Pope Francis meets with transgender person and fiancee

Crux has a report up by Ines San Martin.  She writes:

ROME — Pope Francis reportedly welcomed a transgender man and his fiancé in a private audience last weekend, after the Spaniard wrote the pontiff a letter explaining the suffering his parish community had caused him.

As is customary with private papal audiences, the Vatican refused to confirm or deny the meeting with Francis.

Neria Lejárraga was born a woman and raised in a Catholic family, but after the death of his mother eight years ago, he decided to undergo sex reassignment surgery.

A Spanish daily published an interview with Lejárraga, who said the backlash from his neighbors led him to write to Pope Francis last year because after hearing him speak, he felt the pontiff would listen to him.


Lejárraga told the Spanish newspaper Hoy (Today) that he decided to undergo the transformation because his feelings of disillusionment had increased with age.

“My jail was my own body,” he said. “Because it absolutely didn’t correspond with what my soul felt. I didn’t know one happy summer when I could go to the pool with my friends.”

He also said he waited until age 40 to undergo the surgery because his mother, “the soul of my life,” asked him to wait until after she had died — “And for her, I’d wait one and a thousand lives.”

He said his mother wasn’t rejecting him, but rather, she was afraid that those in their small city of Plasencia, in Spain, would reject him.

She was right, he said: Rejection came from his neighbors and from members of his parish. Some of them called him too worthless to attend church. Once, while he was walking down the street, a priest called him “the daughter of the devil.”

We are only getting one side of this story. I would like to hear from her neighbors and members of her parish and the priest that allegedly made this remark.

Maybe this woman was merely told mutilating her body is contrary to Catholic teaching and that’s all it took for her to feel persecuted.

And, lest anyone read into this meeting the Holy Father’s approval of sex change operations and gender theory, Hilary White at LifeSite has a more balanced report on this.

Catholic teaching, however, considers gender “reassignment” an impossibility and a violation of the Creator’s intention.

Pope Francis himself has criticized fluid notions of gender. During his in-air interview on January 19, the pope called the imposition of “gender theory” a form of “ideological colonization.”

Also, last year, Austrian Bishop Andreas Laun related that in a meeting with the pope, Francis condemned “gender ideology” as “demonic.”

“Indeed, gender ideology is the destruction of persons, which is why Pope Francis was justified in calling it demonic,” wrote Bishop Laun. “The core thesis of this sick product of reason is the end result of a radical feminism which the homosexual lobby has made its own.”

In her letter, Neria had specifically noted that she felt excluded from the Church because of her decision, and that she was now “afraid” to receive Communion. She did not tell Hoy what the pope said, only mentioning that he embraced her.





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22 Responses to Pope Francis meets with transgender person and fiancee

  1. Macy says:

    Very true about the one-sidedness. And what do we make of the utter lack of curiosity on the part of reporters, uninterested in the other side of story. Even with the pluri-c-sectioned mother: did anyone try to find her and hear her out, even just to report back that she urged the minding of one’s own business??

    • Macy says:

      Which is not to say that it would be improper to seek out the woman: wouldn’t the responsibility for the intrusion lie with those who had the pretension of dragging people into the spotlight as a means to an end.

  2. EPMS says:

    My personal take is that one way to counter the idea that “my gender is what I think it is” is to stop identifying certain characteristics with one or the other gender. After all, if it is “feminine” to be caring and nurturing, to like wearing feathers and lace, to want the door held open and the chair pulled back, and that describes me, well, I must be a woman, and if I was born with a man’s body that was some sort of error which must be rectified. If we were more comfortable with the idea that there is a continuum from,say, passive to aggressive, or emotional to stoic, etc. with more men than women at one end or the other, but some men and some women at every point on the spectrum, the idea of “gender reassignment” would be more obviously unnecessary.

    • Foolishness says:

      I think all of us have to integrate both traditionally male and female characteristics to be whole persons. There are ways in which our sexual identity is a given, an objective biological reality, but there are also ways in which social construct does play a role in accentuating some characteristics to the detriment of all. I think you make an interesting point EPMS.

  3. EPMS says:

    Well, I am perhaps looking at the idea of “social construct” somewhat differently; I do not believe that society puts pressure on little girls to do “girly” things and little boys to do “boy” things and if they were raised in a gender neutral laboratory by robots they would all be the same. I think more girls would still spontaneously pick up the tutus, and more boys the hockey sticks. The difference would be that there would be no stigma attached to the girls with the hockey sticks or the boys in the tutus, fewer though they might be, because there would be no external labelling of either as “masculine” or “feminine”. My efforts to get funding for this experiment have been unsuccessful for some reason, so my idea remains a hypothesis. But I do feel very concerned that some people feel that their self-concept is so inconsistent with society’s notion of what is appropriate for their gender that the only answer is drastic mutilation.

