The Catholic Association
Ep. 268 Mary Margaret Olohan Deconstructs Gender Ideology and Fran Maier on the Body of Christ
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Episode Description

Out with a new book that is currently topping Amazon charts, Mary Margaret Olohan of The Daily Signal joins to discuss Detrans: True Stories of Escaping the Gender Ideology Cult. Revealing intimate details from actual young adults and teens who have detransitioned, the book offers a rare firsthand glimpse into the euphemism known as “gender-affirming care.”

Fran Maier, author of True Confessions, talks with us about the special role the laity have in being part of the body of Christ as we contemplate the ongoing Eucharistic pilgrimage. With more than 100 interviews with Catholics from bishops and clergy to lay men and women, his findings reveal why so many American Catholics continue to love the Church and cherish their faith despite today’s challenges.

Father Roger Landry offers an inspiring homily for this Sunday’s Gospel as we contemplate the Immaculate Heart of Mary this weekend.

Bios

Mary Margaret Olohan is a senior reporter at The Daily Signal covering cultural and political stories of the moment through video and print. She previously wrote for The Daily Wire and The Daily Caller News Foundation where she participated in the American Journalism Institute fellowship. Her work focuses on the protection of children’s innocence, struggles of biological women to maintain the integrity of their sports and spaces, and protection of the unborn, among others. A graduate of The Catholic University of America, she is proud to be the oldest daughter in an Irish Catholic family of eleven children.

Francis X. Maier is a senior fellow in Catholic Studies at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, Washington, D.C. He served for 23 years as senior aide and special assistant to Archbishop Charles Chaput in Denver and Philadelphia. He previously served 15 years as editor-in-chief of the National Catholic Register newsweekly and as a screenwriter and story analyst based in L.A. He earned a master of fine arts in film and television production from New York University, and won a fellowship in screenwriting with the American Film Institute in Los Angeles. He and his wife, Suann, were honored by Pope Francis in the Order of St. Gregory for extraordinary service to the church. They are parents to four children.

Father Roger Landry is a priest of the Diocese of Fall River, Massachusetts. He writes for numerous publications, speaks on radio and TV, and is the author of the book, Plan of Life: Habits to Help You Grow Closer to God. He is a graduate of Harvard and the Pontifical North American College in Rome, and was Attaché to the Holy See’s Permanent Observer Mission to the UN in New York. Father Landry is set to embark on the full 1500-mile Eucharist Pilgrimage this summer.

The following transcript is machine generated.

Episode 268 Transcript

GrazieHello friends, and welcome to Conversations with Consequences. And we are the radio show and podcast of the Catholic Association where we aim to change the culture one conversation at a time. You can listen to conversations with consequences on the EWTN Global Catholic Radio Network. We are also on Sirius XM Channel one. Of course, our radio show is always a podcast.
Go to the Catholic Association, Dawgs podcasts, or directly to wherever you listen to your podcasts. Welcome back to Conversations with Consequences. I'm your host host, Dr. Gracie Christie, and I'm very excited to welcome back an old friend of the show, Fran Maier. He's the author of True Confessions, but he's an editor. At first things and he's with the Ethics and Public Policy Center.
And he wrote a great piece in First things about the laity, the way they're the way they're placed in the church and what it means today. Right today. And in our modern church, which sometimes feels so complicated, it's wonderful to deepen our understanding of this, especially through the lens of someone as smart and wise as Fran Maier. So welcome to the show.
Fran MaierFran. Well, it's always great to talk to you. Gracie Conversations are always more interesting when you're actually talking to a friend, so I always welcome the opportunity to talk to you.
Grazieit's a giant treat. And and I'm glad that our listeners can listen in because I do find I find our conversations very edifying and also conversations that make connections heart to heart, which are so important for our human ecology. Right? The way that we exist in the world would be impossible without connection.
Fran MaierConnections is critically important. You know, the piece that you're mentioning was triggered by two things, actually. The first and most obvious one was that I got that a letter that I made Anonymous for the purposes of the column from a veteran priest friend of mine. The other reason that I wrote the piece was because one of the books that's really affected me over the years is Alistair McIntyre's book Dependent Rational Animals.
Now, the book is not, you know, poolside reading. It's a heavy going book.
GrazieEven the Times, even the title is a little strong.
Fran MaierYes. Yeah, yeah. But I mean, the point that he makes there is that human beings need virtue in order to be able to live in community. And we need to live in community because we're not solitary creatures. We need other people. And that's it very comfortably with the piece that I was writing, because what the priest argument was that, you know, this is a moment when the laity are actually more effective at witnessing the faith in many ways than the priesthood is.
The energy at the moment in the church is with the laity. That's kind of an obvious thing. But he was writing about it from the perspective of a priest who sees it in the field that the most effective evangelical witness in the field right now is from laypeople and, you know, particularly lay organizations and movements, because grace is, you know, they give you a communitarian sense.
I mean, they connect you to other people and you work with other people. That's a friendship that is developed in the in the actions that are taken and and that gets things done. And particularly right now, that's critically important because if you look at if you look at Western civilization, not Western civilization, but Western countries, you know, what we normally call Western in the sense of Europe and North America, the divorce rate, for example, is through the roof.
And in Portugal, it's 90%.
Grazie90%
Fran Maier90%. And in another and bunch of other European countries, it's it's well over. I mean, it's well over 50%, 70%, 60%. I think Francis 70%. Now, the United States is currently at 45%, which puts it in the bottom half, if you can believe it, of Western countries. In terms of the divorce rate. Now, what's the significance of that?
