The Catholic Church allows the baptism of transgender people as long as it does not cause public outrage. This is stated in the opinion of the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith, which usually resolves questions regarding the position of the Catholic Church sent by church officials.
The document also clarifies that homosexuals and transgender people can be witnesses at a church wedding. The Vatican did not give a clear answer to the question of whether a child cared for by people of the same sex can be baptized.
According to the document, transgender people, whom the Vatican calls transsexuals, can be baptized “under the same conditions as other believers, unless situations arise where there is a risk of public scandal or loss of orientation of the faithful”. Under certain conditions, transgender people can be allowed to be baptismal godparents, according to the document, although the Vatican advises caution in such situations.
The Vatican has also said that transgender people and homosexuals can be witnesses in church marriages. For homosexuals who have an active sex life, the dicastery does not recommend that they become godparents at baptism.
The Vatican gives a less clear answer to the question of whether a child of homosexual parents can be baptized. It states that a child can only be baptized if there is “a well-founded hope that he will be brought up in the Catholic faith”.
The interpretation was provided by the dicastery under the leadership of the new head, Argentine Cardinal Víctor Manuel Fernández. He is considered a close associate of Pope Francis.
Questions about sexual minorities are among those that provoke great debates among Catholics and church leaders. In several speeches, Pope Francis spoke out against discrimination against homosexuals in the church environment.
The Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith, which is the successor of the former Holy Inquisition, routinely answers questions from bishops and other church dignitaries regarding the positions of the church or ceremonies.