church teaching and provides consistent application of that teaching across all our schools.”Democratic Massachusetts State Senator Robyn Kennedy, who is Catholic, said she was “deeply disappointed in this policy.”“My Catholicism taught me that we are to love and care for each other,” she lamented on X. “To the young people who face harm by this policy, please know you are seen, you are valued, you are loved. Our world needs you. We celebrate you.”

Democratic State Senator Jason Lewis also slammed the policy, speciously referring to priests accused of sexual abuse in a report released earlier this year.“I’m beyond disappointed to see that Worcester Catholic schools are planning to forbid students from expressing their identities and even using their own names in the classroom,” he wrote.“The same diocese that protected the names of known child abusers earlier this year and forced a school to stop calling itself Catholic after flying Pride and BLM flags last year, continues to harm children with policies intended to exclude and shame students,” Lewis charged.“I hope that the diocese will quickly acknowledge the great harm that they are causing, and present new policies that support the love and inclusion that the Catholic Church preaches,” he added.

The Catholic Action League of Massachusetts is praising the move despite a number of leftist state lawmakers criticizing it, according to the Daily Mail.

Executive Director C.J. Doyle commented, “Catholic parents should enjoy the reasonable expectation that Catholic schools will provide a genuine alternative to the secular values and practices — often inimical to Christian morality and parental rights — which prevail in the government-controlled public school system.”