Transgender people can be baptized, Vatican says
Transgender people can be baptized in the Catholic Church and serve as godparents, per an official Vatican document published Wednesday.
Why it matters: The decision builds on Pope Francis' support for LGBTQ+ people, who have faced marginalization from the church — though the pope has previously approved a Vatican doctrine that Catholic priests cannot bless same-sex unions because God "does not and cannot bless sin."
Details: Francis approved the document on transgender people on Oct. 31, which the Vatican's doctrinal office had written in response to six questions from a bishop in Brazil.
- Transgender people can serve as godparents at baptisms, be baptized themselves and serve as witnesses at weddings, according to the document.
- A person in a same-sex relationship can also serve as a witness in a wedding, per Vatican officials.
Of note: Answers from the Vatican were vague regarding whether same-sex couples could hold a baptism for a child who had been adopted or was born via surrogacy.
Zoom out: The decision follows shortly after the pope showed an openness to blessing same-sex unions in the church.
- Francis said earlier this summer that the church was "open to everyone," per Reuters, though he specified that this welcoming stood within the Catholic Church's rules.
Go deeper: Pope Francis will attend COP28