The significance of that is, is that those deep permanent relationships, I mean, a good marriage is simply a very intimate form of friendship. Those deep personal relationships are breaking down under the strain of all the technological changes that are happening, but also the nature of our economic life, which is constantly pushing radical individualism and personal satisfaction and personal autonomy.
And people just don't give themselves away any more. So I'm just fascinated with that idea of dependent, rational animals. We need each other. And the church, of course, is a family greatest community on earth, and we need each other as laypeople and evangelical witness. But we also need the priesthood because religious life, priesthood and the vocation all work as a community of love in advancing the work of the church.
So all that stuff really was rumbling around in my head as I was working on that column.
GrazieYour priest friend that wrote and you and you quoted him anonymously, he made the point that, like you say, the energies in these lay groups and he mentioned you mentioned a couple of groups in your piece, and I was reflecting on my own, my own faith experience in my family. And it's exactly it was almost right. It was almost reading about my own experience and our own family, because, for instance, my 20 year old son, who just finished his sophomore year of college, he got to college right after COVID and had been very withdrawn and alone through a large part of his senior year of his high school time.
When when that's the time than you. You become social, right? He gets there and he's immediately obviously I orchestrated it. I took him, I took him and I introduced him. But he he was immediately embraced by focus, the wonderful group Focus.
Fran Maieryeah, That's terrific.
GrazieWow. I cannot say enough good things about focus. It's been an experience to talk about constantly for him. For my son, he became immediately a part of a of a community who accepted him as he was at that time, which was not not a very social boy, very shy. And he has blossomed and flowered and his faith is so gorgeous to see.
And I'm so proud of him. And and and I'm watching this and I know that kind of blossoming and his and of his faith and of his personality wouldn't have happened if he was just going to church on Sundays and receiving the sacrament, as he should, and going to confession and doing all the right things that he does as a Catholic young man, he needed that community.
Fran MaierYeah, I think the focus is so effective precisely because people see in focus. I mean, if you're at the age of your son, people see in focus men and women who are on fire with the Lord, but who are also not weird and and very much in some ways very similar to themselves. And that identification really makes it a lot easier to build friendships and and kind of get the reinforcement of community that people my goodness mean people really need community right now.
GrazieAnd also and also young people are turning their back on the hedonistic environment of universities.
Fran MaierWhich doesn't lead anywhere.
GrazieWhich doesn't lead to community. Right. That doesn't lead to community.
Fran MaierYeah. I mean our culture right now in that what the point that I was trying to make with the divorce rates is, is that the culture that we have and look, I'm a capitalist. I believe in our economic system because my family and myself have done well by it. But there are real dark sides to it, too, in this heavy emphasis on consumer satisfaction and personal autonomy at an excessive degree breaks down community.
It fragments us into individual consumer units. And and the result is these permanent relationships and friendships that connect us as a community begin to break down because people are completely absorbed them selves. Organizations like Focus not only serve a purpose of evangelizing the world, but reassuring and locating people in the world who belong to the organization. If you if you're in focus, for example, or you're going through the Leonine forum or you're doing, you know, it does dozens of other apostle ads that are doing good work, you're secure in having a place in the world.
And there's a deep hunger for that in people because we're not going to be around very long. We're here for a very little while. And the first question people ask is, Well, why am I here and why do I have to die and where am I going and what is my life? And if you belong to these evangelical groups, I mean, I'm using that in a Catholic sense, like focus, for example, or you're involved in significant parish work.
You know what you're what your life is about. And you know, you're making a contribution that's going to have an existence beyond your personal life. And those are the things that make life good. You know, I'm look, I'm 75. I've had a 54 year marriage that I look back on and think, how in the name of God did I earn that?
GrazieThe point is your wife's complete kindness and generosity.
Fran MaierAbsolutely. But that was a gift to me, and I hope I give back to her. And what's the fruit of that? What we have, you know, four kids and 11 grandkids. And I mean, I can look at my life and say, okay, there was a fruitfulness to it. I don't know if I'm just this kind of autonomous consumer unit.
I just don't know what my life would mean. After getting to the point of being 75. It's just, okay, well, that was over. You know, into the trashcan. I mean, these these things, when you unpack a column like the one that I wrote and I hope people read it because I think it is worth reading at that piece.
And first things let me.
GrazieLet me say the title, because I don't think I mentioned it before is Faithful Laity, More Priests.
Fran MaierAnd there's a lot of going on behind my thinking in that it's this need for core community and fertility and action. And of course, it's focused primarily on the lay vocation, which is what you're doing right now. GRACY And this in the it's focused primarily on the label creation for the lay vocation as a part of the community of the church that we need to be constantly aware of, you know, the dignity of religious life, the importance of the priesthood.
I mean, how can we have a Eucharistic revival if we don't have priests, you know? So all these things fit together in the larger picture of the church in a way that was in my head when I was writing that.
GrazieSo it's it's the wonderful fertility of the of the lay organizations that form the people that join them. Right. There's a there's a source of formation there that they very often can't get at the parish that's simply not available at the parish continues formation a sense the community the friendships that they form, the common purpose that they have, they're able to create a life with this, with with with goals which they share with other people.
And all the other beautiful consequences of that. Right. And in the people's lives as they participate. But then that's nested from your piece, if I understand it correctly, that's nested necessarily in the church, which has to have the priests and the sacraments. Otherwise those movements don't actually produce fruit.
Fran MaierSo dry up, you know, they just dry up and they, they become action groups without a supernatural grounding or they can I think the priest that I got that email from is it is a very healthy and solid priest, but I would never want him to feel like his vocation is not worthwhile because laypeople are more effective right now.
