(Guardian) Issue of Trans Clergy Increasingly Coming to the Fore

Last week, the Rev Dr Christina Beardsley, vice-chair of Changing Attitude, a network of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and heterosexual members of the Church of England, was one of the voices featured on 4Thought.tv’s week of short films featuring trans people and faith.

While the US Episcopal church developed a maverick reputation within the Anglican communion for blessing same sex marriages and ordaining gay and lesbian clergy, the House of Bishops of the General Synod of the Church of England’s report Some Issues in Human Sexuality, issued in 2003, contained a chapter titled “Transsexualism”. Currently, one can find about a half dozen trans clergy in the UK and US. These numbers are imprecise, as some clergy do not wish to go public beyond the scope of their individual parish or diocese ”“ a concern that’s understandable given that the trans community seldom receives even the legal protections afforded gays and lesbians .

Beardsley, who was ordained for 23 years prior to her transition in 2001, observes that “some within the Church of England feel the issue of trans clergy has been settled” by citing such cases as the Rev Carol Stone and the Rev Sarah Jones. However, she says: “Not all trans clergy have been supported by their bishop, as these two priests were, and some have been excluded from full-time ministry because of Church of England opt-outs from UK equality legislation.”

Read it all.


Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Episcopal Church (TEC), Health & Medicine, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Psychology, Sexuality, TEC Bishops, TEC Parishes

10 comments on “(Guardian) Issue of Trans Clergy Increasingly Coming to the Fore

  1. Br. Michael says:

    I am surprised this took as long as it did.

  2. carl says:

    Transexualism is the ultimate denial of created boundaries. A leopard cannot change its spots, and a man cannot change his chromosomes. Yet in the name of human autonomy, a man may carve himself after the fashion of a woman and pretend to be what he is not. He becomes his own creator and fashions his own identity from his own clay. It is the Triumph of the Will. A church that sanctions this act has denied that God can ever say “Thus far and no farther.”


  3. Br. Michael says:

    It is interesting the gay homosexual says the God doesn’t make mistakes and made them the way they are, the transsexual says that God does make mistakes and puts them in the wrong body. I wish they would make up their minds.

  4. Larry Morse says:

    I don’t understand why transexuals and homosexuals lump themselves in the same class. They seem to have nothing in common. Larry

  5. Todd Granger says:

    Carl’s point is the salient one. Transexualism is a gnostic exaltation of the non-corporeal “self” as divorced from the body. Not only does transexualism deny biblical and catholic teaching on the nature of humanity, it also denies the more holistic latter-day critical realist understanding of human consciousness as arising from our created bodily humanity, a significant part of which humanity is our sexuality as male or female.

    Certainly we should provided pastoral ministry to transexuals, as to those with gender dysphorias, but those who undergo transexualization render themselves living denials of the biblical and catholic understanding of our created and redeemed humanity, and should be suspended from ordained ministry in the Church.

  6. Polycarp says:

    Do a half dozen people REALLY represent a trend that is “coming to the fore”? I think not. What this is an example of is a REAL trend toward non-existent news judgment on the part on traditional media.

  7. nwlayman says:

    Br. Michael, home run!
    If someone can disagree with every one of their cells as to their actual gender it would suggest other self-made declarations are reasonable. I should be able to tell the doctor that I have perfect blood pressure and cholesterol levels, perfectly normal body weight. Because I say I do. No need to measure them. Everyone can have perfect health right this instant by declaring they do. Whatever hand birth or personal neglect has dealt is trumped by self-delusion. As with gender “decisions” so with anything else. The people who convince themselves that they are a different sex have embarked on a new religion where they are a god. Not surprisingly they are allowed to practice this religion and be Episcopalians in good standing, even clergy. It’s lost on them that the commandment to have no other gods but God includes *themselves* as gods.

  8. nwlayman says:

    Br. Michael, I misspoke. You are Ted Williams, Dimaggio and the Babe. Grand slam. I wish I’da said it.

  9. Rich Gabrielson says:

    Somehow the physical human body [i]can[/i] be changed at will (and with sufficient money) into some[i]thing[/i] that better coincides with the [i]self[/i] while the self (soul?) cannot. Is the physical body more plastic than the self?

    I second nwlayman’s affirmation (#7) of Br. Michael’s assessment (#3)

  10. Larry Morse says:

    Let us suppose that it is possible to be genetically male and mentally female. Changing one to match the other should be no issue. Why prefer a mismatch to a match?
    The trouble is that the change cannot be made in fact. Surgery only makes a fake, so that a falsity is laid on top of a incommensurability – if I may coin a word. The deceit cannot be scouted; the one who undertakes it must spend his/her life in an elaborate pretense. This has to be corrosive to one’s identity.
    But perhaps I am underestimating our ability to deceive ourselves indefinitely. Larry