A ruling issued by the Vatican on Wednesday says it is "impossible" for transgender people to be godparents after a Spanish man was denied a request to be his nephew's godfather.
Alex Salinas, 21, was denied the opportunity by his local church because he is transgender. Bishop Rafael Zornoza Boy of the diocese of Cádiz and Ceuta, overturned the decision after an appeal by Salinas, but also referred the matter to the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith for further clarification. Citing "confusion among some of the faithful" and "the complexity and media attention garnered by this issue," the bishop asked the church's doctrine-enforcing judges to render a final judgement.
The Vatican's report says being transgender "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."
The decision went on to say there is "no discrimination toward [Salinas], 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."
While Pope Francis has tamped down the church's antigay rhetoric recently, as The Advocate has previously reported, he hasn't followed suit on transgender people.
"The acceptance of our bodies as God’s gift is vital for welcoming and accepting the entire world as a gift from the Father and our common home, whereas thinking that we enjoy absolute power over our bodies turns, often subtly, into thinking that we enjoy absolute power over creation,” the pope wrote in his encyclical released earlier this year. "Valuing one’s own body in its femininity or masculinity," is imperative for Catholics he said, writing, “It is not a healthy attitude which would seek to cancel out sexual difference."
Before that, Pope Francis condemned "gender theory" and ranked it among a list of other challenges he sees to the church.
But the pope also made headlines earlier this year, for example, after meeting with a transgender man at the Vatican and hugging him. The man had written to the pope about being rejected by his parish in Spain and being called "the devil's daughter" by a priest.