Trans men “unknowingly admitted” to Catholic seminaries, bishops’ committee alleges

The National Catholic Reporter reports that Milwaukee Archpbishop Jerome Listecki, who serves as the chairman of the bishops’ Committee on Canonical Affairs and Church Governance, told the nation’s bishops in a Sept. 22 memo that they might consider “various options” to ensure that only people assigned male at birth are ordained to the Catholic priesthood:


In his recent memo, Listecki says his committee had been made aware of “instances where it had been discovered that a woman living under a transgendered identity” had been admitted to a seminary or a religious institute’s house of formation.

In one instance, Listecki wrote, an individual’s “sacramental records had been fraudulently obtained to reflect her new identity. In all instances, nothing in these individuals’ medical or psychological reports had signaled past treatments or pertinent surgeries.”

You might argue that if priests and their congregations see a trans man as a man, that should be good enough for everyone.

Christianity has actually a long history with trans men living as male monks, so it is not as if Catholics cannot cope with trans men in a constructive way. It is just that the Catholic church leaders do not want to.

On the protestant side, trans and nonbinary men and women are becoming more accepted, as proven by Megan Rohrer being ordained bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America.

Many protestant churches have also, for many years, ordained women. Indeed, researchers argue that  the Catholic Church also ordained female priests all the way up till the 11th century. Gary Macy writes:

A radical change in the definition of ordination during the 11th and 12th centuries not only removed women from the ordained ministry, but also attempted to eradicate any memory of women’s ordination in the past.

So you might also say that the exclusion of trans men is the end result of the exclusion of women, given that these church leaders see trans men as women.

The illustration above is of Saint Marinos, who was assigned female at birth, being led into a male monastery by their father in fifth century Lebanon. This saint  is celebrated on June 18 in the Roman Catholic Church and on other dates in other traditions. Marinos was not ordained as a priest, though.

By the way, I am glad to note that the National Catholic Reporter refers to trans men as trans men. I doubt that this is done by accident.

Note that if a trans man was ordained as a priest in the Catholic Church, that ordination would probably not be considered valid given the current theology of this church.


This whole thing is quite interesting.

An archbishop has claimed that some trans men have slipped through into the seminary and religious life.

Are they still there?

Were they ordained?

I once met a priest, who is still in ministry, who told me he had been born with the genitalia of both sexes.

Do we still hold to the conviction that the genetalia you are born with decides what gender and sex you are?

While at the same time the surgeons are changing men into women and men into women.

And does a sacrament, in this case, Holy Orders, only take effect on a male body and not on a female body?

I thought sacraments took effect on the soul?

What do readers think?