    • Foolishness says:

      I’m glad I wasn’t born in the era of drastic mutilation. I enjoyed playing with trucks and electric trains as much as I enjoyed playing with dolls and playing with boys as the only tomboy in the crew or playing with girls. There was a little boy in my neighborhood who preferred playing with dolls and he did grow up to identify as gay. My little granddaughter likes to wield a sword while dressed up as a princess.

      • Rev22:17 says:

        Deborah and EPMS,

        This is a very interesting subject indeed.

        The curiosity here is that it now seems much more commonplace for girls to do what were traditionally considered masculine activities than for boys to do what were traditionally regarded as feminine activities. For example, one finds quite a few girls playing ice hockey and learning martial arts these days, and one also finds females cast as warrior princesses in superhero movies, but one still finds very few boys involved in ballet.

        Of course, the reality of “Mr. Mom” — fathers becoming full-time parents and homemakers while mothers work outside the home to support the whole family, parodied in the comic strip “Adam@home” — is much more common now than a few decades ago.


      • John Walter S. says:

        Certainly, St. Jehanne D’Arc did not shut up and go back to the kitchen when men found her inconvenient! St. Paul had things to say about the effeminate, however.

        What I understand from all of it is that God wants us to be masculine and strong and perfect like Him, but all our intimate vulnerabilities and weaknesses we submit only to Him as husband and wife do.

        Maybe it’s a giant perversion when you have “Butch” women who think they’re strong by striving to be second-class men, when the toughest women around are probably those who have undergone giving birth to large families and have ensured the preservation of the family, and by extension, the human race.

        So, thank you, good women, for giving birth to new souls and helping to perpetuate the human race.

        Homosexuals cannot do that- as for transgendered? You can cut away parts of your body and replace them with that which is unique to the opposite sex; but your blood, your genes, says you are a man or you are a woman, unless you were born with abnormal chromosomes. Otherwise, it’s some sort of abnormal psychological issue that would go to any lengths to change even genetics with the purpose of changing sex and call it “corrective”.

      • Rev22:17 says:


        You wrote:
        Homosexuals cannot do that- as for transgendered? You can cut away parts of your body and replace them with that which is unique to the opposite sex; but your blood, your genes, says you are a man or you are a woman, unless you were born with abnormal chromosomes. Otherwise, it’s some sort of abnormal psychological issue that would go to any lengths to change even genetics with the purpose of changing sex and call it “corrective”.

        Yes, for sure! Note, also, that the faux genitals of mutilated individuals are not functional. Such individuals are sterile.

        On the other hand, there is another consideration in these matters. A mutilated individual can repent of the mutilation, and there is no intent to repeat the act and thus no intrinsic obstacle to sacramental absolution. Note that the concept of “repentance” requires a person living in an active homosexual relationship must act definitively to bring that relationship to an end, or at least to alter it so that sexual acts are no longer involved, to obtain sacramental absolution.


  4. EPMS says:

    I think your granddaughter is modelling her grandmother, and is better and stronger for it.

  5. EPMS says:

    Of course when girls or women assume masculine roles they are taking on social power, so the motivation is obvious. When a man wears a dress, or does anything analogous, it is comic. This is a problem, IMHO.

    • Rev22:17 says:


      You wrote: Of course when girls or women assume masculine roles they are taking on social power, so the motivation is obvious. When a man wears a dress, or does anything analogous, it is comic.


      Of course, the paradox here is that women don’t need to assume masculine roles to take on social power. Here, the examples of Queen Elizabeth II and Margaret Thatcher stand out.


  6. EPMS says:

    If you mean that Margaret Thatcher wore a skirt and carried a handbag, yes she presented herself as a woman. Otherwise she seems indistinguishable from the male PMs who proceeded and followed her.

    • John Walter S. says:

      Powerful women are scary. I wonder why the Blessed Virgin Mary gives off a different vibe than the Thatchers and Elizabeths of human history?

      • Foolishness says:

        I think Margaret Thatcher was a wonderful example of a powerful woman who yet remained a woman, and not some parody of a man. She had great authority because she was deeply principled and unshakeable on that principle. To me that’s something to admire, not scary at all.

