VATICAN CITY (RNS) — Answering a question from a Brazilian bishop, the Vatican department that oversees doctrinal matters said on Wednesday (Nov. 8) that there is no reason to bar transgender people from being baptized or from serving as witnesses at Catholic weddings.“A transsexual — undergoing hormonal treatment and sex reassignment surgery — can be baptized, under the same conditions as other faithful, if there are no situations in which there is a risk of generating public scandal or disorientation in the faithful,” the document read.
Children and adolescents “with issues of a transsexual nature” can be baptized, the document read.
The statement was signed Oct. 31 by the prefect of the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith, Cardinal Víctor Manuel Fernández, and was produced in response to a question by Bishop José Negri of Santo Amaro, Brazil, regarding transgender and gay individuals.
RELATED: Fifteen hidden gems in the Synod on Synodality report
The dicastery made clear it was not offering a blanket approval of transgender individuals’ behavior. Its statement cautioned that their involvement in church sacraments should be permitted only when “it doesn’t cause scandal among the faithful” — a church formulation referring to actions that might convince others to sin. It also specifies that while baptism has a “sanctifying grace,” it applies only if the individual repents of “serious sins.”
According to the Catholic Church, engaging in homosexual act is a sin …