Bishops should consider requiring DNA tests or physical examinations to ensure that all seminarians are biological men, said Milwaukee Archbishop Jerome Listecki in a recent memo sent to the members of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.
“Recently, the Committee on Canonical Affairs and Church Governance was made aware of instances where it had been discovered that a woman living under a transgendered identity had been unknowingly admitted to the seminary or to a house of formation of an institute of consecrated life,” said the memo. Listecki is the chairman of the bishops’ canonical affairs committee.
In one case, said Listecki, “the 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,” he added. None of the biologically female seminarians received Holy Orders, said Listecki.
The archbishop’s memo does not identify which seminaries or houses of formation have enrolled a biological female who presented herself as a male, nor was it clarified if these “instances” occurred in the United States or elsewhere. Rocco Palmo, who writes the blog Whispers in the Loggia, first reported the memo via Twitter on Sept. 23.
While a Catholic baptism certificate typically does not indicate the sex of the person being baptized, other Christian denominations have invited people identifying as transgender to re-affirm their baptismal promises under their new, chosen, name.
The archbishop said that he was “encouraged by the Committee” to send the memo to his brother bishops, so that they could “exercise special vigilance as a new year of seminary formation begins.”
Listecki, a doctor of canon law, noted that “canon law requires the diocesan bishop to admit to the major seminary and to promote to Holy Orders only men who possess the requisite physical and psychological qualities,” and that the bishop “can require various means to establish moral certitude in this regard.”
The memo continues: “Some members of the Committee on Canonical Affairs and Church Governance observed that a bishop could consider requiring a D.N.A. test or, at a minimum, certification from a medical expert of the bishop’s own choosing, to assure that an applicant is male.”
The above comes from a Sept. 29 story on the site of Catholic News Agency.
Is the Bishop serious? DNA tests? How about thorough background checks and due diligence? Are seminarians so low T that a biologically woman can slip in….
how sad that some femenist would try to deceive the church like this
Oh the lengths people will go to deceive the Church. The archbishop is doing the right thing, trust but verify as President Reagan said. Wait for the movie which will be sympathetic to the woman and will win lots of acclaim.
I suppose requiring a sperm sample would be problematic.
A DNA test may not resolve the issue. There are cases of people who are not simply XY and XX with different chromosomal patterns…as well as newborns without definitive genitalia.
Physicians, Medical Ethicists, and Families have wrestled with this conundrum for decades…
Challenges and Mysteries in God’s creation that don’t fit our simple bisexual model at both the genetic, biological as well as psychological levels.
Archbishop Listecki needs to learn that Church teaching in these cases is lacking and we must employ our strongest pastoral gifts…
I’ll look again, but I don’t believe the Church has considered these conditions.
I am sure that candidates for the priesthood must have the XY chromosomal pattern, that is, unambiguously male. What puzzles medical ethicists does not, or so it seems to me, have relevance to the issue at hand. Archbishop Listecki is on firm grounds.
I don’t know about these things (and I don’t want to know) but I doubt that woman had a perfectly formed male organ. A simple physical would have been enough to prevent this. Just tell the bishops to pay for a diocese-approved doctor for the already required medical evaluation.
Nevertheless, women cannot receive Holy Orders since it is metaphysically impossible. The Bishop’s statement goes without saying (though I think he meant to clarify that nobody has yet slipped through the cracks rather than make a theological statement).