Catholic Magisterial Teaching on Transgenderism

We tend to speak freely about LGBT issues, but in practice, most of the time, we’re really thinking LG(bt), with both bi- and trans afterthoughts – if we think about them at all. I would imagine that most of us like to think about ourselves as trans allies, but it’s difficult for us actively to promote issues we don’t really understand. Ideally, we need to allow trans activists to speak for themselves.

At “A Catholic Transgender” (Blogging about being transsexual at the intersection of Calvary and Rome)there’s a useful, systematic assessment of what the magisterium says about transgender (i.e., nothing), together with well argued rebuttals of the usual claims that the Church cannot approve or recognize gender transition.

Here’s the opening:

What Does the Catholic Church Actually Say About Transgenderism?

Table of Contents:


Despite what many people assume, the Catholic Church does not have an official teaching on transgenderism or transsexuality. The internet is ripe with very definite opinions from every corner of Catholicism denouncing a certain mythical conception of what transgenderism is, but on the Magisterial level the Church is frustratingly silent. (The Church is also silent about intersexed individuals).

There are three instances where the Church supposedly taught on the issue, and skeptical Catholics put these forward again and again as evidence for what they view as the incompatibility between transsexed individuals and Catholicism. I’ll address each instance separately. They are:

  1. Pope Benedict’s Christmas greeting
  2. The Catholic Catechism verse 2297
  3. “Sub-Secretum” document
    via The Catholic Transgender.

Follow the links for her full argument – then read her closing statement, a passionate plea for a Catholic dialogue on the issue – something sorely needed for all matters of sexuality and gender.

The blog appears to be a relatively new one, but I suspect that there will be much more useful material coming out of it.

It’s also worth checking out her sources – the post is clearly well – researched.


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