Wednesday, January 24, 2007

A Real Gender Bender Conundrum

Transgendered Clergy
In 1973, Eric Karl Swenson was ordained in the Presbyterian Church and went to work doing what he’d always dreamed of: ministering to a congregation of the Southern Presbyterian Church in Atlanta. More than 20 years later, one dream almost ended when another began. When the Presbytery of Greater Atlanta discovered in 1996 that Swenson had finally fulfilled another lifelong desire—having sex-change surgery to become a woman—it started proceedings to revoke Swenson’s ordination.
This might not be a huge problem to those denominations who do not have an ordained priesthood, but this raises some interesting theological questions from a Catholic standpoint.

Can a transgendered person be a priest? If there is an ontological and unchangeable difference between men and women then no. A transgendered person cannot be an ordained priest in the catholic church.

1 comment:

Jeff Miller said...

Seems to me the only real problem would be for someone who had a sex change operation to "male" and withheld that information and attempted to go to a seminary. Though it is pretty doubtful that this could be carried out successfully with none the wiser. But all those invalid Masses and sacraments would be a pretty serious problem.

As for somebody with this disorder, it should certainly be something that would prevent someone from being ordained as with any other disorder being an impediment.

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