Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Liberal Studies (MALS)


The Roman Catholic Church’s teachings on transgender people are contextualized by tracing the teachings on sexuality and gender through major Catholic thinkers, such as Clement, Augustine, and Aquinas; connecting them to Pope Francis; and applying these teachings to trans people. Pope Francis’s point of view is understood by analyzing his words and the words of those who cite him. While transgender people are currently marginalized, the Church can potentially become more trans-affirming under Francis by listening to more theologians and scientists. Francis may also represent a shift towards a leadership style closer to that intended by Vatican II.


A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in Liberal Studies.