The Church of St. Paul the Apostle on Manhattan's West Side has come under fire from some of its own parishioners over a controversial display titled “God is Trans: A Queer Spiritual Journey.”
The display, which is said to detail “a queer spiritual journey in three steps: Sacrifice, Identity and Communion,” features artwork by Adah Unachukwu. It appears to be at odds with the Catholic Church’s official stance when it comes to the topic of gender identity.
One parishioner told The New York Post that the display felt out of place within the church — and noted that a priest, when asked by a friend about it, had not given an answer. The parishioner expressed their concern, saying, “The church should not be promoting this. I understand there are transgender people. I pray for all people but enough is enough. It seems like they are trying to force the agenda on others.”
The Post reached out to the Archdiocese of New York for comment and a spokesman noted that he had not been aware that the display existed.
The Church’s 2019 document “Male and Female He Created Them: Towards a Path of Dialogue on the Question of Gender Theory in Education,” states its opposition to the idea that sex and gender are two separate concepts, and refers to transgender identity as an attempt to “annihilate the concept of nature.”
The church’s decision to display “God is Trans” is raising questions from those who are familiar with the church’s teachings on gender identity. In addition to this, many are also questioning whether or not the display is appropriate for a religious setting.
The Church of St. Paul the Apostle is known to be “very liberal” and it remains to be seen if the display will remain in place or if it will be removed due to the criticism it has received. Regardless, the controversy stirred up by the display is sure to be ongoing.