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?