The church goes through these periods where different gifts in the church are needed and therefore emphasized. Right now it's very important for the vocation to be recognized, fully understood by people and embraced and acted on. But it can't be seen outside the context of religious life and the priesthood.
GrazieIs that a danger? You think that's a danger? We run in this moment when the lay groups are so important?
Fran MaierI don't think that people who are active in lay groups ever misunderstand the importance of the priesthood. The point is, is that eventually you settle down, you have a family, you have to carry your vocation into recognizing that it's important to cultivate priestly vocations within our family. And I mean, I think that's one of the main functions that a family has, is that presenting the possible becoming a conduit for God's grace to young men, to at least consider the priesthood.
And that's a place that we fall down frequently. You know, I fell down in my own family. I mean, I had two sons that I talked about the priesthood with. Neither of them went forward with it. But, you know, I wasn't I didn't I don't think looking back, I presented it properly that I made it kind of a compelling and attractive path of life because I was busy with other things, you know, building my own career.
And I just assumed somehow that God would take care of that, you know, and and well, God will take care of it, but that's what you're there for. As a father, I'm just concerned about I don't want priests to ever think that their vocation lacks fertility, because at this moment in the church, delay vocation is so effective. And that was that was one of the things that I tried to address in the piece, too, is that deliberation is critically important.
And it's right. It's very important right now. And we need to understand that we can't delegate our vocation as evangelism to the priesthood. Like, you know, father knows everything. Father knows best. Now we own that witness responsibility. But that doesn't that doesn't in any way reduce the dignity or the importance of the priesthood. And one of our tasks as laypeople is in is cultivating that appetite among our children, among our young men.
GrazieWhen I always think one of the one of the biggest obstacles to to the production of new priests, of young priests, is that family sizes are so small. And if Catholics are having children at the same rate as the rest of the population, which is abysmal. And so maybe you don't have a son, maybe you only have a daughter, two daughters and then if you do have a son, he's your he's your one son and one does feel that you are giving your son over to the church is like this great gift.
And you say, well, no, but I would like children from my son to carry on the family name. And maybe people don't they don't think they think that way, but I'm pretty sure they do. I have three sons myself and I make the joke sometimes amongst my Catholic friends. Well, I have three sons. The church can certainly have one of them.
And they and they laugh and they look at me a little strangely. But I think that that's I think that's the way people use to think. My own great grandmother had 20 children. I'm sure she could have spared three or four sons for the church and still had young men to carry on the family finca in Cuba with her.
Yeah. As they grew.
Fran MaierYeah. You know, one of the things that I noticed when I was working on True Confessions, and I don't know to what degree the bishops I was talking to had really thought this through, but a number of them mentioned that a disproportionate number of their seminarians come from home schooling families. And I want to think about that for a moment because because A, the culture that kids are growing up in, as you know as well as anybody, since your mom is extremely selfish oriented and very intrusive.
And if you grow up in a homeschooling family, a healthy homeschooling family, you're kind of shielded from that and you're incorporated into this community of a family in a way that you learn instinctively the different functions that different people have in the in the family. And you're also much more open to the idea of service and commitment to other people.
And and so I find it to be really I find it to be really interesting that as families get smaller, as you indicated, the the the the idea of family families in encouraging priests, the priestly vocation kind of disintegrates. It's not a good situation. Have more kids everybody because it's worth it you know it's.
GrazieWell yeah and when you have a very small family you the parents attention is so laser focused on each child. And as a parent, because it's your natural function as a parent to to facilitate your child's upbringing. Right. And facilitate all their needs. You there's too much facilitation going on. There's zero challenges when you have two parents and two kids.
And I you see that. You see that in that kind of self self immersion.
Fran MaierYou remember Grace, You must have heard you must have heard the joke that you that, that your instinct you inevitably learned when you got more than two kids. You know, when you've got two kids, it's it's man to man coverage when you get to three above its zone defense and and and it's true I mean our daughter has seven kids seven of our 11 kids are from my daughter.
And there is no way, no way that you can be on top of every kid with a laser focus all the time. What you see developing, though, is an intense loyalty among the kids. yeah. And self-correction in that ecology is really interesting. I mean, in our case, we we have for one of our son, John is adopted because at one point we didn't think we're going to have any more kids because we went through a period where she was having just multiple miscarriages.
Graziehow hard.
Fran MaierI mean, and yeah, I mean, that's as you would well know, that's just really terrible, particularly for the woman. But when you have more than two, you do get into the zone defense thing and you do begin seeing as you get more children the development of kind of a group identity among the kids that that has its own peculiar and interesting ecology and psychology.
It's really interesting.
GrazieWell, they're very loyal. They are very loyal, as you say, to each other. And then and they and they they believe in the necessity of helping each other deeply. They understand it because they're they're they grow up like that. Right. Fetching. Fetching the baby. Fetching the baby. What the baby needs. I see. Will stop screaming.
Fran MaierYeah.
Yeah. I think behind the look, there are good reasons for some people, for health reasons, to have fewer kids. I understand that and respect that completely. For course, there are there are physical problems that prevent it. You know, one of our daughters in law, wonderful Catholic woman, has health problems that have really interfered with that. So that's those are separate issues.
But the culture at large has this fear of life, fear of fertility. And it's irrational because the human, the human creature is made for it, for fertility. And if we don't get that, we have very miserable lives.
GrazieYou know, let me press you. Let me press you on that. Fran, where do you think that that fear comes from? Because life has never been here in the West. Life has never been more secure. We have never been more pain free. We have never had longer lives. We we have never had such prosperity in our day to day.
I mean, none of us most of us don't live a subsistence lifestyle. That was the norm for 99% of humanity forever and ever. Where is this fear coming from of children?
