ASK FATHER: Can an ex-woman, a trans “man”, be ordained?

13_07_26_trans_bathroom_signFrom a reader…

QUAERITUR:

With the increase of transgender people pushing their agenda, would it be possible for a biological woman who thinks she’s a he and has gone through the Sex “change” process somehow slip through the cracks and make it to ordination, or does the screening process to weed out such people, as such would not be able to be validly ordained?

This sex-change, trans thing is intrinsically evil.

Talk about your Self-absorbed Promethean Neopelagians!

A woman who undergoes this ghoulish process is, at the end, not a man.  She is still a woman, a seriously mutilated woman.  She can dress like a man, try to act like a man, fool some people (not as many as she thinks) that she is a man.  She cannot ever be a man.

They are to be shown great compassion, because they are deeply confused and no doubt in a lot of pain.  But their confusion and pain doesn’t alter reality.

Women cannot be validly ordained to holy orders.  An attempt to ordain any woman, including mutilated women, would be, without question, invalid.

Hence,

Women cannot be ordained.
She is a woman.
She cannot be ordained.

As for a “screening” process, it is hard to imagine that such a person would not be identified as such right away.

 

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28 Responses to ASK FATHER: Can an ex-woman, a trans “man”, be ordained?

  1. mharden says:

    But then the opposite situation becomes problematic: a genetic man who has “transgendered” into what looks like a woman. HE would qualify, theologically, for ordination, but everyone would THINK it was a woman.

    I think the answer is that the discernment process for admission to the seminary would exclude such obvious mental defectives.

  2. JesusFreak84 says:

    Given that “trans” people have to swallow tons of hormones and hormone blockers every day for the rest of their lives, I don’t see how the confused woman could pull that off and NO ONE in seminary catches it…

  3. Father P says:

    And going the other way…

    The grave and willful mutilation of one’s body renders a man irregular for ordination

  4. tdhaller says:

    Father, I’m not sure how many “properly done” trans-people you’ve seen. Probably a lot, without noticing. I used to work in a hospital that did this… surgery regularly, so I had contact with more than just a few. Some were easily identifiable right away, but most were not. I’m not going into details, but let’s say even a plumbing inspection, which is obviously out of the question anyway, would not yield any new information unless done by an experienced physician. Some of those surgeons are really good.

    I pray that none of those people go as far in their delusion as to actually attempt to enter a seminary and seek (invalid) Holy Orders… but if one did, I wouldn’t bet on them being spotted right from the start. So the question “what if” isn’t as absurd as one would think.

  5. frmh says:

    There was an interesting and tragic case of a black friars domican in Oxford who managed to get ordained….. I cant remember the details but this was the closest I have ever seen to a woman being ordained. Presumably if a woman biologically dressed as a man was ordained it would be invalid.

  6. frmh says:

    Sally Gross is the name to look up for this. It does raise some questions, presumably the Dominicans were happy that he genuinely was a biological man when they ordained him

  7. APX says:

    DNA testing for all before being admitted to holy orders? That would be a definitive way of weeding out the non-biological men.

  8. Joy65 says:

    Well ANYone wanting to be ordained as a priest in the Catholic Church would normally be considered to be honest and truthful. If honest and truthful they would UP FRONT admit to their situation. Of course immediately they’d be excluded from the priesthood. Now if they were NOT honest and truthful they shouldn’t be attempting to enter the priesthood anyway. Not a good “beginning”.

    “I pray that none of those people go as far in their delusion as to actually attempt to enter a seminary and seek (invalid) Holy Orders… but if one did, I wouldn’t bet on them being spotted right from the start. So the question “what if” isn’t as absurd as one would think.”

    I would guess it would immediately be dealt with, by the church, as soon as the truth is known. Praying it NEVER comes to that.

  9. npmccallum says:

    Canon 1 of the First Council of Nicea

    If any one in sickness has been subjected by physicians to a surgical operation, or if he has been castrated by barbarians, let him remain among the clergy; but, if any one in sound health has castrated himself, it behooves that such an one, if [already] enrolled among the clergy, should cease [from his ministry], and that from henceforth no such person should be promoted. But, as it is evident that this is said of those who wilfully do the thing and presume to castrate themselves, so if any have been made eunuchs by barbarians, or by their masters, and should otherwise be found worthy, such men the Canon admits to the clergy.

  10. JonathanTX says:

    I find it curious that of all the problems that were surely facing the Church in 325 A.D., the Council Fathers found it necessary to resolve this one in Canon the First.

  11. Bthompson says:

    More intriguing to me is: What of a child who is born truly intersexed or otherwise sexually ambiguous/deformed? Intersex conditions can have multiple causes (Genetic errors, abnormal numbers of sex chromosomes, “errors” in embryo development, imbalanced hormones in-utero, etc). Chromosomes and phenotype are not always (usually, but not always) the whole story, especially when they contradict.* The Church is wise to counsel parents in such situations to reach moral certainty as to the child’s sex before any corrective treatment or surgery are undertaken (in order to ensure it is a corrective intervention, not a mutilation), but what of the possibility for error in good faith or even parents who intervened without moral certainty?

    -Fr Thompson

    *https://www.ncbcenter.org/ has good resources on intersex condition (which is different than transgender, though I suppose it is possible that an intersex person who was accidentally mutilated might present as transgender)

  12. frjim4321 says:

    I think the whole part of the pre-ordination “physical” was to make sure the right parts were there. But they sure didn’t do a DNA test.

  13. StabatMater says:

    How ’bout “Not just ‘No,’ but ‘HELL NO!'” Sorry, things used to be just that simple where I come from.

