Male and female he created them?  – A perspective on the transgender phenomenon in the Catholic Church

Male and female he created them? – A perspective on the transgender phenomenon in the Catholic Church

Monday    |    19:00 - 21:00 (08/10/2018) (UTC+0), Duration: 02:00 Place: Mercy Centre International, 64 A Lower Baggot Street, Dublin 2
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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

Male and female he created them?

- 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.

2 Comments
  1. Date: January 30, 2019
    Author: Dee

    Your talk sounds like it would have been fascinating. I know this is past the event but I do have a few questions. I am new to the discussion on transgender identities. How did your transition effect your children? Does the transgender transition effect families view of God when a parent or spouse transitions to a different identity? Thank you in advance for your input.

    Reply
    • Date: February 1, 2019
      Author: Colm

      Hi Dee, I attach my short report on the talk given by Dr Claire Jenkins. You might also find useful information on the New Ways Ministry website https://www.newwaysministry.org/. Best wishes, Colm Dr CLAIRE JENKINS presentation to WAC Ireland on 8 October 2018 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. From the age of 3 she realised she was different, preferring the company of girls. Claire and her family have been emotionally traumatised by her change of sex/gender and she has not seen her children since. Her research shows that distress and disruption occurs in half of such transitions. The Catholic Church is confused by Transgender people: • The Council of Trullo (602) forbad cross-dressing by both women and men • Joan of Arc (1431) was burnt at the stake by the Inquisition because she dressed as a man yet in 1920 she was canonised as St Joan • Pope Benedict XVl (2008) spoke of the need to save mankind from a destructive blurring of gender roles – as important as saving the rainforests • Pope Francis refers to ‘gender theory’ as an apocalyptic nuclear war/ Nazism / disfiguring the face of man and woman/ destroying creation • Pope Francis (2015) welcomed a transgender man at the Vatican The ideal Family is biological as Father + Mother + Children. This is referred to as the Natural Law. But real families come in many different forms which include openness, untidiness and messiness. Transgender persons must pass as male or female. If identified as Transgender they can be subject to violence or discrimination. The most dangerous countries for Transgender persons are Saudi Arabia, Uganda, Nigeria and the Caribbean. Chromosomes (XX for Females; XY for Males) do not change, but they are not a binary choice – there are 102 different chromosome patterns. Feminist Janice Raymond (1979) holds that it is impossible to change a person’s sex. Philosopher Judith Butler (1990) argues that Sex/Gender is a social construct and that “girling” and “boying” is done daily to establish gender identity. Claire Jenkins 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 Headteacher of a secondary school. Colm Holmes

      Reply

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