Catholic Church issues ban on transgender godparents

A bishop has determined that a 21-year-old trans man may not serve as a godparent of his nephew.

Alex Salinas appealed to Bishop Rafael Zornoza after he was told by his local priest that he would not be able to be godfather of his nephew because he does not live “in accordance with the Catholic faith.”

However, Bishop Zornoza rejected the complaint, insisting that the parish priest was “kind and understanding” in conveying to Mr Salinas that he “cannot serve as a baptismal sponsor because of canonical requirements that a sponsor live in accordance with the faith”.

However, the priest said that he could still “spiritually encourage and help the child in living the faith.”

“No one should be surprised if someone cannot be admitted” because of the life choices, as it is “something that happens often,” the bishop said.

Mr Salinas said that the parish priest was initially receptive to having him be the child’s godfather, but later changed his mind after contacting the diocese, the Spanish news agency EFE reported.

A transgendered Spanish legislator has since called for a study of whether the church’s decision equates to a national hate-crimes and hopes to challenge the religious body in court.

The Catholic Church in Ireland recently admitted that it will not stop performing legally-recognised weddings, despite threatening to do so over same-sex marriage.

In the run-up to the country’s referendum on same-sex marriage in May, the powerful Chuch had threatened to boycott legal marriages altogether in case of a ‘yes’ vote.

Last month, Spain celebrated ten years of same-sex marriage.

The country became one of the most progressive in Europe in 2005, when its newly-elected Socialist government moved to legalise same-sex marriage and adoption.