Can parish priest tell you to feminize a confirmation name?

My parish priest is telling me that I can’t be confirmed unless I feminize the name of the saint I’ve picked for confirmation, St. Joseph, to Josephine. Is there any official Church teaching I could privately share with him before confirmation? (He asked me to see if I could find anything official that shows it is okay for a woman to take a male saint’s name.) What is your advice?

Ask your priest to show you where the Church teaches you must feminize a male saint’s name as a condition of confirmation. (He’s the one making the claim that you must do this, so it is his responsibility to substantiate it.) Then show him this article, written by a Dominican sister whose religious name is Sister Joseph Andrew Bogdanowicz, O.P. If Sister Joseph Andrew can use two male saints’ names as her religious name, surely you can use one male saint’s name as a confirmation name.

The bigger issue here is that your priest is threatening to withhold the sacrament of confirmation from you over what is a trifling matter. If he does not relent, I recommend contacting your diocese for assistance. You may also wish to contact the St. Joseph Foundation, a Catholic apostolate specializing in canon law.

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