The Vatican’s doctrinal office has stated that transgender individuals can participate in Roman Catholic baptisms as godparents, witnesses at religious weddings, and receive baptism themselves. However, the office was less clear on whether a same-sex couple could have a Church baptism for an adopted child or one obtained through a surrogate mother. Bishop Jose Negri of Santo Amaro in Brazil had sent six questions to the doctrinal office regarding LGBT people and their involvement in the sacraments of baptism and matrimony. The questions and answers, signed by Cardinal Víctor Manuel Fernández and approved by Pope Francis, were posted on the department’s website. Pope Francis has been working to make the Church more inclusive to the LGBT community while maintaining Church teachings. The doctrinal office stated that transgender individuals can be baptized with certain conditions, as long as it does not cause scandal or confusion among the faithful. They can also serve as godparents and witnesses at Church weddings, with the decision left to the discretion of the local priest. Father James Martin, a Jesuit priest and advocate for LGBT rights, praised this development as an important step forward. The document also mentioned that individuals in same-sex relationships can be witnesses at Catholic weddings, as there is no prohibition against it in current Church legislation. However, the response was less clear regarding the role of same-sex couples in baptism, particularly when it comes to children. The Vatican stated that for a child of a same-sex couple to be baptized, there must be a well-founded hope that the child will be educated in the Catholic religion. Similarly, the response stated that a person in a same-sex relationship can be a godparent at a Church baptism if they lead a life that aligns with the faith.
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