Vatican says transgender people can be baptized

Pope Francis holds mass for late Benedict XVI's soul and deceased bishops, in St. Peter's Basilica, at the Vatican, Friday, Nov. 3, 2023. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)
By Dénes Albert
2 Min Read

According to the Vatican’s Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Roman Catholic church’s main body for church doctrine, an adult who identifies as transgender can receive the sacrament of baptism under the same conditions as any other adult, as long as there is no risk of causing scandal or embarrassment to other Catholics.

The Vatican also explained that children or adolescents with problems related to transgender identity can also receive baptism, “if they are well prepared and willing.”

The Vatican also answered questions about whether people who identify as transgender or are in a homosexual relationship can be godparents or witnesses at a marriage, and whether children adopted by same-sex couples can be baptized. On the latter question, the DDF referred to Article 868 of the Church Code, saying, “For a child to be baptized, there must be a well-founded hope that he or she will be brought up in the Catholic religion.”

The issue came up in questions posed by Brazilian Bishop José Negri of Santo Amaro to the doctrine office. The full response can be read on the Vatican’s website dated October 31 and signed by Cardinal Victor Fernández, prefect of the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith, and Pope Francis.

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