Fran MaierWell, I want to go back to the comment I made about consumer capitalism. When you're focused on more and, you know, we're not a manufacturing economy anymore, we're a consumer economy. The point is, is that in a service economy, that if if the if what's driving your economy is more for me and you need that, you need to cultivate constantly new appetites.
And when you do that, your focus is entirely outside the future. It's on the now and on me. Number one, that's a lie. You're not very important. I'm not very important. We're not going to be here long enough to be important. The we can make important contributions in the sense that we contribute to the future through our children or through public witness, that we make.
But individually, the only people that we're really important to our immediate family and God and God's the one that guarantees are our dignity, not the economy, and certainly not the government.
GrazieYou know, I mean, God forbid.
Fran MaierYeah, yeah. So I think the problem is, is that we don't think long term anymore. We can't imagine the future because we've repudiated the past. The past is baggage on the present. You know, it gets in the way of us in our own mind. The past gets in the way of our doing new things. We're it comes along with mortgages and obligations and we don't want any of that.
But when you do that and you focus purely on the present, you also forget the future. You don't have a sense of contributing to a long, an ongoing narrative. Now think about that in Catholic terms. Just like Judaism, Christianity is a multi millennia narrative. We sit in the story and that's our meaning. You know, you and I play a part that's an important part in the ongoing story of salvation.
Yes. And if if, if it's the story is just about us, it's a pretty puny, idiotic story. We're part of something that has a nobility above ourselves. And it's a delight and a privilege to be part of that. And the more we realize that and embrace that and contribute to it, then the more fertile we feel, the more fertile we feel, the happier we are.
And all that's been repudiated in the West, you know that.
GrazieAnd that consumerist attitude is a zero sum game, right? What I what I have to give to my child is something I didn't give myself.
Fran MaierLet's get back to your point about, you know, to kids. Why do people only have two kids forgetting about the physical and psychological reasons that are legitimate? Okay, It's because of money. It is money is at the center. It's money is at the center of everything in this economy. Look, money's important, but it's not the centerpiece of life.
In those first moments when when a mother and a father greet their new child. That's what life is about.
GrazieExactly. Yeah. And the school feels will take care of themselves. Or you can homeschool.
Fran MaierIt's truly the case, you know? I mean, when. When Sue and I got married, and I don't know what your circumstances were, but. But they're different for everybody. But, you know, I just said, Wow, I want that and I'm going to do whatever I need to do to get it. You know? I mean, because Sue is the kind of person that I just thought I really I love her and I'm going to just do whatever I need to do to make life good.
That just seemed to be normal for me and for for a lot of people of my generation that's kind of gone out the it's kind of reduced. It's not completely gone out the window, particularly in religious families. This idea of marriage as a contract and the terms have to be financially adequate in order for it to work. I mean, that's just not.
GrazieThat's not it's not romantic.
Fran MaierYou know.
GrazieIn the best sense of the term in Christian romance, Right?
Fran MaierNo, it's exactly right. I mean, boy, what a great point that is. I mean, there is a romance to life, a happiness, you know.
GrazieA nobility, a romance in the noble sense.
Fran MaierAn adventure that gets, you know, that gets that you don't manufacture, that you become part of, you know, And when your life is.
GrazieAnd when you look back at periods in your life where where things were scanty materially, you don't remember any sadness around that, any real disappointment around that. You you remember the the adventure of of managing. I always tell my my children that I got married at 23 and for my 30th birthday, my husband and I went shopping and bought me a new dress.
And that was I. That was my first new dress.
Fran MaierYeah. Yeah.
GrazieAnd I was so happy.
Fran MaierYeah. And it wasn't like you. I'm sure you didn't feel like, Boy, I'm so miserable.
GrazieNever. I don't ever remember feeling. I remember feeling happy about the new dress, but I don't remember feeling sad about the hand-me-downs. Yeah.
Fran MaierWhat's the heart of what? What we're just talking about here? It's because what you were engaged in was something that you shared fully and intimately with your husband. Yes. And the two of you were pulling in the same direction and creating something together, not separately, as kind of independent, you know, independent consumer union units that happened to sign a contract to produce predictable results.
There's nothing predictable about marriage. I mean, it's just except the happiness that you get from from sacrificing for each other, that it's a blank sheet. You and God are going to fill it in ways that you're never going to even imagine, you know? But all of what we've been talking about comes back to this point, I think, of us being dependent on each other.
We're not really independent, we're not really autonomous. We have a certain amount of personal freedom of action in our life, and that can be very important in terms of the choices that we make. It is very important in terms of the choices we make. But this idea that we're somehow independent and autonomous, that's heavily exaggerated and we need each other and we depend on each other.
And how does that translate into the church, churches and ecology of three different forms of life the lay vocation, the priesthood, religious life, consecrated life. And again, to come back to the beginning, I mean, we're in a moment when the when the importance of the vocation can't be underestimated. You know, each of us as individuals need to do our best to reinforce one another and to and to witness Jesus Christ.
What you're doing right now, quite apart from your medical profession, which is in itself is a phenomenal form of witness, Just having these radio conversations is really important because you're a layperson asking another layperson, both of whom are married, you know, about how you talk about the church and other people listening to that hopefully will will take heart from it, because there's a lot of joy in the life that you've had.
Grace know a lot of fertility as a friend, I know that I can sure. You know, witness to it in my own life. I don't know what I do. I'll be a pretty miserable person, actually, because I know myself pretty well. If I didn't have Sue Ann and the kids and the response abilities that have grown up out of that intimate relationship.
