The Vatican’s top doctrinal office next week will unveil a new declaration on the theme of human dignity, one that is expected to address a range of contemporary moral issues including gender ideology and surrogacy.  

The Holy See Press Office announced on Tuesday that the new document, titled Dignitas Infinita (“Infinite Dignity”) (On Human Dignity), will be debuted at a press conference held in Rome on April 8.

The conference will include presentations by Cardinal Víctor Manuel Fernández, the prefect of the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith (DDF); Monsignor Armando Matteo, secretary for the doctrinal section of the DDF; and Professor Paola Scarcella of Rome’s Tor Vergata and LUMSA universities. 

In an interview with the National Catholic Register, CNA’s sister news partner, in early March, Fernández said there had been “several versions” of the text and that it was “almost finished” and would be published in “early April.” 

The cardinal’s comments came after he told Spanish news agency EFE in January that the text would address “not only social issues but also a strong criticism of moral questions such as sex-change surgery, surrogacy, and gender ideology.”

In recent months and years Pope Francis has spoken out strongly on these topics. In a January address to the ambassadors accredited to the Holy See, the pope called surrogacy “deplorable.”

In March, meanwhile, the Holy Father labeled transgender ideology as “the ugliest danger” today, one that “seeks to blur differences between men and women.” 

Since assuming the top spot at the DDF last September, Fernández has faced backlash over the December DDF document Fiducia Supplicans, which allowed for the “spontaneous” (nonliturgical) blessing of same-sex couples as well as those in “irregular” unions. 

The Argentine cardinal in his interview with EFE argued that “people who are concerned” about his work will “be put at ease” by the new document.  

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Since the publication of Fiducia Supplicans, Pope Francis has publicly defended the directive on numerous occasions. In February he argued that individuals who are critical of blessings for homosexuals are guilty of “hypocrisy” if they are not similarly opposed to blessings for certain other types of sinners. 

Some of the strongest pushback against Fiducia Supplicans has come from the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM) as well as from other Christian leaders with which the Church holds ecumenical dialogue.