Vatican slammed for ‘harmful’ decision to ban trans godparents

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The Catholic Church has been condemned for its “harmful” decision to deny trans people the right to be godparents.

According to the Catholic News Agency , 21-year-old Catholic trans man Alex Salinas was rejected as his nephew’s godfather, and told he was not eligible because he is transgender.

His case launched an appeals process in the Church which eventually reached one of its highest authorities, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, for clarification.

The body upheld the original ban – claiming that the man’s gender identity “reveals in a public way an attitude opposite to the moral imperative of solving the problem of sexual identity”.

It added: “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 has been attacked by the Human Rights Campaign. The pro-LGBT group said the decision trashes the hopes of trans Catholics for inclusivity.

Lisbeth Melendez Rivera of the HRC Foundation’s Religion and Faith Program said: “Just as we become more hopeful about progress in the Church, this decision denies transgender Catholics and their families a sacred responsibility to protect a child through life and spiritual formation.

“Make no mistake, transgender Catholics are already doing this, with God’s blessing even as the Church rejects them.

“This lack of pastoral approach — rejecting Catholics through our own faith — is exactly the reason so many LGBT people and allies leave the Church. This is not the Church I know and love.”

Despite an early ‘who am I to judge’ PR blitz attempting to bolster his image, the Pope is yet to lift any of the actively homophobic and transphobic policies of his predecessors.

Proposals to ‘reach out’ to gay people were scrapped by the Church last year – and despite promises the plans would return at a 2015 Synod, the Church has no plans to discuss the matter again.

The Pope has also rallied against same-sex marriage, inviting representatives from listed hate groups to a ‘traditional marriage’ conference, and urging Slovakians to vote against equal marriage, which he claims “disfigures God’s creation”.