"It's damaging to the other students in the school but also for that student, because you're affirming something that runs contrary to reality, and involves affirming the child in rejecting the givenness of their creation," she said.
The medical process by which a transgender person "transitions" is often referred to as "gender-affirming" therapy.
Both Farnan and Dr. Susan Selner-Wright, who holds the Archbishop Chaput Chair in Philosophy at St. John Vianney Seminary in Denver, offered an alternative, Catholic view of "affirmation."
"For us, 'affirming' the person – and I hesitate to even use that word, since it's been so co-opted...but understanding that people want to show compassion and love to the person, the best way to show compassion and love toward the person is helping them to realize that their dignity lies in their relationship to God," Farnan said.
"The difference lies in a different understanding of the dignity of the person. So for us as Catholics, your dignity comes from the fact that you are a created child of God. And God loves you so much that he created you as an embodied person."
Selner-Wright had a similar insight.
"For a Catholic, what it means to 'affirm' someone is to affirm them in their dignity as a person created in the image and likeness of God, and we are completely for that," Selner-Wright said.
"But what the other side wants to do is say: no, to affirm someone you not only have to affirm them in their person, you have to affirm everything that they think about themselves and everything that they do...no good parent thinks that that is what affirmation is."
Selner-Wright commented on a recent case in the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas that made national news, in which a Catholic school denied admission to a child of a same-sex couple.
The school had deferred to the archdiocese for guidance, which advised against the students' enrollment.
"Our schools exist to pass on the Catholic faith. Incorporated into our academic instruction and spiritual formation, at every grade level, are the teachings of the Catholic Church," a statement from the archdiocese read.
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"It is important for children to experience consistency between what they are taught in school and what they see lived at home. Therefore, we ask that parents understand and be willing to support those teachings in their homes," the statement continued.
It added that "the Church respects that some may disagree with essential elements of our moral teaching. We do not feel it is respectful of such individuals, nor is it fair, loving or compassionate to place their children in an educational environment where the values of the parents and the core principles of the school conflict. For these reasons, the Archdiocese has advised against the admission into our Catholic schools of children of same sex unions."
Selner-Wright commented: "Because we have a tradition of welcome and openness, there are a lot of other people who are not Catholic using our Catholic schools, and that's great."
"But people have to remember that the purpose of Catholic schools is to assist Catholic parents, who are the primary teachers of their children, in executing the parents' duties."
Their recommendations are not "one size fits all," and there are some situations in which a child could be admitted, Selner-Wright emphasized.
For example, there could be a situation in which a single parent – who experiences same-sex attraction but is trying to live a chaste life – wants to enroll their child in a Catholic shool. The attraction itself isn't the issue, Selner-Wright said, as long as the parent is not living in a way that generates a contradiction between what the child learns in school and what they learn at home.