Catholics troubled by the emerging “ideology of gender” should draw inspiration from the heroic witness of the Christians who stood up to Adolf Hitler in the 1940s, a distinguished German sociologist has said.
Gabriele Kuby told audiences at two meetings in the Diocese of Shrewsbury that it was vital that the new ideology, which holds individuals are not born male or female but can construct their own “genders”, is opposed at all costs.
She warned clergy and laity that the ideology was part of a deliberate attempt to subvert the family and to destroy traditional marriage.
Children across the Western world were now facing indoctrination in the “false” claims of the ideology from their early years, she said, as schools were compelled by governments and the courts to promote them without question.
The subsequent destruction of innocence and the threat to the welfare of children meant that the stakes were so high that Catholics had a duty to oppose the ideology even if they did not envisage imminent victory, Mrs Kuby said.
The faithful should draw inspiration, she suggested, from the example of the White Rose, the student resistance movement that opposed Nazism during the Second World War and also of the German officers who attempted to overthrow Hitler.
Six members of the White Rose were beheaded after the Lichthof of Munich University was flooded with leaflets urging students to rise up against “Nazi terror”. Some of the group had been partly inspired by the “theology of conscience” of Blessed John Henry Newman.
Speaking to clergy on the first day of a three-day visit to the Diocese, Mrs Kuby said: “There is resistance. Everywhere there are very serious disciples of Christ putting their lives into this battle.
“Of course we want to be successful and of course we want to have the best strategies we could have, but it is worth doing it even if we fail. Even if we are not successful, it is worth putting our lives into this.”
She continued: “Looking back at the Nazi regime, it is very important there was resistance. They were not successful – the White Rose was not successful, Claus Stauffenberg was not successful – but they were there.
“This helps later generations to live, that there were people who said the truth.
“We should not be discouraged. It’s really in the hands of God,” she added. “The Bible tells us that there will be very difficult times but it is very important that each of us finds our place and puts everything into this battle.”
Mrs Kuby, the author of the best-selling book The Global Sexual Revolution: Destruction of Freedom in the Name of Freedom, later repeated her points before an audience of about 100 people at a conference for the laity on the “Gift of Human Sexuality” held at St Christopher’s Church Hall in Romiley, Cheshire.
“Every step of resistance is important,” she said. “We fight for the dignity of Man and the freedom of our society irrespective of our human calculation of whether we will win.
“We engage in this battle because we feel we must engage. We have understood what it is about Man, we have understood the destructiveness of this ideology and we want to protect our families and the future, not only of our children but the future of society and the next generation.”
The White Rose, she said, had given many post-War Germans the confidence to “believe in the truth and believe in the possibility of the human being to stand up for truth even if it costs our lives”.
“Whether we will be able to do this we do not know but we do know that God has given the grace of resistance to millions and millions of people in the history of Christianity,” Mrs Kuby added.
The most famous member of the White Rose was Sophie Scholl, who was just 21 years old when on February 22 1943 she and her brother, Hans, along with Christoph Probst, became the first of the group to die at the guillotine.
In the preceding hours, Probst, a father-of-three, was received into the Catholic Church in articulo mortis (at the point of death) telling the priest who baptised him and who heard his confession that “now my death will be easy and joyful”.
The Scholls, who were Lutherans, also asked to be received into the Catholic Church, according to their sister, Inge, but the prison pastor, Karl Alt, talked them out it, saying it would only upset their already distraught mother further.
Within the last decade German scholars have discovered far more about how the members were motivated by their deep Christian convictions.
Many of the findings have been summarised in a 2012 book called Die Starkeren Im Geiste (The Stronger in Spirit), edited by Detlef Bald and Jakob Knab.
Most interestingly, the “theology of conscience” of Blessed John Henry Newman, the 19th century English cardinal, has been identified as highly influential in the context in which the members of the White Rose found themselves.
Almost twice as many people as were expected attended the conference for the laity to hear Mrs Kuby speak on the theme “Man or Woman – A Matter of Choice?”.
They included teachers from outside of the Diocese who told the audience how they were gravely concerned about their experiences of the promotion of the ideology of gender in primary schools.
Introducing Mrs Kuby, Bishop Mark Davies of Shrewsbury said that because Christians were called by Jesus Christ to “love every person perfectly” they must be ready to challenge the “damaging errors and false ideas that threaten the well-being of souls and human society as a whole”.
“To remain silent means that we no longer truly love our neighbour,” Bishop Davies told the audience.
“In recent centuries Christians were called to meet the challenge of transient ideologies that threatened to dominate whole societies – and this sometimes requires the heroic witness demanded by genuine love,” he said.
“In societies like our own, we today have the strange experience of seeing how the very things that once led to Christians to be applauded – namely our support for the vital pillars of human society, the sanctity of human life, the sanctity of marriage and the family – may now lead to us facing prejudice and even unjust discrimination.”
Mrs Kuby was scheduled to speak to the clergy of the Diocese and also to educationalists at two further meetings.
The meeting in Romiley was held on the same day that a national newspaper reported how a double child rapist had undergone a £10,000 sex-change operation and had been moved to a woman’s prison.
Ian Huntley, who murdered two children in Soham, Cambridgeshire, in 2002, is also believed to be considering identifying himself as a woman, according to news reports, and he is asking fellow inmates already to call him Lian.
In spite of widespread public unease about the ideology of gender, media reports continue to reveal a deep intolerance on the part of those attempting to advance it.
The radical feminist Germaine Greer was famously “no-platformed” by Cardiff University after she aired her reservations about the claims of so-called transgender people and Julie Bindell, another feminist, was banned from speaking at Manchester University because of her “dangerous” views about transgenderism.
Earlier this month, Dame Jenni Murray, the presenter of BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour, was given an “impartiality warning” from the BBC after suggesting in the Sunday Times that men who have sex change operations were not “real women”.