Tag Archives: catholic

A Handy Religious Groups’ Transgender Acceptance Chart

The Pew Research Center has published a handy chart which details the transgender acceptance policies of several major United States religions. This may be used as a quick reference guide for transgender persons who are considering looking into a new or another religion.

There is much more specific information at the link below, including a separate chart showing the results of a survey conducted on 1,197 LGBT persons asking them how they feel society accepts them. Unsurprisingly, transgender persons reported by far the lowest rate of acceptance, with 80 percent of respondents reporting little or no support. (Thank you for the link, Lisa).

Source: Religious groups’ policies on transgender members vary widely | Pew Research Center

Pope Francis on Gender

Pope Francis Looking UpThis is not brand-new news, dear readers, as I try to investigate the news significantly now before just reblogging it and throwing links out. However, I have as of yet been unable to get a copy of the original text in which Pope Francis’ comments appear, to view them completely in context.

Because context does matter, and in some cases an argument could be made as a “devil’s advocate” or rhetorical position. However, in this case I have still found no credible evidence that this news isn’t prima facie correct.

Pope Francis appears to have indeed cast transgender persons as disruptive and destructive influences in this world, even to the point of being a threat to the faithful. The pontiff does not appear to delve into the scientific basis of transgender persons, nor does he address the many problems with classical interpretation of the Old and New Testaments. Rather, the statements appear to be somewhat cavalierly thrown out as appeals from authority.

In the book Francis calls us “Herods,” and puts us in the context with “nuclear weapons.”

But he then says that every historical period has “Herods” that “destroy, that plot designs of death, that disfigure the face of man and woman, destroying creation.”

“Let’s think of the nuclear arms, of the possibility to annihilate in a few instants a very high number of human beings,” he continues. “Let’s think also of genetic manipulation, of the manipulation of life, or of the gender theory, that does not recognize the order of creation.”

“With this attitude, man commits a new sin, that against God the Creator,” the pope says. “The true custody of creation does not have anything to do with the ideologies that consider man like an accident, like a problem to eliminate.”

“God has placed man and woman and the summit of creation and has entrusted them with the earth,” Francis says. “The design of the Creator is written in nature.”

These comments come after some lesser-publicized ones which he characterized “gender theory” as “ideological colonization.” (Certainly something the Catholic Church as never, ever, engaged in…right.)

Recounting the story of a public education minister he knew who was offered money to construct new schools for the poor, Francis said to receive the money, the minister had to agree to use a course book with students that taught gender theory.

“This is the ideological colonization,” the pope said. “It colonizes the people with an idea that changes, or wants to change, a mentality or a structure.”

“It is not new, this,” he continued. “The same was done by the dictators of the last century. They came with their own doctrine — think of the Balilla [youth groups of Fascist Italy], think of the Hitler Youth.”

I have to say that I am highly disappointed, but not surprised. I’ve studied the history of the Catholic Church, and despite the cheering evidence of greater tolerance from this pontiff, change in the Church – real and lasting change – only comes about over decades, centuries even. I’m not willing to write Francis off by any means, but I think we all need to remember that he is but a single Pope, and unless he is speaking ex cathedra, his statements are not automatically judged “infallible.”

Francis strongly criticizes gender theory, comparing it to nuclear arms | National Catholic Reporter.

Transgender Man Has Private Audience with Pope Francis

While I would very much like to report that Pope Francis has done more to directly foster acceptance towards transgender persons in the Catholic Church, this is a promising event. Diego Neria Lejarraga, a transgender man from Spain, first wrote to Pope Francis last year, and apparently what he wrote interested Pope Francis enough that Mr. Lejarraga was invited to a private audience.

Unfortunately we do not know exactly what Mr. Lejarraga and Pope Francis discussed, but Mr. Lejarraga is quoted as saying:

“This man loves the whole world,” Neria says of Pope Francis. “I think there’s not — in his head, in his way of thinking, discrimination against anyone. I’m speaking about him, not the institution.”

“But if this Pope has a long life, which all of his followers hope,” Neria says, “I think things will change.”

Transgender man: I met with Pope Francis | Entertainment – KCRA Home.

LGBTQ Children in Catholic Families: A Deacon’s View

PopeFrancis

This short essay is a good topic to highlight on Sunday, as it contains the story of how a Catholic permanent deacon successfully welcomed his transgender daughter into his family’s life. I will add however that Catholic permanent deacons are not quite the same as the main-line clergy of the Catholic faith – they can be married (if over age 35), and the wife of a permanent deacon can take a major part in the ministry as well, at a level much higher than Catholic women typically can.

That being said, permanent deacons often more directly touch the lives of the parishioners of a diocese than the established clergy, so they can have a much larger societal and social influence. So please read this short article, and if you are Catholic please see if it is something which you may want to forward (the original article, that is) to your deacon(s) as well.

LGBTQ Children in Catholic Families: A Deacon’s View of Holy Family Sunday | Bondings 2.0.

Murdered Transwoman is Given Amazing Respect by the Catholic Church

It may seem minor, but in reality, this is a “wow” moment. Andrea Quintero was homeless and desperate when she left Colombia for Italy, in search of a more accepting society, and the potential for meeting a man who would be kind to her and love her. But in Rome she found nothing but pain, accumulating injuries from beatings on the train platform where she lived. On July 29, 2013, her body was found on that platform, the result of a brutal beating. On that same day, Pope Francis said five words about homosexuality: “Who am I to judge?”

Andrea’s body was recovered by charity workers who wanted to give her a Catholic funeral. A Jesuit Priest opened the doors of one of the most prominent Catholic churches in Rome, and then something special happened – throughout her funeral service, the priest acknowledged Andrea as “she.” Something which the Catholic Church has never done before.

Father Giovanni La Manna, who helped organize Andrea’s funeral, is quoted thus:

“With Pope Francis, we have courage, we have enthusiasm. We have no excuse. We are called to open our hearts.”

This CNN link, where the story originated, has an excellent video, which is also heartbreaking.
Andrea_Quintero

Amazing change occurred at transgendered woman’s funeral | News – Home.

Embracing Transgender Equality, Inside and Outside Religious Communities

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The transgender community has made huge strides in acceptance among less-popular and so-called “sidestream” religions and denominations. This article by Kayley Whalen discusses some advances, and focuses on progress, but also tells some sad stories:

One Catholic trans woman I befriended recently had devoted her life’s work ministering to prisoners and youth, and when she came out to her priests privately, they said they supported her transition. However, when she came out publicly, her parish stripped away all of her ministries, and she is now working to re-build them independently. A gay transgender man I met had spent decades as a devout Baptist, but when he came out as trans he was publicly shamed, humiliated and thrown out of the congregation his family was part of. He then joined another congregation who accepted him as a gay man, but once they found out he was transgender, he was again publicly shamed and rejected.

Huffington Post – Embracing Transgender Equality, Inside and Outside Religious Communities