A Catholic Belgian man who identifies as a woman is on a quest to be admitted to a Catholic convent as a nun, or else establish an order just for others who wish to live as a monastic member of the opposite sex.
Eefje Spreuters told local media that “everywhere I register, the sisters are enthusiastic. But it is not allowed by the rules” for a man who identifies as a woman to live in a convent.
Spreuters has already begun to use the title “Sister Eefje” nonetheless.
“I have always felt like a woman and I was raised very religiously, especially by my mother. All my life I want to go to the monastery. As a man I have had a tough life, now I want peace,” the unconventional Catholic explained.
“Sister Eefje” claims that several nuns have reacted positively to ideas of starting a monastic order specifically for transgender individuals and plans to appeal to the highest echelons of the church to see such a goal through.
“I asked the nuns of the Order of the Poor Clares. Last week I had contact with the nuns in Brecht, the Trappistines. They could not answer me [about joining] because they did not know whether I could enter as a trans woman. I said I would start a monastic order myself, to which the nuns responded with interest and enthusiasm. If necessary, I will go to the Pope in the Vatican. My calling is stronger than ever,” Spreuters explained.
However, it is unlikely such a vision could come to fruition anytime soon as there is likely to be staunch opposition from Catholic leadership.
Church lawyer Rik Torfs explained that the church “maintains the anthropological view that the biological sex you were born with is unchanging.”
“For the Catholic Church, Eefje remains a man and is not welcome in a women’s monastery,” he said.
Meanwhile, Bishop Johan Bonny, himself recently the subject of international headlines for attacking the Vatican over its rejection of blessings for same-sex couples, told Belgian media he would not comment on the aspiring nun until he had spoken with Spreuters himself.
Although the Catholic Church under Pope Francis has appeared to consider loosening longstanding norms and the pontiff himself has even demonstrated a certain degree of affirmation for trans lifestyles, admitting men who identify as women into convents is, at best, still a very long way off.
LifeSite notes in 2019, several Catholic bishops and one cardinal issued a Declaration of Truths which firmly stated that it is a “rebellion against natural and Divine law and a grave sin that a man may attempt to become a woman by mutilating himself, or even by simply declaring himself to be such, or that a woman may in like manner attempt to become a man, or to hold that the civil authority has the duty or the right to act as if such things were or may be possible and legitimate.”
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