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    Fr. Joseph Jenkins

  • The blog header depicts an important and yet mis-understood New Testament scene, Jesus flogging the money-changers out of the temple. I selected it because the faith that gives us consolation can also make us very uncomfortable. Both Divine Mercy and Divine Justice meet in Jesus. Priests are ministers of reconciliation, but never at the cost of truth. In or out of season, we must be courageous in preaching and living out the Gospel of Life. The title of my blog is a play on words, not Flogger Priest but Blogger Priest.

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Is Being Transgender a Sin?

QUESTION:

I am a teenager that’s questioning my gender. Is being transgender a sin? I was never really brought to church as a child and even when I was, they never brought this topic up. Sorry if this is a dumb question!

RESPONSE:

It is not a dumb question and I can well imagine that it never came up in religious formation.  While we discussed the issue of homosexual sin in seminary, I cannot recall a single instance of where we discussed gender dysphoria.  As for where the Church stands, I suspect that moralists would teach that you are locked into your birth-gender (meaning DNA) no matter how one might feel himself or herself to be.  I suppose that transgender issues would fit into the argumentation about disorientation.  The sense that you are a transgendered person is not a sin.  No one has the right to belittle you or to mock you.  Despite efforts by those who would socially engineer acceptance about the accompanying lifestyles and sexual expression, the Church would look at the disconnect between one’s physical integrity and personality as an instance of our brokenness or woundedness as human beings afflicted by original sin.  There is much that we might attempt to normalize and yet we must admit that life is often unfair and that we face many challenges to finding acceptance and happiness.  I cannot imagine what it feels like to be you.  It may be we try too much to define others and would best leave judgment to almighty God?  I believe that sexual congress belongs exclusively to men and women in marriage.  All the rest of us, single of whatever orientation and those who have vowed celibacy should live our states of life with modesty and chastity.  I would recommend that unmarried couples who seek a special bond with others do so in the context of sisterly and brotherly love.  We can expand the definition of family without a rupture of traditional moral law.  However you know yourself to be— know also that God loves you and thus his Church must also reach out to you with both truth and compassion.  The imitation of Christ would have us protect the sanctity of life and raise up the dignity and rights of persons.