According to the new decision of the Vatican, trans people can undergo baptism, become godparents or be witnesses at a wedding. But there is a catch. He said he must not cause offense or confusion to other believers. Even the Czech bishops do not know what this means exactly.
The Vatican’s Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith, which until the beginning of the 20th century was known as the Roman Inquisition, sanctioned the baptisms of trans people and their active participation in important church sacraments. According to the Holy See, trans people can also act as witnesses at church weddings or become godparents. The Catholic Press Agency reported on the decision.
The statement comes on the basis of a direct question from Brazilian Bishop José Negri on how to behave in these cases. “A transsexual who has undergone hormone treatment and gender reassignment surgery can receive baptism under the same conditions as other believers, unless there is a risk of public scandal or confusion among the faithful,” the Vatican responded.
“Even children or adolescents with transsexual problems, if they are well prepared and willing, can receive baptism,” Pope Francis and Cardinal Victor Fernández write further, adding that “for a child to be baptized, there must be a reasonable hope that he will be educated in the Catholic religion “.
In practice, the Vatican also advises on the matter of witnessing at weddings and participating in baptisms in the position of godfather – that is, with the formula “unless there are situations where there is a risk of public scandal or confusion among the faithful”. The editors of TN.cz have therefore addressed the Czech Bishops’ Conference with a request for an explanation of the substantive meaning of this formulation and also for an expression of how the Czech Catholic Church plans to fulfill this position of the Holy See.
However, the Czech bishops do not yet know how to react to the Pope’s advice. “This is new information, which the bishops of Bohemia, Moravia and Silesia will have to become more familiar with and deal with, because we do not yet have more information than is contained in the Vatican’s answer. So for now, we cannot say exactly how this would work in practice. Anyway so it will be necessary to resolve that very passage regarding outrage or confusion,” Monika Klimentová, spokeswoman for the bishops’ conference, wrote to TN.cz.
Pope Francis is quite progressive in his views. He admitted, for example, that he could imagine the abolition of compulsory celibacy (3/2023):