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Transgender people can be baptized, be godparents – Vatican

Transgender people can now be baptized in the Roman Catholic Church as long as doing so does not cause scandal or “confusion”. This was announced by the Vatican, with the doctrinal office adding that trans people could now also be godparents at baptisms, and be witnesses at weddings.

Photo by Matteo Basile from Pexels.com

Transgender people are supposed to celebrate conditional “acceptance” from the Roman Catholic Church?

Transgender people can now be baptized in the Roman Catholic Church as long as doing so does not cause scandal or “confusion”. This was announced by the Vatican, with the doctrinal office adding that trans people could now also be godparents at baptisms, and be witnesses at weddings.

This position came after Brazilian Bishop José Negri wrote to the Church’s Dicastery of the Doctrine of the Faith with six questions regarding LGBTQIA people and their participation in baptism and matrimony.

The Vatican department posted three pages in response, which was signed by the dicastery’s head, Argentine Cardinal Víctor Manuel Fernández, and with the approval of Pope Francis.

This response stated:

  • that a transgender person – including those who underwent hormonal treatment and gender affirmation surgery – can receive baptism under the same conditions as other believers, hoping that it would “educate” the trans g=person in the Roman Catholic Catholic religion
  • trans people can be godparents (again, even those who underwent hormone treatment and gender affirmation surgery)

The caveat in both instances: Priests have the discretion to refuse such a request if “there is a danger of scandal, undue legitimization or disorientation in the educational sphere of the church community”.

Negri asked other questions, with the Vatican providing less clear answers – e.g. he asked if a person in a same-sex relationship could be a godparent at a Church baptism, and Vatican only stated that the person had to “lead a life that conforms to the faith”.

The move, limited as it is, is said to reflect Pope Francis’ desire to make the Roman Catholic Church more welcoming to LGBTQIA people. Note that Francis still considers same-sex relationships “objectively sinful” and so the Roman Catholic Church still will not recognize same-sex marriage.

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