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Catholic World News

US bishops’ committee to offer guidelines on transgendered vowed religious

July 03, 2024

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CWN Editor's Note: The chairman of the US bishops’ Committee on Canonical Affairs and Church Governance said that the committee will offer a “clear analysis that will give the doctrinal and canonical guidelines” on the religious life and persons who describe themselves as transgender.

“The initial consensus” of committee members is “that it’s not really possible for a (transgender) person to be admitted to the role of a hermit or consecrated life if they are not repentant of what they’ve done,” said Bishop Thomas Paprocki of Springfield, Illinois, the committee’s chairman.

In May, Brother Christian Matson, a diocesan hermit in the Diocese of Lexington, Kentucky, came out as transgender. Matson, a critic of Catholic teaching on gender ideology, “transitioned” in 2006, converted to Catholicism in 2010, was declined admission to the Jesuits and other religious communities, and was accepted as a vowed diocesan hermit by Bishop John Stowe.

Bishop Paprocki said he did not foresee a need for Vatican consultation, since “Pope Francis has made some very clear statements,” and the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith’s recent document Dignitas Infinita “has some very clear sections on gender ideology.”

“You also have a question of why is a hermit going public with making statements, when you can see the very nature of eremitical life is to withdraw and to dedicate yourself to a life of private prayer with God,” Bishop Paprocki added. “And so it seems that someone who is claiming to be a hermit and then is giving public interviews — it really raises some serious questions about the seriousness of that person’s commitment to this way of life.”

The above note supplements, highlights, or corrects details in the original source (link above). About CWN news coverage.


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