ROME — The Vatican’s doctrinal office (DDF) declared this week that transsexuals and “homoaffective” persons can be baptized and serve as godparents provided certain conditions are met.
Transsexual persons, even if they have undergone hormone therapy or sex reassignment surgery, may receive the Sacrament of Baptism “if there are no situations in which there is a risk of generating public scandal or confusion among the faithful,” stated the text, signed by Argentinean Cardinal Victor Manuel Fernández.
The document was published this week in response to six questions (dubia) submitted to the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith (DDF) by Bishop José Negri of Santo Amaro, Brazil.
The responses “re-propose, in substance, the fundamental contents of what has already been affirmed in the past by the Dicastery concerning these matters,” the document asserts.
Shortly afterward, the former prefect of the very same DDF, Cardinal Gerhard Müller, released a text criticizing the document for its confusing language as well as for employing “transhumanistic terminology” antithetical to a Catholic understanding of the human person.
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“In truth, there are no transsexual or homophilous (homoaffective or homosexual) people either in the order of creature nature or in the grace of the New Covenant in Christ,” Cardinal Müller declared, since only “two sexes” exist.
“It is confusing and harmful that the Magisterium employs the terminology of a nihilistic and atheistic anthropology and thus seems to give its false content the status of legitimate theological opinion in the Church,” he said.
Transhumanism in all its variants is a “diabolical fiction” and a sin against the personal dignity of human beings, the cardinal stated, even when it presents itself in the form of transgenderism using terminology such as “self-determined gender reassignment.”
The DDF text also seems to wink at surrogacy, the cardinal notes, which is a grave disservice to Catholic teaching on the sacredness of matrimony.
The Vatican’s doctrinal office said that transsexual persons, whether adults, children, or adolescents, can be baptized, provided they are “well-prepared and willing, and that there is no occasion of scandal.”
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Even in the case where there are doubts “about the objective moral situation in which a person finds himself,” or concerning “his subjective dispositions towards grace” where there is no apparent intention to amend one’s life, the DDF does not exclude the possibility of being baptized or serving as a sacramental sponsor for others.
Concerning the possibility of a transsexual person or a person living in an openly gay relationship serving as a witness to a marriage, the Dicastery noted that there is nothing “in current universal canonical legislation” and therefore nothing prevents it.