So that's part of a larger narrative of the church in her various forms, trying to, you know, advance the gospel for one more generation and then one more after that, one more after that, until the Lord returns and that's the kind of mentality we've got to get. We're putting blocks into place that will be stood upon by the next generation that'll continue the story in a particular circumstances that they face, which I can't imagine, you know.
GrazieSo that's that's the perfect place to end. Fran, with with hope, hope for the future. And and your wonderful wise words, too, to help us get there in the way that God expects us to get there. Right. Singing, singing songs of joy, even amongst our tribulations.
Fran MaierYes. One of the things people need to remember is that if they think it's bad now, the good news, it's been a lot worse.
GrazieAbsolutely.
Fran MaierYes. And God has brought us through. So, I mean, whatever the challenges are now, it's silly to not have hope because there's massive evidence that God is still with us.
GrazieWell, thank you, friend. Mayor, author of True Confessions and editor at First Things. And his piece that you should look up is the faithful laity, more priests and first things.
Fran MaierThank you. God bless you, Gracie. You bet.
GrazieWelcome back to Conversations with Consequences. I'm your host is Dr. Gracie Christie. And joining us next is Mary Margaret Houlihan of The Daily Wire, who is out with a new book called Trans True Stories of Escaping the Gender Ideology Cult. I just finished it right before I picked up the phone to call Mary and it's it's a wonderful book and I'm so glad to have her on.
So welcome to the show, Mary.
Mary Margaret OlohanThank you so much for having me. It's so great to be here.
GrazieSo your book, The Trans True Stories of Escaping the Gender Ideology, called is a book that delves into the the actually what it looks like on the ground when when when a young person gets sucked into into that terrible vortex of gender ideology and how they emerge on the other side, it's very personal. You you obviously have you conducted interviews in which very intimate things were related to you.
And you do a wonderful job putting all that together for us in a way that's very impactful and rather shocking.
Mary Margaret OlohanWell, thank you so much. I chose to tell the stories in this way because my thought was that these are stories that establishment media and most media, frankly, is not interested in sharing. And I felt that, you know, while they might be able to occasionally get their voices out in a short news hit on conservative media, this could be a really good format for detransition ers to share their their stories in a very vulnerable and intimate way and allow people on both sides of the aisle to evaluate them and decide for themselves how they feel about it.
Because I truly believe that these stories are the probably the best weapon in combating gender ideology and for keeping our kids safe.
GrazieAs in many difficult topics. It's the personal story, right? The the actual experience of somebody who has lived through the process that has such a great impact on the casual reader, the casual viewer. And as you say, these stories of detransition or people who regret their foray into gender ideology and trying to live and exist as the other sex, it is these stories that are very often ignored and marginalized in the media.
What is your experience on that? On the way that the trans stories and people are pushed aside?
Mary Margaret OlohanWell, my experience started in around 2028, 2021 when I was reporting a story on gender affirming care. And that's a euphemism, as I'm sure we know, for transgender surgeries, hormones and puberty blockers. You know, as a reporter, I know that not everyone's going to agree that these are harmful to children. However, I think that Americans and people of all all countries deserve to have the facts when it comes to this topic, because we're talking about attempts to change people's biology.
It tends to change people's gender. And that's a very serious topic, especially when we're talking about children. And so I.
GrazieAnd if I might say, Mary, especially in the sense that all of us are expected to go along with it unquestioningly, and all of us and all of us are touched by it on some level, even if we feel that we're very removed.
Mary Margaret OlohanRight. And I was seeing around 2021 that there were lawmakers in states across the country that were starting to introduce legislation and such as the SAFE Act that would protect children from these procedures. And as I was covering this, I noticed that all of these mainstream media outlets were saying very strange things when they talked about this legislation.
They would say things like, Republicans are trying to ban lifesaving care for trans youth, or Republicans are trying to ban gender affirming care for trans youth. And in their stories, they would say the regret rate for transition is less than 1%. And then they would say other things such as, you know, that these procedures were not for children under 18.
Now, all of this is a very coordinated effort to make this more palatable to the public because, first of all, gender affirming care is a euphemism. It's designed to sound happy. It's designed to sound loving. But we're talking about transgender surgeries, hormones and puberty blockers. So we shouldn't just say that we should not be calling it life saving care, because we know for a fact that many people who decide to undergo this treatment suffer intensely, both mentally and physically and tragically.
In some cases, they take their lives on and you know it even further. These stories will always cite this supposed regret rate of less than 1%. Well, what they're saying there when they pull out that statistic is that less than 1% of transgender people regret their transition, meaning that the people that they polled identify as transgender. So, of course, they're not going to regret their transition because they identify as transgender.
So it's it's absurd. And, you know, when it comes to Detransition, the number of detransition those who are out there, we don't actually know because for Detransition it was to be counted and to be considered, they have to go back to their doctors and say, I wish that I didn't do this. I wish that you didn't put me through these horrible surgeries and hormones.
And I'm no longer living as a transgender person. And if they do that, that's something akin to a person who is abused going back to their abuser and saying, I wish that you didn't abuse me, because these are people who have been through very traumatic experiences. They had to kind of come to grips with the fact that they were lied to.
They're betrayed and were told.
GrazieAnd would these practitioners any way be at all receptive if they if they're if they're bread and butter and their entire ideology, their ideological structure in their heads is all towards accommodating the this this attempt. No are creating this this attempt to change sex as though that were possibly they would not be receptive right to somebody who said, I'm back at it.
Let's let's reverse course and go backwards.
