Dearest Pope Francis,
On 2-16-2023, I wrote an open letter to you about Republican Catholic politicians Greg Abbott and Ron DeSantis and what they are doing to transgender children and their families. In this second letter, I will change, add, and leave some essential points from the last letter I openly wrote to you. Essentially, not only are Catholic Republicans Greg Abbott and Ron DeSantis trying to eradicate transgenderism (the people) and their families from their states no matter the cost, so is Catholic Republican politician Michael Knowles. Please note that I was a moderate life-long Republican until Trump mocked the disabled reporter, so this is not about politics but the Sanctity of Life. The eradication of transgenderism (the people and their families) comes from the far and powerful right wing of the Republican party, not most Republicans. Sadly there are some powerful right-winged Catholics intertwined with fascism in our country.
As I have expressed to you before, I am a Catholic mother of four young adult children and a wife of 28 years. I am also an Academic Language Therapist (type of Educational Therapist) with specialized credentialing in Autism, Cognition, Dyslexia, and LGBTQIA+ Inclusion in Healthcare. I will also finish a Catholic lay ministry certification through my local Catholic Archdiocese in May. I earned the LGBTQIA+ credentialing over the last year after my eyes were painfully opened to the fact that acceptance and affirmation of LGBTQIA+ people and their families is a matter of life and death, especially youth, and especially transgender people. I had to admit and apologize for being wrong as a practitioner and as a parent.
Every major medical association in the world supports gender-affirming care and affirmation of all LGBTQIA+ people and came to this medical consensus between the years of 2017-2019. I wouldn’t have believed this truth until I witnessed first-hand accounts as a practitioner, as a pending lay minister, and as a parent.
I am now going to speak specifically of Catholic Republican Politician Michael Knowles who is trying to eradicate transgenderism (code for eradicate transgender adults and children) from society.
Lies and harmful rhetoric created by a minority powerful right-wing Republican politicians are forcing parents of transgender children to create emergency exit plans out of certain red states like Florida, Texas, Ohio, and Tennessee to safer ground.
The way the Catholic Church fights for the unborn should be the same way they fight for trans lives, especially trans children who have a 75% higher suicide rate than the general population. Endangering the lives of trans youth also endangers the lives of their loving families, some of who I know and work with personally. The Catholic Church teaches that all life is equally-sacred from conception to natural death, no exceptions. As you have said before, Pope Francis, the Catholic Church has been obsessed with abortion, contraception, and sexuality. The Church needs to open her eyes to the historical Social Justice Teachings/Catholic Social Teachings for all of humanity (no exception) and Jesus’ 2nd Greatest Commandment to love our neighbor as Ourselves, no exception. Parents of LBGTQIA+ children shouldn’t have to leave their families, churches, communities, and their home states because parts of the right wing want to invoke terror on those children and their families who have biological and psychological variances in gender and sexuality, just as there are neurodiversities in other minority populations, such as those with Autism. Pope Francis, you have also stated that LGBTQ+ people have the right to assimilate into society and live in safety and peace. I know some of the families of LGBTQ+ children who are not safe in my local community of San Antonio, TX because of political and religious right-wing bullies who are not the majority of faith leaders and Republicans.
Please watch this video with anti-trans rhetoric from Republican Catholic Michael Knowles which is contributing to the trauma and deaths towards transgender children and their families.
I will state this again. Please note that it is rare for a doctor of gender-affirming care to prescribe anything permanent to a child under the age of 18, and even then, prescriptions are made with great caution. The medical consensus doesn’t typically advise anything permanent under the age of 18. Most children under 18 are given reversible puberty blockers or reversible hormone replacement therapies in the adolescents years and only if it’s needed to salvage the mental health and lives of transgender youth. These treatments have been proven to save lives. Yet, still, this is only the family’s business while the Catholic governors of both Texas and Florida and now Catholic Michael Knowles attempt to deny life-saving medical care, terrorize, and eradicate transgenderism (families) for following their doctors’ orders and the medical consensus.
What amazes me is that I will show certain conservatives (not all) this and give life and death scenarios, yet they still judge. Even more terrifying, some even want trans children and their loving parents dead while calling themselves “Followers of Christ” and “Pro-Life.” Parents like me and other families in the LGBTQ+/trans community have received death threats for going public with the truth of being “Trans in Texas.”
Papa Frasensco, please speak with Catholic Governors Greg Abbott and Ron Desantis if you haven’t already and now Catholic politician Michael Knowles to protect who Jesus calls, “The Least of These.” Innocent trans youth and their loving families are dying at the hands of open right-wing Republican Catholic/Christian politicians who are not the majority of Republicans and faith leaders. Right-winged ideology is a bastardization of the Christian faith and a very poor witness as to who Jesus truly is. Our Lord is a loving God of inclusivity and defending the marginalized as Jesus did in his ministry.
Julie Nichols. Catholic mother and Educational Therapy Practitioner
Pending Traits of Fascism
I believe that the current legislative actions of some far-right Republican politicians (not all) are now falling in alignment with fascism. According to Encyclopedia Britannica and The Washington Monthly, I close with these primary traits of fascism once again. We are now in true fascism because of the intentional eradication of trans children in certain red states invoked partially by Catholic right-winged politicians.
- sources and capitalizes on economic woes and anxieties
- shifts political blame on to scapegoat groups like minority groups, such as, Democrats, immigrants, and other groups while taking away blame from where it belongs, on the leadership
- propagates extreme nationalism going hand-in-hand with racism and militarism
- a melding of church and state when there should be a separation
- subjugation of women and sexism
- a disdain for human rights except those of the elite, especially a disdain for those who identify as LGBTQIA+
- obsession with crime and punishment
- identification of enemies as a unifying cause for political action
- disdain for intellectualism, science, history, and the arts
- control of different types of media, including books
- rampant cronyism and government corruption
- attempt to control elections, like through voter suppression