Vowed Hermit Comes Out as Transgender with Support of Bishop Stowe

(Robert Shine. New Ways Ministry).

In what is perhaps an historical first, a diocesan hermit has come out as transgender, and has done so with the support of his local bishop. The hermit’s hope is to expand what gender-diverse Catholics understand to be possible for them in the church.

On Pentecost Sunday,Brother Christian Matson publicly announced he was trans.  His bishop is Bishop John Stowe, OFM, Conv., of Lexington Kentucky, who as been a vocal supporter of LGBTQ+ people. 

“Matson, who is also a Benedictine oblate, believes he is the first openly transgender person in his position in the Catholic Church. It is a difficult claim to confirm — even Stowe told RNS he did not know for sure if Matson is the first — but Matson’s status is at least highly unusual, and comes at time when church officials are grappling with how to address transgender Catholics.

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