  14. jameeka says:

    tdhaller: Perhaps a thorough physical examination at the beginning of seminary…. which is unfortunate, but perhaps necessary nowadays? A good physician will know.
    Would hope to God it doesn’t come down to DNA testing!

    Like so many things, if one is required to have one’s privacy invaded that deeply, what’s the point of trying? the battle already seems won… by the enemy.

  15. APX says:

    Well ANYone wanting to be ordained as a priest in the Catholic Church would normally be considered to be honest and truthful. If honest and truthful they would UP FRONT admit to their situation

    And we’ve all seen how that’s worked out in the Church lately…

  16. Pingback: THURSDAY CATHOLICA EDITION | Big Pulpit

  17. JabbaPapa says:

    AFAIK **any** deliberate self-mutilation prevents being considered for the priesthood, with the sole exception IIRC of some tattoos IF they do not constitute a mutilation and IF they represent nothing unchristian and IF they are discreet.

    This apart from the fact that women cannot become priests, but then nor could a man having undergone transgender mutilations either.

  18. JabbaPapa says:

    Bthompson :

    More intriguing to me is: What of a child who is born truly intersexed or otherwise sexually ambiguous/deformed?

    The intersexed cannot be ordained to the priesthood.

  19. frmh says:

    I know when I started seminary a doctor came in as part of the selection process. His examinations would ascertain clearly that the candidate was male, although I am not sure 10 years ago that that was the main purpose.

  20. Back pew sitter says:

    Thank you frmh for the reference to Sally Gross, which was interesting to see as I have just finished reading Robert Harris’s ‘Conclave’!

    Sally Gross was raised male, and ordained a Dominican priest at Oxford in the 1980s. There are still references online to Selwyn Gross OP. While there were genital irregularities it was only later, at the age of 40, that she was definitely identified as a woman.

    She was subsequently excluded from the clerical state, and appears to have then left the Church.

    Surely, as a woman (even though she had been assumed by herself as well as others to be a man) her ‘ordination’ would have been invalid, and therefore she did not validly offer the Sacrifice of the Mass, or absolve sins, etc?

  21. Legisperitus says:

    Back pew sitter: Just as surely as a host made of rice could not be validly consecrated at Mass even if it were assumed to be wheat.

  22. Bthompson says:

    Back pew sitter: Yes, that would be the case.
    Invalid matter is invalid matter (i.e. orders requires a man) whether you know it or not, mean well or not.
    Although, What a tragic circumstance! Having your world rocked like that, and one of your most fundamental pieces of knowledge about yourself and your world proven false.

  23. frmh says:

    Unfortunately the info on fr Goss is all from deviant sources and it’s impossible to ascertain what chromosomes he had. My guwss is that he was xy but with defective or undefined genitalia, so basicallyou a male who later decided that his undefined genitalia made him a woman.

  24. Suburbanbanshee says:

    Re: Nicaea clause — Men with a zeal for literal readings of Scripture were known to have literally made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of Heaven. Obviously this was nothing that the bishops wanted to encourage or approve. Also, it was a blow against syncretism with the priests of Cybele.

    Re: Selwyn — Obviously one would be upset and distressed to find out you had inadvertently been ordained invalidly, but why leave the Church? That girl runner from Africa who found out she had male chromosomes was a lot more dignified about it.

    And changing your name is lame, when you have a unisex-ish name to start out with. Okay, maybe change Selwyn to Selwen, but you wouldn’t need to do anything more.

  25. JabbaPapa says:

    Back pew sitter :

    Surely, as a woman (even though she had been assumed by herself as well as others to be a man) her ‘ordination’ would have been invalid, and therefore she did not validly offer the Sacrifice of the Mass, or absolve sins, etc?

    Two objections.

    First, in 1980, the male nature of the priesthood was considered to be a discipline rather than a part of the dogma, so that it would be at least anachronistic to apply standards of validity derived from Pope St John Paul II’s later ex cathedra teaching on this matter to the existence of any such accidents in the past. When Pope Saint Gelasius I forbade the ordaining of women into the priesthood, he refrained from issuing any general condemnations. The Church does not condemn those having made honest non-malicious mistakes in the past, but only those wilfully disobeying a canon after it has been established.

    Second, and more importantly, those in positions of having no reasonable doubt of receiving the Sacraments validly are described in Catholic Dogma as receiving the benefits of those Sacraments — which is why for example most Protestant Baptisms and many of their Marriages are accepted as being valid, despite some clear material and theological defects. It is only after the discovery of her real sex that she and others would have discovered her incapacity to act as a priest, at which point legally any attempts to do so became both illicit and invalid. And frankly, sacrilegious.

    Her apostasy and subsequent conversion to atheism are religious crimes ; her having been born intersex is not, nor are any honest errors that may have occurred as direct or indirect consequences of her atypical biology, including Sacramentally.

  26. frmh says:

    a man isn’t in fact the matter of the sacrament of ordination, he is the recipient.

    All the same, Christ clearly restricted the recipients of this sacrament to men. Divine Law not ecclesiastical. Even prior to Pope JP2 this is universally taught by the fathers and doctors of the church.

    We don’t know enough about Fr Goss’ biology to be certain if he was validly ordained or not, as I said above, I would assume it was valid….. that genetically he was a man, and so was a valid ordination, a man who later had a breakdown and decided to start dressing as a woman.

  27. Matt R says:

    We don’t know enough about the condition of being intersex in this case to make a judgment.

  28. kat says:

    Well, we cannot pretend that people in the past who wanted to destroy the Church have not infiltrated the ranks of the priesthood. So it could happen that a trans could try to do so for evil purposes.