      • Stephen K says:

        I disagree, John. It is ideas and values not gender that counts. Powerful women are no scarier than powerful men, in my view: power is necessary for getting things done and a powerful person is often attractive to those without it. What is scary are the things powerful people – of either sex – can do or stand for. Deborah and others will ultimately find people like Margaret Thatcher inspiring or admirable for the things she did or stood for; I and others don’t for exactly the same reason. The same applies to any powerful person you think of, man or woman.

      • Stephen K says:

        Deborah, on closer reading, I see that what you wrote was that you found Margaret Thatcher’s unshaking adherence to her principles, deeply held, admirable, not more, strictly speaking. So, with your perimission, I should expand.

        I think it would be generally true that when we describe a person as deeply principled we are responding positively to the fact that they have thought out their value or values and conduct their actions in accordance with them – a recognition of a quality of coherence, consistency, even courage etc. This enables us to know something of who they are and rely on how they might act; we generally feel we can trust what they might say. All inherently good things, it seems. By contrast, we generally respond negatively to people whose word can never be relied upon, whose actions belie their words, whose actions or words we can never predict, whom we suspect are liars or cowards or both. And so on.

        Now, in the broad, and on that basis, I think we can indeed attribute the virtues of honesty and courage and reliability etc to Margaret Thatcher. We can indeed find these qualities admirable in her, and admire her for them. But is it possible to have honesty, courage etc with disastrous principles at their root? Well, of course. So there will be those who recognised Margaret Thatcher for these qualities but deplored her principles and actions. As people do, in relation to whosoever you care to name, be they prime ministers or popes.

      • John Walter S. says:

        I know what it is. There’s a reassuring sort of motherly power that emanates from the Blessed Mother that makes her undoubtedly different from the corruptible Thatchers of the world.

        What could be a more important job than the continuation of the human race? This recent trend where girls are being pressured to perform equally or better than men is directly related to the increasing feminization of men, of the Church, of the decreasing birth rates in the Industrial world.

        Now, Thatcher’s a supporter of abortion. So it makes me suspicious of women who are put in the positions of power that men had previously held especially in these days of feminism and constant railing for “rights” including that of infanticide. If I can make an exception to my suspicion towards women of power, it is she who displays faithfulness to the Magisterium of the Church. Right now, I can think of only one, and she is no longer in office.

        Ha, I can only guess some pseudo-intellectual would accuse me of having a Madonna/Whore complex; that women to me are either motherly substitutes or promiscuous sex object, but never an equal to a man. What a stupid and presumptuous thing! Those pseudo-intellectuals think that in order for men and women to be equal, they have to be the same in all manner, because they tend to lean towards leftist ideology which targets the institution of the family as superfluous and outdated, if not outright harmful to an egalitarian society with no kings, no God, no parents, only the Will of the People, that wretched, sinful, wicked mob that invites God’s wrath.

      • Rev22:17 says:


        You wrote: Now, Thatcher’s a supporter of abortion.

        I could be wrong, but I don’t believe this assertion to be true. The former prime minister was a staunch conservative.

        Of course, political realities are sometimes nasty. She might have tolerated legalized abortion for want of support within her own party to end it.


      • William Tighe says:

        No, Norm, John is right about Mrs. Thatcher. As a backbench Tory MP she supported the 1967 statute (David Steel’s “Abortion Act”) that brought about (in effect, but contrary to the provisions of the statute) abortion-on-demand. Towards the end her premiership (from 1979 to 1990), in 1990, an act, the “Human Embryology and Fertilisation Act,” was passed reducing the time to perform effectively on-demand abortions from 28 weeks of pregnancy to 24. Throughout her premiership Mrs. Thatcher, had resisted calls from many Tory MPs for just such an act, and when she finally consented to the introduction of the act she insisted that the limit be set at 24 weeks rather than the 22 or 20 weeks which many of the proponents favored; and, at the same time, the act contained provisions making it easier to obtain an abortion (in theory; in practice, it was already easy) than it had been under the 1967 act.

        I have a vague recollection of seeing, or reading, an interview with Mrs. Thatcher early on in her premiership – I lived in the UK from 1978 to 1986 – in which she definitely, if obliquely, enunciated her “pro-choice” personal stance on the issue.

  7. EPMS says:

    I would never say she didn’t “remain a woman”, but not by displaying stereotypical qualities thereof; no one would suggest she was particularly “nurturing” or managed her cabinet by encouraging consensus or wanted members to ensure they maintained “work/life balance” or any of the other differences that would supposedly manifest themselves if women ran the world.

  8. EPMS says:

    Norm, here is an article on the subject: https://www.lifesitenews.com/blogs/margaret-thatchers-views-on-abortion-might-surprise-you Thatcher’s conservatism was not identical to the contemporary American model.

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