Mary Margaret OlohanExactly. They're not receptive. And because some of these people that I spoke with for my book told me that they did try and go back to their doctors and say, look, I need help. This was obviously the wrong call for me. I don't feel better. What should I do? And the doctors, one of the doctors told one of the Detransition ears in my book Able, I think this is just part of your gender journey, which Abel found incredibly insulting because he was going back to this doctor and saying, I think that everything you told me was a lie and I think it's all wrong.
And I think that my life has been kind of fundamentally altered because of all of this. And the doctor all the doctor could say was this very trite. I think this is part of your gender journey. So and in some cases, to what the doctors will say is we don't know how to help you. And that is so incredibly demoralizing for these tribes sisters who have been through so much because they've been told that all of this is, you know, tried and true and it's safe and effective when in reality these procedures are anything but.
They're experimental. We don't fully know the impacts of the hormones on the human body, especially on someone who is still in their early teens going through puberty. But they're sold to these young people who are trying to transition, as, you know, safe, effective. You know, you can become a boy even though we said no as rational human beings, that men cannot become women and women cannot become that.
GrazieOne thing that's clear to me as a physician is that these are barbaric procedures and barbaric hormonal attacks that we would not tolerate as as medical professionals under any other guys than than that of this ideological purpose. I mean, I don't tolerate them at all. And I know most doctors I know don't tolerate them either. But the doctors that do, you could only maybe compare it to the cosmetic surgery industry, which I see the results of this every day in my work as a radiologist.
I see the terrible mess up to now from the people who insisted on having more silicone injected into their butts, for instance. And but it's it's even worse than the cosmetic surgery industry because it purports to be medical. The cosmetic surgeons don't tell you that there's a good reason for you to have bigger breasts, for instance. Right. They just say, well, that's what you want.
That's what I'm here to do. But on the gender side, doctors and all the crew that work around them, they're they're performing barbaric things and they're calling it medicine. And not just cosmetic medicine, but real medicine that is going to solve some some deep seated misalignment inside this human being.
Mary Margaret OlohanAnd I think that on a there's a sort of a spiritual promise to all of this on top of what you're saying. And not a lot of these transitions told me that it wasn't just that they were told that this would cure them of their gender dysphoria. Once they were living as a boy, they were told that they would be happy, that they would obtain happiness through these procedures.
And I found that to be really disturbing, that there was this kind of spiritual promise being made to these young people. Which part of the reason I used the word cult in the subtitle, because it does have a very cold like tone to it when these these medical professionals are saying you will be happy if you undergo these procedures.
Not just that their life would, you know, their health would change or their their body would change.
GrazieReading, reading your book, I also got this cult feeling around the way you describe the what they call the transgender community, which is sort of this I don't know. It's hard to even I mean, you do such a good job of explaining it, but why didn't you explain it? What's the transgender community like?
Mary Margaret OlohanYeah, it's very cultlike in that a lot of these people, first of all, they identify as transgender. They're living as a transgender person. They have a very vested interest in helping other people to identify as transgender.
GrazieIncluding.
Mary Margaret OlohanChildren, spouses as including children, especially children. There's this myth that, you know, trans youth are persecuted and that they're, you know, they can't figure out who they are because most of the time their parents aren't open and accepting. So there's this idea that transgender adults need to help transgender youth to figure themselves out and to find them and identify them and put them on the right path, which is very disturbing when you think about it, that there are adults who are vigilantly looking for young people to, quote unquote, help them to figure out who they are.
And I think, unfortunately, that's just a reality for many parents, how it is that they need to understand that there are adults looking for children to help them identify as transgender.
GrazieAnd they're out there and they're all over social media. Right. And area areas of social media that I don't know that I've never heard, that I've never a down, thank God, but that young people do exactly.
Mary Margaret OlohanThey're areas of social media that most adults have no understanding of, no comprehension of. They're not on. But if your child has a cell phone, odds are your child is in those spaces, especially if they're some of the more popular ones. The odds are that these adults are in these places and they're doing their best to help young people to come across their content and be interested.
So for example, on Snapchat, this is a platform that I think that a lot of people don't realize is is more dangerous. You know, it seems to just be a platform where kids can send each other pictures. And of course, we already know that there's been some backlash over Snapchat and people sending each other inappropriate pictures. But I think some parents might think, okay, well, if my kid is on Snapchat, they're only Snapchatting their friends, it's fine.
Well, unfortunately, Snapchat has a whole feature where if you swipe left, there's all these news stories that kids can access. And these supposedly news stories are actually just little snippets funded by Planned Parenthood, like led by the ACLU, these activist groups. And they're literally are just there to give your kids information that they want to give them under auspices of being cool and trendy and newsy.
And I have seen and I've had people send me different stories that Snapchat will put out there on really inappropriate conversations for kids such as masturbation, polyamory troubles, abortions, all kinds of things that they're trying to put into young people's hearts and minds and to make them aware of these things that their parents probably have no would not want their kids to be talking about or even thinking about.
And so through platforms like this, these gender activists are really trying to subvert parents. They're trying to plant ideas and young kids heads, and in some cases, tragically, it's effective. Some of these kids are starting to believe if they're if they're struggling at school, they're feeling lonely, awkward, hopeless, alone, that maybe it's because they're not a girl. They're actually a boy like the people online are saying.
And many of these people, the gender activist online, will also kind of show these young people a route towards being relevant. You know, that's something that very young kids struggle with, especially in high school, of wanting to be cool, wanting to be popular, wanted to be unique, and where you don't feel like any of those things and someone offers you a path to being a persecuted trans youth who you know is so brave for coming out as who they really are.
And you get loved bombed and so much attention and, you know, so much positive feedback from these transgender communities. It's no surprise that a lot of young people are being drawn to this.
