The Vatican announced Wednesday that it is permissible in some cases for transgender Catholics to be baptized and to become godparents.
The national conference of Catholic bishops in the U.S. rejects gender ideology, but Pope Francis has been more accepting of transgender and homosexual persons in the church. Francis and Fernandez wrote the letter in response to a series of questions regarding whether transgender persons could be involved in the church from José Negri, Bishop of Santo Amaro of Brazil, according to the letter.
Pope Francis and Cardinal Victor Manuel Fernandez signed a letter making it official on Oct. 21 and it was posted on the Vatican’s Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith’s website.
“It is a major step for trans inclusion … it is big and good news,” Francis DeBernardo, executive director of Maryland-based New Ways Ministry, a LGBTQ church acceptance advocacy group, told The Associated Press.
Transgender persons can be baptized if “there are no situations in which there is a risk of generating public scandal,” or “disorientation among the faithful,” according to the document.
“In many dioceses and parishes, including in the US, transgender Catholics have been severely restricted from participating in the life of the church, not because of any canon law, but stemming from the decisions of bishops, priests and pastoral associates,” Rev. James Martin, a Jesuit priest who has advocated for years for greater LGBTQ inclusion in the church, told the AP.
Francis previously said in an interview in January that “homosexuality is not a crime” but is a sin and encouraged bishops to stop performing conversion therapy. American Cardinal Raymond Burke, along with cardinals from several other countries sent the pope a series of questions Oct. 2 including one requesting he clarify his position on gay marriage.
The Vatican did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.Republished with permission from The Daily Caller News Foundation.