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Vatican says sex-change operation does not change person's gender


After years of study, the Vatican's doctrinal congregation has sent church leaders a confidential document concluding that "sex-change" procedures do not change a person's gender in the eyes of the church.

Consequently, the document instructs bishops never to alter the sex listed in parish baptismal records and says Catholics who have undergone "sex-change" procedures are not eligible to marry, be ordained to the priesthood or enter religious life, according to a source familiar with the text.

The document was completed in 2000 and sent "sub secretum" (under secrecy) to the papal representatives in each country to provide guidance on a case-by-case basis to bishops. But when it became clear that many bishops were still unaware of its existence, in 2002 the congregation sent it to the presidents of bishops' conferences as well.

"The key point is that the (transsexual) surgical operation is so superficial and external that it does not change the personality. If the person was male, he remains male. If she was female, she remains female," said the source.

SOURCE
Catholic News Service

LINKS
The Christian Transsexual/transgender Page
Christian transgender resources
Sex-change pastor sues Christian centre (BBC)


16 Jan 2003