(BrightPress.org) – The Vatican has declared that transgender individuals are now welcome to receive baptism within the Church, provided it does not cause public uproar among members. This announcement comes from the Vatican’s theological oversight body, known as the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith, in response to a query from Brazilian bishop Jose Negri of Santos Amaro.
The document also asserts that the sacrament of baptism retains its lasting significance regardless of a person’s state of sin. While maintaining his stance during his papacy, Pope Francis reiterates that the Church is open to everyone, and baptism should be available to all.
The document, signed by Cardinal Victor Manuel Fernandez, further clarifies that the Church is neither endorsing nor opposing the concept of gender identity. Pope Francis, while critical of certain aspects of gender theory involving transgender individuals as a type of ‘ideological colonization,’ emphasizes that baptizing transgender people should not become a source of controversy.
In Roman Catholic theology, the term ‘scandal’ has a meaning different from its everyday use, denoting moral outrage. The Catholic Church Catechism describes scandal as an attitude or behavior that leads another person to do evil. The definition elaborates that a person causing scandal damages virtue and integrity, potentially leading their brother to spiritual death.
A recent Vatican document states that transgender individuals and those in same-sex relationships are now eligible to be baptismal godparents and witnesses at weddings. These changes were prompted by questions presented to the Dicastery for the Doctrine of Faith, partly due to official Catholic doctrine, as outlined in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, considering same-sex behavior and homosexuality as grave sins, essentially placing them in the same category.
Pope Francis’s perspective towards LGBTQ+ people has consistently remained non-judgmental. Even when asked about gay couples, his response was, “Who am I to judge?” The executive director of the LGBTQ+ Catholic group DignityUSA, Marianne Duddy-Burke, expressed satisfaction with the Vatican statement, noting that it is good to see that nobody is excluded from the Catholic Church’s holy sacraments.
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