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Vatican says transgender Catholics can be baptized

By Agence France-Presse Published Nov 09, 2023 12:28 pm

Transgender believers can be baptized in the Catholic Church, if it would not cause scandal or "confusion," the Vatican said Wednesday, Nov. 8, clarifying a sensitive area of doctrine.

The Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith, tasked with promulgating and defending matters of Catholic faith, also raised no objections to baptism for the children of same-sex couples, either adopted or born through surrogacy.

The comments were made in a document responding to questions from a Brazilian bishop, written on Oct. 31 but only made public now.

It was approved by Pope Francis, who has repeatedly said the Church should be open to everyone, including LGBTQ+ believers.

However, he has made clear that he considers homosexuality "a sin, as is any sexual act outside of marriage."

Catholic teaching defines marriage as the union between a man and a woman in order to have children.

In the document, the dicastery said transgender faithful "can receive baptism, under the same conditions of other faithful, if there is no situation in which there is a risk of generating public scandal or uncertainty among the faithful."

This is true of someone who has undergone hormone treatment and/or sex reassignment surgery, it said.

In response to a question on whether a same-sex couple could be viewed as parents of a child who must be baptized, the dicastery said only there must be a "well-founded hope" that the child would be educated in the Catholic religion. (AFP)