“Variant of a person who is missing something”

People who biologically could be assigned neither to the male nor to the female gender are "endowed with all human dignity and all personal rights". They did not represent a third gender.

Passau Bishop Stefan Oster says he considers it an "impairment" when people do not have a clear biological assignment to the male or female sex. These people are not a third gender, Oster said Sunday in his homily for the Feast of the Holy Family in Passau Cathedral. "But they are humans – naturally equipped with all human dignity and all personal rights – who simply lack this assignment to one of the two sexes. It is a detriment."

Oster said that where intersexuality occurs, "nature has produced the variant of a human being who is missing something". Almost always these people could not reproduce. In creation, there are deviations from normal processes "that leave us wondering," the bishop said. "And so it happens that people are born who suffer a deficiency, such as when someone is born blind or with a heart defect or with some other impairment."

Furthermore, he said, there are people who grow up biologically clear as male or female, but who feel wrong about that gender identity. "And who, therefore, would like to have a change in gender affiliation. They are called trans people or call themselves that," Oster said. The questions, developments and decisions behind such processes are very complex and individual, often painful, he said. "And because I have very little personal experience with such people, I cannot and will not judge here."

Easter: homosexual inclination "simply there"

About homosexuals, the bishop added, "Their inclination is, as a rule, simply there." Church says that not the inclination, but its acting out in sexual act is sin. "That this is difficult to understand, I can honestly empathize with. But I also know people who, although they feel homosexual, feel within themselves that the Church is nevertheless right with its teachings. They feel that something does not fit for them in this act."

Oster said he believes the Church's teachings on family, gender and sexuality are true. Nonetheless, believers should be "open and accepting in their encounters with people who think about these things differently and live differently". Because God wants the salvation of every person regardless of their sexual orientation.

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