The Vatican on the baptism of transsexual people: “the door must not be closed to anyone”


The Vatican published this Wednesday a document written on October 31 by the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith, expressing the possibility for transsexuals to be baptized "if there is no scandal among the faithful." The question of baptism of children of same-sex couples, of those born through surrogacy, as well as the legitimacy of transsexual godparents was also raised.

Yesterday, the Vatican shared on its X account (formerly Twitter) the response of dicastery for the Doctrine of the Catholic faith, responsible for “promoting and protecting Catholic doctrine and morals”, to questions posed by José Negri, bishop of Santo Amaro in Brazil, concerning baptism for transsexual people.

The Catholic Church, which considers baptism a sacrament, says that "children of homosexual couples and transgender people can receive baptism."

“The answer is yes, provided there is no scandal”

according to the document, the baptism of transsexual people is only possible if the community is not “scandalized” or in “uncertainty”. Thus for the Catholic Church, “the answer is yes, provided that there is no scandal”, this baptism being thus subject to the reactions that it could provoke among the faithful.

Saint Thomas Aquinas is mentioned to clarify that even if baptism seems to lack "the right provisions", the fact remains that it allows "to welcome Grace" into the life of the believer who receives it. 

While at the beginning of October, Pope Francis spoke in favor of blessing homosexual couples in the name of "pastoral charity", he recalls this month that "the Church is not a customs house and that, particularly with regard to baptism, the door must not be closed to anyone". meaning, the dicastery specifies that “Christ continues to seek the sinner and that, when repentance comes, the sacramental character received immediately disposes one to receive grace”.

The baptism of children and the choice of godparents depend on their commitment to the Catholic religion

The responses provided by the Catholic institution also concern its position regarding baptisms for children of homosexual couples and those born through surrogacy. For the Church, these different baptisms are possible provided “that there is a well-founded hope that he will be raised in the Catholic religion”.

Concerning the choice of homosexual godparents, the ecclesial authority is not against it, but recalls that the chosen godfather or godmother must have "a life consistent with the faith and the responsibility they assume." The sacrament of baptism is “a precious good to protect, since it is necessary for salvation”, concludes the body.

We contacted the National Council of Evangelicals of France (CNEF) to question them on their position regarding the baptism of transsexual people. In view of the great diversity of practice within their members, the evangelicals of France told us that they did not have a reference document on the subject of baptism. 

Melanie Boukorras 

Image credit: Shutterstock / photo_mastery

In the category Church >

Recent news >