Speakers: Dr Claire Jenkins
Venue: Mercy International Centre, 64 Lower Baggot Street, Dublin 2
Time: 7.30pm to 9.00pm (cuppa & chat from 7.00pm downstairs)
Date: Monday 8th of October 2018
Dr Claire Jenkins
- A perspective on the transgender phenomenon in the Catholic Church
Followed by Q & A
7.30 pm Monday 8th of October 2018
Mercy Centre International, 64A Lower Baggot Street, Dublin 2
Dr Claire Jenkins is a trans woman and convert to the Catholic Church. She was married with four children until she transitioned from male to female at 50-years-old in 1999. In 2013 she was awarded a PhD from the University of Sheffield for her research into the effect of transitioning on the family members of transsexual people. She was a committee member of Quest, a Catholic LGBT group which offers pastoral care to LGBT Catholics and currently she coordinates a team who carry out this important work within her diocese. Claire is also a Stonewall Schools Role Model and volunteered to do this vital work to increase trans visibility among young people. Claire was a Deputy Head teacher of a secondary school.
Admission free: there will be a collection.
About Dr Claire Jenkins talk:
Male and female he created them? - A perspective on the transgender phenomenon in the Catholic Church
Changing sex/gender has long been an ambivalent issue for the Christian church. The Council of Constantinople in 691 A.D. forbids cross-dressing by both women and men. In the medieval Feast of Fools laymen and clergy alike dressed as women yet the church tried to suppress transvestism labeling it as heretical. Joan of Arc was burned at the stake in 1431 by the Inquisition of the Catholic Church because she refused to stop dressing as a man yet in 1920 she was canonised as St Joan. In 2008 ‘Pope Benedict XVI suggested that there is a need to save mankind from a destructive blurring of gender roles is as important as saving the rainforests.’ (BBC 2008), - the church currently refers to this as the ideology of gender. Furthermore, in 2015 Pope Francis welcomes a transgender man at the Vatican. Yet the pope sees:
‘the threat posed by what both call ‘gender theory’ in apocalyptic terms, comparing it to nuclear war, Nazism and one of the ‘Herods that destroy, that plot designs of death, that disfigure the face of man and woman, destroying creation’ …
The Roman Catholic Church does not have a comprehensive, multi-disciplinary public policy on the spectrum of gender identities, priests who transition remain priests, and married couples whose union was blessed as one between different genders, remain married after one of the partners transitions.
In my talk I will draw on my work to explain what we know about transgender people, their bodies and identities. Over the past few years transgender issues have become contested both in the mainstream and social media. The transgender phenomenon has become a hot topic in the public imagination and how on occasions some of the debate has become angry and hurtful to transgender people including me. Transgender identities are at the vanguard of contemporary debate in: academia; entertainment; political and legal campaigns for citizenship; and in the social emergence of trans-people within day-to-day community life.