The Case of Bishop John Stowe

Bishop John Stowe of Lexington, Kentucky, goes his own way. He regularly steps into the most delicate and highly-charged cultural and political issues with none of the painstaking care his brother bishops show. He seems determined, in fact, to follow his own blundering impulses, and to kick against the other bishops’ pastoral approach whenever it might rein him in.

During the celebration of the Feast of Pentecost last month, a diocesan-approved hermit under Stowe’s jurisdiction “came out” as “transgender.” The controversial event immediately made headlines, and Stowe’s role gradually came into focus.

The Diocese of Lexington revealed, “On Pentecost Sunday, Brother Christian Matson, a professed hermit in the Diocese of Lexington, has made it public that he is a transgender person,” the diocese stated—using male pronouns in reference to the gender-confused woman in question. “Bishop John Stowe, OFM Conv., accepted his profession [as a religious hermit] and is grateful to Brother Christian for his witness….” Additionally, Matson’s application to become a diocesan hermit was “repeatedly rejected” by other bishops in a ten-year search that ultimately found support from Stowe.

Here Stowe broke ranks with his brother bishops who condemned sex-change interventions “intended to transform the body so as to make it take on as much as possible the form of the opposite sex, contrary to the natural form of the body,” as well as Pope Francis, who wrote, “It needs to be emphasized that ‘biological sex and the socio-cultural role of sex (gender) can be distinguished but not separated.’”

Continue reading at Catholic World Report


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