Tuesday, December 05, 2006
"I am Changin'!" - Another Jennifer Holiday song.
Pictured, Sr. Mary Elizabeth, transgender nun of the Episcopal Church - someplace in the U.S.
Gerald of The Cafeteria Is Closed has a post on an Anglican priest who became a woman priest. What is so interesting in the post isn't the novelty of the transition, but what the Catholic Church has to say about such things. In short, they do not recognize sex change.
From Closed Cafeteria:
"After years of study, the Vatican's doctrinal congregation has sent church leaders a confidential document concluding that "sex-change" procedures do not change a person's gender in the eyes of the church.
Pictured, the British priest who is the subject of Gerald's post. I apologize that I think it's funny to see a man dressed as a woman. I realize such people have serious issues and I ought to be more compassionate.
Consequently, the document instructs bishops never to alter the sex listed in parish baptismal records and says Catholics who have undergone "sex-change" procedures are not eligible to marry, be ordained to the priesthood or enter religious life, according to a source familiar with the text....
"The key point is that the (transsexual) surgical operation is so superficial and external that it does not change the personality. If the person was male, he remains male. If she was female, she remains female," said the source.
"The altered condition of a member of the faithful under civil law does not change one's canonical condition, which is male or female as determined at the moment of birth," Bishop Gregory wrote.
The Vatican text defines transsexualism as a psychic disorder of those whose genetic makeup and physical characteristics are unambiguously of one sex but who feel that they belong to the opposite sex. In some cases, the urge is so strong that the person undergoes a "sex-change" operation to acquire the opposite sex's external sexual organs. The new organs have no reproductive function." - Closed Cafeteria - "Sex Change and Clergy"
Not at all related -Pictured, Minneapolis' embattled lesbian Fire Chief - she's not a sex change, believe it or not.
What is interesting to me is that there has actually been a policy in place for Bishops to deal with this sort of thing. While it is somewhat well known locally that a Bishop, now the head of a large Archdiocese in the mid-west permitted a transgender person to become a nun in Wisconsin a few years back.
When members of the faithful discovered this, they wrote to the Vatican and got the transgender nun removed. No penalties were imposed upon the Bishop however, nor was any explanation forthcoming as to why he permitted this.
I expect there is a pastoral loophole for just about everything though. Bishops can make mistakes too.
[Interesting side note, looking for transgender photos I came across a German do it yourself nip and tuck procedure - the site is called "Tucking" - view it at your own risk - contains clinical nudity, and don't go there if you have problems with chastity - I don't want mean comments. It is so not titillating however - no pun intended.]