A transsexual man in Spain has threatened to take the Catholic Church to court after his local bishop prevented him from becoming a godfather because he does not “live a life consistent with the faith”.
Alex Salinas, 21, who was born a woman, hoped to be godfather to nephew Eduardo. However, the Bishop of Cádiz and Ceuta, Rafael Zorzona Boy, said this was not possible, although Salinas could still be an unofficial “spiritual godfather”.
Alex called the decision a “kick in the stomach”, telling Spanish paper El Diario: “My parish priest had said that there would be no problem with me being godfather, but after speaking with the bishop he said that in the church’s eyes, I was still a woman.”
The decision has provoked a backlash among the cultural left in Spain, with critics calling the Church “transphobic”.
The Local reports that Carla Antonelli, Spain’s only transsexual parliamentarian, claimed that there is “no Canon Law that stipulates that a transexual cannot be a godfather in a baptism.”
“While Pope Francis is meeting transsexuals in the Vatican, the Spanish Catholic Church is still living in the Middle Ages,” she added, referring to a reported meeting between the Pope and a transsexual man in January.
However, while the Church has not specifically commented on the issue of transsexualism, Pope Francis has consistently criticised gender theory in general. Breitbart reported in April that the Pope said men and women were not “interchangeable” and are both made in the image of God with “complementary” roles.
“I wonder whether the so-called theory of gender is not an expression of frustration and resignation, which tries to erase sexual differences because it doesn’t know how to handle them,” he said.
The vast majority of orthodox Catholic theologians agree with the Pope and argue that transsexualism is incompatible with Church teaching.
Fr Vincent Serpa of Catholic Answers, for example, has commented: “Attempting to change the sexual appearance of one’s body because of one “feelings” is like trying to make a square circle. Better to go with what God has already created.
“Even when a person goes through all the operations and plastic surgery, one’s DNA remains what one was born with. Besides not being honest, such attempts constitute sins of mutilation of the body.”