Is transgender a sin? Why or why not?
Tough question. Peter Kreeft, who I admire greatly, has this to say (peterkreeft.com/topics/sex-in-heaven.htm):
The first reason would be a reaction against what is wrongly seen as monosexual soul-stereotyping. A wholly male soul, whatever maleness means, or a wholly female soul, sounds unreal and oversimplified. But that is not what sexual souls implies. Rather, in every soul there is—to use Jungian terms—anima and animus, femaleness and maleness; just as in the body, one predominates but the other is also present. If the dominant sex of soul is not the same as that of the body, we have a sexual misfit, a candidate for a sex change operation of body or of soul, earthly or Heavenly. Perhaps Heaven supplies such changes just as it supplies all other needed forms of healing. In any case, the resurrection body perfectly expresses its soul, and since souls are innately sexual, that body will perfectly express its soul’s true sexual identity.
Myself, I don’t really know. But I gotta admit that I really like that view.
I beleive the Church would see it as a form of self mutilation, a physical response to a psychological situation.
But the culpibility of the person who undergoes such a transition would have to be closely examined before it could be determined with certainty whether or not the sin is a mortal one. It’s possible that people who go to such extremes are mentally ill to a degree that they would have very little responsibility for their choice.
This is one of those things I think over in my mind. Either I change, or I commit suicide. That’s pretty much what it boiled down to, which is the greater sin? That’s always an odd game to play.
I chose to live and changed. I know many who did no feel that changing was appropriate and they ended up committing suicide over the stress of feeling ‘wrong’.
I do too and I wonder if that explains homosexuality as well. If so, then maybe it isn’t sinful in the way that some think it to be. Maybe some people are also midway with neither being dominant. Then per Kreeft’s idea, their sexual identity would have to be neither male nor female. That may be related to bisexuality or not.
I don’t think it could be a sin, and these people suffer so much. I know someone in this situation. They are so confused about their sexuality. Without a doubt, she was a male in every way. Her life was in constant turmoil. She tried to like guys, but couldn’t. She was attracted to women, but didn’t think she was gay. This led her to alcohol and drug abuse. I know she somehow got hepatitis and was hospitalized for about 9 months somewhere and then I moved and lost complete track of her. She was in so much pain, and her heart was so tender and kind. I hope at some point, she found God. She had no desire to go to church or talk about God at that time. I pray for her.
Thankyou for your example. But after a litney of examples like this some still just won’t get it.
True enough, but I am encouraged by the attitudes expressed so far in this thread.
Sam, the Church’s official policy on transsexualism is sub secretum… under secrecy. But from the leaked information which was published about five years ago, I think you are right that the Church sees it as a mental imbalance. Certainly the Church does not recognize sex change.
But just to clarify, transsexual does not mean transgender, and vice versa.
If it helps at all, here’s a slightly more positive example. Mirdath’s and my best friend (and yes, admittedly an occasional lover though she is very likely the most chaste individual I have ever met, in thought and deed - yet human - however she may resent that ‘weakness’ - I almost did marry her) is indeed transgender. As well as being literally half the world away from her family! But my parents adore her, and have pretty much adopted her - she is brilliant, beautiful, and no one would ever think she had a Y chromosome - it just isn’t an issue.
Even Mirdath’s ultraconservative Catholic family were utterly charmed by her. And we were greatly honored to have her as a bridesmaid at our wedding. Though half a world away, she has friends and family who would sacrifice all for her, no matter their indoctrination. And that truly, is what family is all about. Dear shy one, feel no obligation nor fear - it is a pleasure to make your hard life more easy, and let your mind reconcile!
What is the leaked info?
Catholic News Service broke the news in 2003, however, their website’s archive doesn’t seem to go back that far. Their news story has been maintained on several third-party websites. Here is one: tgcrossroads.org/news/archive.asp?aid=599
God selected your gender prior to your conception. He selected it as a gift not only to you, but to your families and your communities. To deny your gender is to deny God’s gift to you. This is why it is a sin.
I do empathize with your confusion, and I do understand that it is a very heavy cross that you carry. However, in such a case my recommendation is that you offer that cross for the sanctification of the souls of others. Turn to God in prayer. Remember that prayer is a conversation with Him. Ask Him to show you what He intended when He gave you your gender. I promise you that if you seek that answer with vigilence He will reveal it to you and it wil bring you comfort and encouragement on your journey.
It may be that God has allowed you to carry that cross so that you may save others who also carry it but do not know God and do not know that there is another way to deal with their pain.
Nothing that the Church does is under secrecy, and I would ask where you got the information that it was. The Church clearly states her position in all things. In point of fact, this is a violation of the Sixth Commandment since “The tradition of the Church has understood the sixth commandment as encompassing the whole of human sexuality.”
Catechism of the Catholic Church Article 6: The Sixth Commandment (page 560)
I. Male and Female He Created Them…
2333: Everyone, man and woman, should acknowledge and accept his sexual identity.
I agree that God picks your gender when he creates you, but he also allows birth defects of all kinds. If you had a twin and were conjoined together at the pelvic area and they shared a vagina, would the Church object to surgery to separate them and then trying to rebuild or “make” a vagina, for one or both of them? There are so many other examples.
I think a case of transgender ( born with the wrong sex organs) is entirely different from homosexuality, because I do believe the sexual act between same sex persons is wrong. I don’t think gay people think they are the wrong gender, but just attracted to the same sex. In their situation they would have to have no sex, just as unmarried heterosexuals.
Brandy it was Dale M who said it was secret leaked info. I was just asking him what it was. Address your post then to Dale, not me.
I posted the link to the news article, which was published by the Catholic News Service.
Here it is again:
I’m curious about the basis of your statements about gender. Do you have transsexual feelings or do you know many persons with transsexual feelings?
Thanks Dale. I missed the link.
Do you have a link to the actual document too? I just want to read more about it.
Dale, I noticed that contrary to what you seemed to be saying (maybe I didn’t read you right), according to your link sex change operation is NOT always sinful. It appears that psychological factors can in certain extreme cases make it “morally acceptable”
The Vatican document’s specific points include:
*** An analysis of the moral licitness of "sex-change" operations. It concludes that the procedure could be morally acceptable in certain extreme cases if a medical probability exists that it will "cure" the patient's internal turmoil.** * But a source familiar with the document said recent medical evidence suggested that in a majority of cases the procedure increases the likelihood of depression and psychic disturbance. * A provision giving religious superiors administrative authority to expel a member of the community who has undergone the procedure. In most cases of expulsion from religious life, the superior must conduct a trial. * A recommendation of psychiatric treatment and spiritual counseling for transsexual priests. It suggests they can continue to exercise their ministry privately if it does not cause scandal. * A conclusion that those who undergo sex-change operations are unsuitable candidates for priesthood and religious life because of mental instability. * A conclusion that people who have undergone a sex-change operation cannot enter into a valid marriage, either because they would be marrying someone of the same sex in the eyes of the church or because their mental state casts doubt on their ability to make and uphold their marriage vows. * An affirmation of the validity of marriages in which one partner later undergoes the procedure, unless a church tribunal determines that a transsexual disposition predated the wedding ceremony.
Dale, could you clarify for me what “sub secretum” means? Is that the Pontifical Secret?
Yep, that apparently is what the secret document says. I’m sorry if I gave the impression that sex change is always sinful. Its not a position I personally hold, and I don’t think the Church always holds it either.
As for the original news article, it was published five years ago and the online archives of the Catholic News Service don’t go back that far. So we are stuck with third party versions of the original.
As for the meaning of the phrase sub secretum, I don’t know. I don’t think I had seen it before reading the news article (which I did see five years ago).