GrazieYou pull out you pull out some interesting common threads, too, that I think people need to be aware of. Things like autism spectrum. They a lot of poor, a lot of these poor young people are on the autism spectrum at some level, which makes sense, right, of your if you're if you have some autistic characteristics, you're not relating normally to peers at school and you're suffering intensely and you're wondering why, what's wrong with me?
You also mention another common thread is there's a kind of degraded sexual or dating environment that, yeah, that has a lot to do that's also very infected with pornography and children. Girls are being exposed to this at a very young age and getting these ideas about sexuality, which without even knowing what sexuality is to start with, like what's a normal sexual, healthy, loving relationship?
What other comment? So those are two common threads that I picked up. What are what are some other common threads that we should be looking for in this in this cult?
Mary Margaret OlohanWell, I think typically the kids that are susceptible to this are from families that are not practicing a faith. Of course, you know, it's possible that this will happen to a kid and even the most faithful, secure family, unfortunately, we've seen that. But I think in terms of the trends that I noticed, typically the young person is a family that's not practicing a faith.
They're not playing sports. They're not involved with the community very much. Their parents may be going through something, such as the mother is an alcoholic or, you know, the parents are struggling with their relationship or they're getting divorced or one parent is having an affair. And for many of the young people I spoke with, they were very lonely.
They felt like they didn't fit in at school. They didn't have a lot of friends. They were on the autism spectrum, like you said, but they may not have been diagnosed. And for some of them, actually, there's been research that has found that some young people who identified as transgender tried to transition if they had no they were on the autism spectrum, they would have felt that a lot of their questions about themselves would have been answered and they wouldn't have been interested in trying to transition.
But they did not receive such a diagnosis. And so they were wondering what is going on with me? Like, why am I not this way or that way? It must be because I'm trans like these activists are saying.
GrazieMary Margaret, I'm very sorry to say that we're out of time. But I looked over at the clock and I can't believe it's gone so fast. Your book is Trans True Stories of Escaping the Gender Ideology Cult. I highly recommend it to our listeners because it's it's it's done on a on a very personal and intimate level following several poor young people who've been drawn into this cult and then have tried to emerge and have tried to emerge in all the difficulties they've gone through.
And as I mentioned before, all these common threads, and thank you for making us all aware of this through your book. Obviously we can buy your book on the usual platforms. Where can we read or see more of your work?
Mary Margaret OlohanYou can find the book on Amazon. You can see more of my work at Daily Signal dot com or follow me on X. Very Marg all here.
GrazieWell, thank you so much, Mary Margaret.
Mary Margaret OlohanThank you. Thanks so much for having me.
GrazieAnd now Father Roger Landry offers us, as is customary, a short and inspiring homily to prepare us for this Sunday's gospel.
Fr. LandryThis is Father Roger. Children. It's a privilege for me to be with you as we enter into the consequential conversation the Voyages wants to have with each of us this Sunday, when we return to the Sundays of ordinary time in which Jesus will describe for us the work of the Devil, His own response to the devil and what he wants our response to be in the Gospel.
Various of Jesus cousins came to sees him claiming he's out of his mind. They evidently couldn't understand why he would leave his job in Nazareth, surround himself by a bunch of fishermen, tax collectors, zealots and others, and preach in such a way that many of the religious leaders at the time, the scribes, Pharisee, Sadducees and eventually the high priests, would turn on him to have him killed.
No one could deny his miracles and exorcisms, but many of the scribes accused him of doing his work through black magic, casting out the little demons we could save by the power of the great Demon. The evil one had gotten Jesus critics, even some of his relatives, to begin to believe the lie that Jesus work was diabolical rather than divine.
Jesus answered them quite clearly, cutting to the heart of the devils technique of dividing and conquering. How can Satan drive out Satan? Jesus said, If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom can't stand. The powerhouse is divided against itself, that house won't be able to stand. And if Satan has risen up against himself in is divided, he cannot stand.
The devil is the divider. Jesus is saying and would never permit his infernal kingdom to be divided because one is because then his plans would be defeated. He would never turn his principal weapon against himself, just as he did with Adam and Eve. The devil continues to try to work his plan of division to divide us from God through sin, to divide us from mother, to divide husbands and wives, to divide families, to divide countries into a terrible partizanship to divide the church into various labels like liberals and conservatives, social justice versus pro-life Catholics, to divide us on music, to divide us on which priest we prefer to divide us any and every way he
can. Jesus prayed during the Last Supper that we might be one, just as he and the father of one. The devil seeks to make us a bunch of isolated, unhappy monads like we see the devil's divulge in a possessed man elsewhere in the Gospel who said we are legion, for there are many of us. But Jesus is stronger than the devil.
He came into this world as a stronger man, to use his phrase from the Sunday's gospel, in order to bind the strong man of the devil and divide the spoils. The other Leah verse before the gospel, we will sing out about how he does so. Now the ruler of the world will be driven out. Jesus says in one I am lifted up from the earth.
I will draw everyone to myself. Jesus exercises the devil by means of his crucifixion when he was lifted up on Calvary, but in the very same action of expelling the devil, he's attracting us to himself to defeat the devil. Jesus wants to draw us to Him in three ways. The first is through repentance and mercy. In the middle of this Sunday's gospel, Jesus talks about the unforgivable sin, telling us all sins and blasphemies that people utter will be forgiven them.
But whoever blasphemed against the Holy Spirit will never have forgiveness, but is guilty of an everlasting sin. What is the sin of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit? The catechism of the Catholic Church describes that it is in penitence, which means either a failure to recognize our need for God's mercy or to doubt whether God has the power to forgive our sin or to fail to repent and come to receive his mercy.
