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Transgenderism – An Apology

I want to apologize.

Back in 2015 I attended a conference hosted by Courage, a Catholic apostolate for persons with same-sex attraction and their families. One of the talks during that conference was by Deacon Patrick Lappert, MD, a plastic surgeon, about the Catholic perspective on Transgenderism and gender reassignment surgery. At the time I was really impressed with his presentation and argument. I took notes and after I got home I found a similar talk he gave a year or two before. I naively felt confident enough to teach others about the Church’s position on this incredibly complex issue. And I was wrong.

Two articles this past week caught my attention. The first article was shared by Deacon Greg Kandra about a 15 year old, Maxine Arbelo, who said that she was denied Communion at her parish in Charlotte, North Carolina because she is transgender. The diocese said that she was denied the sacrament because she was chewing gum during Mass (violating the one hour fast before receiving Communion), but Maxine’s mom said that after Mass she was told by a Eucharistic minister that her daughter was living in sin.

This story got me thinking. What exactly about someone born male presenting themselves as a female is grave enough to be a mortal sin? What about someone going through hormone therapy in order to present themselves as a different gender?

Around the same time I was having these discussions Crux published an interview with a Catholic bioethicist on this very topic titled, “Ethicist says Church teaching on gender ‘not incompatible’ with accepting trans identity.” Here, Charles Camosy interviews respected ethicist, David Albert Jones, about his recent research on Transgenderism and the practice of gender reassignment surgery.

The whole interview is well worth the read, but there were three points that especially stood out to me.

Read the rest at Where Peter Is….

Paul Fahey is a husband, father of four, and professional lay person. He writes for Where Peter Is and Diocesan.

5 Comments

  • Peter Aiello

    If two women are sexually attracted to each other, and one of them changes her appearance hormonally and surgically to that of a man, will the Church marry them? Does she now qualify as male in the eyes of science and the Church?

      • Peter Aiello

        Paul: I agree with your “No” answer. Then this means that the Church defines male and female as what you are biologically born with; and that there is no real gender change in spite of hormones and surgery.

        • Paul

          So what makes someone male or female, their reproductive organs? The level of hormones in their system? Their chromosomes? What about the people in the world who are healthy adults with female organs but XY chromosomes? The biology of gender is very complicated.

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