The Vatican announced Wednesday that transgender people can be baptized and become godparents under certain conditions, as well as serve as witnesses to church weddings. The statement, which was written in Portuguese, was made in response to a Brazilian bishop who asked the Vatican about the church’s stance on transgender people within its congregations.
The Vatican’s document stated that transgender people, including those who have received hormone replacement therapy or sex reassignment surgery, can be baptized “under the same conditions as other believers,” but only if there is no “risk of generating a public scandal or disorientation among the faithful.” But the document did not clarify what a public scandal would entail.
Additionally, the statement allows for transgender “children and adolescents” to be baptized as well, and added that there is no reason why transgender people cannot serve as witnesses at weddings. The document also specifies that a same-sex couple would be able to baptize a child who had been adopted or born via surrogate providing there is “a well-founded hope that he or she will be educated in the Catholic religion.”