Post submitted by Kerry Brodie, former HRC Global Press Secretary
On Wednesday, the Vatican ruled that transgender people are not entitled to be godparents, out of fear that “this person does not possess the requirement of leading a life according to the faith.” The Vatican's Congregation of Doctrine and Faith’s discriminatory decision prevents a child from receiving the guidance and spiritual support of loving godparents, and ostracizes transgender people.
"Just as we become more hopeful about progress in the Church, this decision denies transgender Catholics and their families a sacred responsibility to protect a child through life and spiritual formation," said Lisbeth Melendez Rivera, director of Latino/a and Catholic Initiatives for HRCF’s Religion and Faith Program. "Make no mistake, transgender Catholics are already doing this, with God's blessing even as the Church rejects them. ..... "This lack of pastoral approach -- rejecting Catholics through our own faith -- is exactly the reason so many LGBT people and allies leave the Church. This is not the Church I know and love."
The decision came after Alex Salinas, a transgender man, sought to serve as the godfather for his nephew. Though after the initial denial of his request, Bishop Rafael Zornoza Boy reversed the decision, while reaching out to the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to resolve the “confusion among some of the faithful.” They ultimately found against Salinas, denying him the opportunity to fill the role of godfather to his nephew.
HRC stands together with LGBT Catholics and people of faith calling for greater inclusion of transgender people of faith.