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(LifeSiteNews) — In a statement released Tuesday, the Diocese of Lexington, headed by heterodox Bishop John Stowe, doubled down on referring to the woman who calls herself a man and lives as a “diocesan hermit” as a man named “Brother Christian Matson.”

“On Pentecost Sunday, Brother Christian Matson, a professed hermit in the Diocese of Lexington, has made it public that he (sic) is a transgender person. Brother Christian has long sought to consecrate his life to Christ in the Church by living the evangelical counsels of poverty, chastity and obedience,” the diocese wrote.

“He has consistently been accompanied by a competent spiritual director and has undergone formation in the Benedictine tradition. He does not seek ordination but has professed a rule of life that allows him to support himself financially by continuing his work in the arts and to live a life of contemplation in a private hermitage,” the diocese continued.

“Bishop John Stowe, OFM Conv., accepted his profession and is grateful to Brother Christian for his witness of discipleship, integrity and contemplative prayer for the Church,” it added.

The doubling down comes after “Brother” Christian Cole Matson, born Nicole Matson, told Religion News Service (RNS) on Friday, “This Sunday, Pentecost 2024, I’m planning to come out publicly as transgender,” adding that she has the permission of Bishop Stowe to publicly share this information.

The news that Matson is in fact a woman came as a surprise to many of her acquaintances, since her voice and appearance are that of a man, and she has not often disclosed the fact that she is a biological female. In 2015, EWTN interviewed Matson, who has developed strong ties to Catholic actors and artists, about her conversion to Catholicism, apparently without knowing the truth behind “Cole’s” masculine appearance.

Matson, 39, who was raised Presbyterian, explained to RNS that she “converted” to Catholicism four years after her “sex change” in college, which she referred to as part of her “medical history” rather than a “central part” of her “personal identity.” After her “conversion,” she “felt called to minister to those involved in the arts,” according to RNS, but anticipated obstacles to this aspiration because of the 2000 Vatican document that declared that anyone who has had a “sex change” is ineligible “to marry, be ordained to the priesthood or enter religious life.”

It should be noted that Matson continues to embrace her “trans” identity even after her “conversion.” She argues that the Catholic Church “can embrace transgender people while maintaining orthodoxy,” and that “Vatican-level documents that have come out on the subject have not engaged with the science at all,” according to RNS.

As reported by LifeSiteNews, Mother Therese Ivers, a canon lawyer, confirmed that it is canonically impossible for a “transsexual” person to live as a religious or in any ecclesial state.

According to Ivers, a transsexual commits a “very grave violation” against chastity, not in the sense that chastity is normally understood, but in reference to the fact that transsexuals “act against biological reality” and “against the type of human person that God intended that person to be.”

“A violation against the vow of chastity can include bodily mutilation and encouraging others to do the same. Such a sin would be morally grave in nature – we are not judging the soul – and would also incur sacrilege because it goes against the promise made to God (virtue of religion),” she added.

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