There are no limits to the mercy of God, the catechism declares in paragraph 1864. But anyone who deliberately refuses to accept his mercy by repenting rejects the forgiveness of his sins and the salvation offered by the Holy Spirit. He only said God won't forgive is in essence a sin. We won't allow him to forgive because we, like the devil, seek to hold on to our sin rather than let him take away our sins and the sins of those in the world.
So the first response we need to have is a great love for the sacrament of penance, but which Jesus, the stronger man, binds the devil and divides the spoils, allowing us to begin anew a life of freedom. The second response is by associating ourselves with our Lady. Remember from the Genesis account of original sin that God said to the devil, I will put enmity between you and the woman, between your offspring and hers.
He describes the scorn that Jason as Mother Mary Jesus would repeatedly call woman because in Calvary would make her the mother of all the living would have for the slithering serpent. Yesterday Saturday, the church celebrated the memorial of the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and we were able to celebrate how her heart was full of God and free of sin.
Immaculate literally means without stain. From the first moment of her life in her immaculate conception, she had this total enmity for the evil one. She wants us to have the same. Our second response to the devil and his desire to divide us from God, others and within ourselves, to entrust ourselves to our Lady, to her prayers, and to ask her help that we have the same scorn for the devil, all his evil works and all his empty promises.
The third response is obedience to God. In this Sunday's Gospel in the crowd said to Jesus, Your mother and your brothers and sisters, meaning his male and female cousins, because there's no distinction in the terms for relatives in the spoken Aramaic of Jesus. They are outside asking for you. Jesus replied that his mother, brothers and sisters are composed of those who do the will of God.
This wasn't a put down as Mary, but Jesus greatest praise of his mother. Mary was one whose whole life could be defined by her response to the Archangel at the Annunciation. Let it be done to me. According to your word, her whole life was a Fiat and they many. Yes. And she seeks to help us to respond to the Lord this way.
We know that the devil's great theme song is non Servia. I will not serve, I will not obey. He seeks to bring us to distrust, to disobey audience, to disunity and to definitive self alienation. Or hell, the response of a Christian is rather Servia the desire to hear the Word of God always as a word to be lived.
It's to say yes to God not no Jesus came from heaven to earth, to found a family, a functional family, all of whom seem to help each other, to put cheek, to help each other, to put God saving more into practice, to do and follow his example, to love one another as he has loved us first. Ultimately, it means to put into practice Jesus Commander in the Last Supper to do this in memory of Him, especially during the ongoing Eucharistic revival.
It's key to grasp for the mass is the great means to live the realities Jesus describes in this Sunday's gospel, the Eucharist. Jesus is indeed out of his mind in two senses. First, He was out of his mind by acting in of worldly logic. He's out of his mind to leave heaven to take honor. Humanity is out of his mind, to allow himself to be rejected and ultimately murdered by his creatures.
But he's out of his mind, most, most in humbly hiding himself under the appearances of bread and wine, the expression out of his mind in Greek means, more precisely, out of himself and the Holy Eucharist. Jesus is indeed not thinking about himself at all, but about us in the Eucharist. We receive him the self-identified stronger man in the shocking appearance of humility and weakness.
But as to our Holy Communion with Him, that He seeks to make us in all of our frailty strong in him. He does so by helping us to embrace the cross by which he defeated the devil and divided the spoils. To pick up an instrument of crucifixion would make us seem out of our minds. But we know what Saint Paul that the cross is indeed the power and the wisdom of God, the source of strength and knowledge, because it makes it possible for us to love.
We also know that by means of Holy Communion with Jesus, He seeks to make us the church, his mystical body and bride truly strong in unity as we pray at mass. One body, one spirit in Christ. That's why the devil hates the man so much, tries to divide us, even in our approach to the sacred liturgy, getting us not to attend as five of six failed to do in the U.S. and having us focus more when we do attend on the language we use or the orientation of the altar or the posture with which we receive Holy Communion.
Instead of focusing fundamentally on the Word of God and adoringly in lovingly receiving the word made flesh. It's in the celebration of the most Holy Eucharist that we cry out for God's mercy, saying, I confess. And Kyrie lays on turning to the LAMB of God who takes away the sins of the world and asking him to have mercy on us for granting us peace.
It's in mass that we pray together with Mary and the whole church. So we listened attentively to the Word of God, obediently acting on what Jesus told us to do. Doing this in memory of Him, not just by celebrating Mass, but learning from his self-giving how to say to others, This is my body, this is my blood, sweat, tears given out of love for you.
It mass is where the whole church prays as a family lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. It's where Jesus, the stronger man wants to draw us to Him in his passion, bind within us whatever seeks to harm us and fill us with himself. Because you're here this hour, we'll be on day 22 of the 65 day national Eucharistic pilgrimage.
We will have mass, followed by a Eucharistic procession at the Basilica, the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, which I believe is the most beautiful and comprehensive church built to the blessed Mother in the world. Please know my prayers for you there as we pilgrims in behalf of the whole church and our country, ask through Mary's intercession have the same and many she did against the devil in the same love she did for the Lord Jesus, whom she cherished for nine months in her room and church.
Just as much when she received him a new within her. At the post Ascension Mass is celebrated by Saint John and the other priest of the early church. We ask her to to intercede for us so that we may be just as out of our mind as she in the blessed fruit of her womb. Or God bless you.
GrazieThank you so much, Father Landry. To hear more of Father Landry's homily, please visit Catholic preaching income and to follow him on the Eucharistic pilgrimage route dedicated to Saint Elizabeth Seton, please visit Seton Pilgrimage talk. And with that, we leave you for our prayers for a wonderful week for you and your families.