Pope Francis says that transsexuals can be baptized and that homosexuals and trans people can be godparents

The pontiff responds to a Brazilian bishop's questions and says that "the unconditional love of God is capable of generating, even with the sinner, an irrevocable alliance."

Pope Francis announced that a transsexual can be baptized within the Catholic Church both as a child and as an adult "if certain circumstances are met." In addition, Pope Francis pointed out that children who are raised by homosexual families, whether adopted or born through surrogacy, will also be able to receive the sacrament if there is "a well-founded hope that they will be educated in the Catholic religion." In the response to the dubia sent by the Brazilian bishop of Santo Amaro José Negri, the pope also clarified that homosexuals and trans people themselves can be godparents if "they lead a life in accordance with the faith and the task they assume."

"We must consider the objective moral situation of a person or his subjective dispositions towards grace"

In the answer, published by the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith (so far only in Italian and Portuguese), the Vatican points out that "a transsexual – who has undergone hormone treatment and sex reassignment surgery – can receive baptism, under the same conditions as other believers, if there are no situations in which there is a risk of generating public scandal or disorientation among the faithful." In the case of transgender children or adolescents, if they are well prepared and willing, they can receive Baptism."

However, the Holy Father quoted the Catechism and Saint Thomas of Aquino and said, "We must consider the objective moral situation of a person or his subjective dispositions towards grace." In the case of Baptism, "the Church teaches that when the sacrament is received without repentance for serious sins, the subject does not receive sanctifying grace, although they do receive the sacramental character of the sacrament. Even when doubts remain about a person’s objective moral situation or about his or her subjective dispositions toward grace, one should never forget this aspect of the faithfulness of God’s unconditional love, which is capable of generating even with the sinner an irrevocable covenant, always open to development, and also unpredictable.”

Godparents must "lead a life in conformity with the faith"

According to the pope, "Under certain conditions, an adult transsexual who has also undergone hormonal treatment and a sex reassignment operation may be admitted to the task of godfather or godmother." However, since this task does not constitute a right, pastoral prudence demands that it should not be allowed if there is a danger of scandal, undue legitimization or disorientation in the educational sphere of the church community. "In this case, it must be demonstrated that this person leads a life in conformity with the faith."

In the case of being a wedding witness, the answer is even more inclusive: "There is nothing in current canon law that prohibits a homosexual or transsexual person from being a witness to a marriage."