Catholic Monk Comes Out as Transgender, Urges Church to Embrace Trans Members

This month, a Catholic monk came out as transgender, stating the church needs “to deal with” trans Catholics.


On May 17, Brother Christian Matson, a Catholic monk from Kentucky, told Religion News Service, “This Sunday, Pentecost 2024 (May 19), I’m planning to come out publicly as transgender.”


“You need to deal with us because God has called us to this church. “It is not your church to kick us out of—this is God’s church, and God has called and engrafted us into it,” Matson, who has a doctorate in religious studies, told the Church about transgender Catholics.


Matson changed throughout college and became Catholic four years later. He believes that his coming out would stimulate important conversations regarding the inclusion of transgender people in the Catholic community.

His statement comes just a month after the Vatican issued “Infinite Dignity,” a 20-page document that condemns gender theory, abortion, and surrogacy as threats to humanity’s relationship with God.


Matson was disappointed that the Vatican’s stance on transgender problems lacked scientific involvement. He has addressed several letters to the Vatican, encouraging leaders to engage more with transgender people.


Matson sought counsel from a canon lawyer when he felt called to serve in the Church. The lawyer offered the role of a diocesan hermit, who does not discriminate based on gender.


Despite this, Matson was rejected by various towns before finally finding acceptance in Kentucky.


“People who knew me said, ‘You clearly have a religious vocation,’ and these were all people who knew my medical history,” Matson recalled.


However, persons in charge of making decisions within communities frequently declined to meet with him.


Bishop John Stowe, a notable champion for LGBTQ+ people in the Catholic Church, received Matson’s letter in 2020 and oversaw his vows in 2022.

Bishop Stowe gave Matson permission to come out as transgender

“I’m willing to be frank with him since he’s a sincere guy looking for a way to help the church. Hermits are an unusual form of religious practice… Stowe informed the RNS that they may be male or female.


Matson spent his first year almost entirely in prayer or working at a small theater until renewing his vows in 2023.


“I don’t have a hidden agenda, I just want to serve the church,” Matson stated. “People can believe that or not.”

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