The image reads: "Will you strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being? We will with God's help" and includes the logo of the diocese. The background of the image is a photo of a light pink, white, and light blue trans pride flag.

You are loved and worthy of love by God and all people, just as you are and without exception. We in the Episcopal Diocese of Central New York joyously join with God as we welcome, celebrate, honor, delight in, love and walk with you.

In our baptismal covenant, we affirm that, with God’s help, we will “strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being.” This shared vocation of all Christians to respect the dignity of each person is a sacred one, and one we take very seriously.

The Episcopal Diocese of Central New York recognizes the intention of the writers of the April 8 Vatican statement, “Dignitas infinita” (Infinite Dignity), to proclaim universal human dignity. Their enunciation of the inherent indignity of poverty and oppression that is a lived reality in our world — gender-based violence, torture, arbitrary imprisonment, widespread wealth inequality, human trafficking, the violence of war, and the marginalization and degradation of the disabled – is important for all followers of Jesus who wish to love others as he loved us.  

However,  we want to make absolutely clear that the inherent dignity given by God to all humanity unequivocally includes our trans and genderqueer siblings. Honoring their inherent dignity, value, and worth necessarily involves honoring their self-understanding of who God created them to be.   Confoundingly,  this document does not extend its declaration of human dignity to these extremely vulnerable people, and in fact, it singles them out for further harm. The result of this contradiction is extremely harmful and painful, and we join with those who mourn this.

If this statement has harmed you or someone you love or if you need support regarding issues of exclusion by the church, please reach out to a trusted, safe person. You may also contact us here or call (315) 457-2947

As followers of Jesus Christ, we have seen and known the Spirit of God active and present in the lives of our trans and genderqueer siblings and indeed all people. We are convicted of the belovedness and importance of every human being.  Our church has been blessed in countless ways throughout our history by the presence and ministry of trans and genderqueer persons, though at times we have failed to welcome and honor them. Our prayer for our Roman Catholic siblings is that they too may share in the experience of knowing Christ in and through all persons. 

In this diocese, we seek to realize a world healed by love. We know and strive to embody the truth that God endows all people with value, worth, and dignity, and loves and delights in each and every one of us. 

In the Episcopal Diocese of Central New York, you are loved.

  • Kathleen Phillips


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