Catholic monk comes out as transgender: ‘You’ve got to deal with us’

A Catholic monk in Kentucky has come out as trans, telling those in the church who disagree: “You’ve got to deal with us”.

On 17 May, Brother Christian Matson, a Catholic monk based in Kentucky, announced: “This Sunday, Pentecost 2024, I’m planning to come out publicly as transgender.

“You’ve got to deal with us, because God has called us into this church,” Matson – who transitioned in college – said about transphobes to Religion News Service. “It’s not your church to kick us out of—this is God’s church, and God has called us and engrafted us into it.”

The Catholic Diocese of Lexington in Kentucky issued a statement in response, which read: “On Pentecost Sunday, Brother Christian Matson, a professed hermit in the Diocese of Lexington, has made it public that he is a transgender person. Brother Christian has long sought to consecrate his life to Christ in the Church by living the evangelical counsels of poverty, chastity and obedience.

“He has consistently been accompanied by a competent spiritual director and has undergone formation in the Benedictine tradition. He does not seek ordination but has professed a rule of life that allows him to support himself financially by continuing his work in the arts and to live a life of contemplation in a private hermitage. Bishop John Stowe, OFM Conv., accepted his profession and is grateful to Brother Christian for his witness of discipleship, integrity and contemplative prayer for the Church.”

Back in April, the Vatican published a 20-page declaration that laid out the Catholic Church’s view on gender-affirming surgery, surrogacy and abortion. The “Infinite Dignity”, which was approved by Pope Francis, said God created men and women as biologically different in his “plan”, which no one should change or “make oneself God” via gender-affirmation surgery or treatment.

Despite this perspective in the newly published document, it previously seemed that the Pope held some progressive values towards LGBTQ+ people: he has stated that trans people may be baptised and act as godparents and same-sex relationships could be blessed by the Catholic Church.

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