Catholic Medical Quarterly Volume 67(4) November 2017


The American College of Pediatricians Statement on “Gender Ideology”:
A Note of Caution

From: Dr Michelle A. Cretella, MD, FCP President, The American College of Pediatricians

Dear Editor,

This is in response to Dr. Albert Jones' letter The American College of Pediatricians Statement on “Gender ideology”: A Note of Caution [1] that appeared in the August issue of the Catholic Medical Quarterly.

I found it striking that the Director of the Anscombe Society, presumably a leading scholar of the natural law, would begin his letter with the most blatant of philosophical fallacies, namely, the ad hominem attack. Curiously, the "evidence" he provides for his "note of caution" reads nearly verbatim from that which is routinely recycled against us by pro-LGBT internet trolls.

The American College of Pediatricians (the College) is precisely what it name indicates: a national organization of pediatricians and child health professionals. The College has been firmly grounded in both science and the natural law from its inception in 2002. It was necessary to found our organization because, following the legalization of abortion in 1973, the American Academy of Pediatrics increasingly promoted policies harmful to children; policies that placed the wants and autonomy of adults above the needs of children.

The founders of the College envisioned an organization that would welcome all pediatricians and child health professionals of good will who are dedicated to both sound science and the long held medical ethics principle of "First do No Harm." Although we have never polled our membership, over the years, committee and Board members have identified themselves as Christians, Jews, Muslims and Buddhists.

As a result, the College formulates its position statements through the lens of moral absolutes that are discernible through right reason alone and the best available science. This includes our position statement on psychotherapy for unwanted homosexual attraction among youth [2] The first author, Dr. Christopher Rosik, is a clinical and academic psychologist and a past president of the Alliance for Therapeutic Choice and Scientific Integrity (formerly the National Association for Research and Therapy for Homosexuality; NARTH) who has successfully assisted many patients with unwanted homosexual attractions. In addition, Dr. Joseph Nicolosi, the Father of Reparative Therapy, was also a devout Catholic dedicated to the natural law. Dr. Nicolosi, who founded and ran the Thomas Aquinas Psychological Clinic in Encino, California, was a long time consultant to the College up until his recent death. Other leading mental health professionals in the field continue to advise the College.

Apparently, Dr. Jones is also unaware of the fact that the Catholic Medical Association of America has long endorsed therapy for unwanted homosexual attractions. Their booklet, Homosexuality and Hope, was first published in the 1990's and was updated in 2010. It is fully referenced to Science, Scripture, the Catechism and Magisterial writings. An online version may be read here:
[ More recently, the Catholic Medical Association of America agreed to endorse our statement on minors' right to therapy for unwanted homosexual attractions [3]. The Christian Medical & Dental Associations and the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons also signed the above therapy statement. Together our 4 organizations represent roughly 30 thousand physicians. Yes, we are a minority. However, the last time I checked, neither science nor morality is determined by majority vote.

Moreover, Dr. Jones is surely aware that all of the larger "mainstream" medical guilds that oppose therapy also oppose a physician's right to moral conscience, and are in full support of abortion on demand and many other Culture of Death policies. In other words, these larger organizations promote numerous positions, grounded in moral relativism and argued from flawed scientific studies, that are wholly incompatible with the Catholic faith. This, apparently, is of no concern to Dr. Jones, nor is it worth a note of caution to his fellow Catholics. Finally, with regard to the Gender Ideology Harms statement, all three of the authors, of which I am the first, are devout Catholics and lay apologists for the natural law. While I am a general pediatrician and married mother of four, my co-author Dr. Paul McHugh, has been described as the most important psychiatrist in the field in the last fifty years, and Dr. Quentin Van Meter is an academic and clinical pediatric endocrinologist affiliated with Emory University Medical School who has experience with children with gender dysphoria. As to why we have labelled the transition affirming protocol and the teaching of gender ideology itself child abuse, I refer Dr. Jones and readers to my recent article in the Daily Signal [4]

Here I demonstrate that gender ideology, which teaches all children that the social, chemical and surgical impersonation of the opposite sex is normal and healthful, promotes large-scale experimentation on children; experimentation that is permanently sterilizing many children, and placing them at risk for developing many serious physical and psychological disorders in the future. And this says nothing of the spiritual harm sustained by all.

Further information on gender identity issues in children may be found on the American College of Pediatricians website [5]

Thank you, Dr. Jones, for the opportunity to spread awareness of our organization overseas. The American College of Pediatricians welcomes international applicants.

Michelle A. Cretella, MD, FCP. President, The American College of Pediatricians, Protecting the Child, Preserving the Family, Honoring Life, The Best for Children.


  1. Jones D, 2017. The American College of Pediatricians statement on “gender ideology”: a note of caution. Catholic Medical Quarterly 6:(3). ../Aug/Comment-on-gender-ideology.html