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People Who Got Transgender Surgery Can Be Baptized And Be Godparents Under Certain Conditions, Vatican Clarifies

 The Vatican   on Wednesday clarified several questions regarding people who have received transgender medical treatments, same-sex couples,...

 The Vatican on Wednesday clarified several questions regarding people who have received transgender medical treatments, same-sex couples, and Catholic sacraments.

The Vatican’s Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith, which exists to defend Catholic doctrine, published a document on Wednesday responding to six controversial questions submitted by a Brazilian bishop over the summer.

Some of the questions dealt with whether a transgender person can be baptized, serve as a godparent at a baptism, or be a witness at a wedding. The other questions dealt with whether a same-sex couple’s child can be baptized and whether a cohabiting person in a same-sex relationship can be a godparent or witness at a wedding.

On the first transgender question, the Vatican responded that a person who has received gender surgery or hormone treatment can be baptized “under the same conditions as other believers, if there are no situations in which there is a risk of generating public scandal, or disorientation among the faithful.”

Children and teens with “problems of a transgender nature” can also be baptized if they are well prepared and willing to receive the sacrament, the Vatican said.

The Vatican cautioned, however, that when a person is baptized “without repentance for grave sins, the subject does not receive sanctifying grace, although he receives the sacramental character.”

“In any case, the Church must always remind us to fully live all the implications of the baptism received, which must always be understood and deployed within the entire path of Christian initiation,” the document stated.

On the godparent issue, the Vatican said people who have undergone transgender medical treatment can serve as godparents “under certain conditions.”


“However, since this task does not constitute a right, pastoral prudence demands that it not be permitted if there is a risk of scandal, undue legitimation or disorientation in the educational sphere of the ecclesial community,” the Vatican document said.

On the questions regarding same-sex couples and baptism, the Vatican said that a priest baptizing a child must have a “founded hope” that the baptized child will be raised Catholic, as Catholic canon law establishes.

The Vatican also noted that canon law states that a godparent should be a Catholic who has received the sacrament of Confirmation and someone “who leads a life of faith in keeping with the function to be taken on.”

The case is “different” when it comes to cohabitating same-sex couples in a “stable and declared” sexual union that is “well known by the community,” the Vatican said.

The Catholic Church does not sanction same-sex marriage.

On the wedding witness questions, the Vatican said there is no rule preventing a person who has undergone transgender treatment or a cohabiting person in a same-sex relationship from serving as a witness.

The document was signed by Pope Francis last month, as well as the Dicastery’s new prefect Cardinal Víctor Manuel Fernández.

In recent years, there has been much speculation around whether Pope Francis would change the Catholic Church’s approach to LGBT people.

The Catholic Church never changes its official doctrine, although it often clarifies particular points.

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