A media firestorm arose in Spain after a transsexual woman, who considers herself a man, asked to be the godfather of her nephew – leading a diocese’s bishop to turn to the Vatican for an answer. After writing to the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith about the issue earlier this month, Bishop Rafael Zornoza Boy of Cádiz and Ceuta was told that since transsexual persons are not consistently living Church teaching, its “impossible” for them to fulfill their duties as a godparent. The bishop wrote the letter after Alex Salinas, 21 years-old and born a woman, had requested to be the godfather of her nephew. In their response, the congregation – charged with safeguarding Catholic teaching – said that it is “impossible to allow” a person with transsexual behavior to be a baptismal godmother or godfather. In a Sept. 1 statement, the bishop said he turned to the Vatican due to “confusion among some of the faithful” and “the complexity and media attention garnered by this issue,” as well as the pastoral implications the decision has. In the Vatican’s full response – which the bishop provided in his statement – the congregation explained that transsexual behavior “reveals in a public way an attitude opposite to the moral imperative of solving the problem of sexual identity according to the truth of one’s own sexuality.” “Therefore it is evident that this person does not possess the requirement of leading a life according to the faith and in the position of godfather and is therefore unable to be admitted to the position of godfather or godmother,” they said, referring to canon 874 §3 in the Code of Canon Law. However, the congregation stressed that there is “no discrimination toward (Alex), but only the recognition of an objective lack of the requirements, which by their nature are necessary to assume the ecclesial responsibility of being a godfather.”
Vatican: transsexuals cannot be godparents
Deacon Greg Kandra - published on 09/03/15
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