Bishop Davies cited the writings of Pope Francis, Pope Benedict XVI and St. John Paul II, as well as the Catechism of the Catholic Church and a March 2016 statement by the U.S. bishops on federal education rules.
In Pope Francis' 2015 encyclical "Laudato Si," for instance, the Pope said learning to accept one's body and to respect its "fullest meaning" is "an essential element of any genuine human ecology." This includes valuing one's body in its femininity or masculinity. He criticized the attitude that would "cancel out sexual difference because it no longer knows how to confront it."
In the Pope's exhortation "Amoris Laetitia," the pontiff criticized education programs and legislation that promote "a personal identity and emotional intimacy radically separated from the biological difference between male and female."
Bishop Davies said the diocese hoped to organize opportunities for reflection on the implications of this "radical, ideological challenge."
His letter was released days after Pope Francis criticized gender theory as "a great enemy of marriage." During his visit to the country of Georgia, he advocated the countering of "ideological colonization."
At an Oct. 2 in-fight press conference en route to Rome, the Pope stressed the need to accompany those who struggle with their sexuality or sexual identity. He also rebuked "wickedness which today is done in the indoctrination of gender theory," citing a story of a man who believed his 10-year-old son was being taught gender theory in school.