The Vatican released a document Wednesday affirming that individuals suffering from gender-identity disorders are allowed to be baptized or be named as godparents under specific circumstances.
The document is an official response to a dubia submitted by Brazilian Bishop Giuseppe Negri of Santo Amaro seeking guidance on the issue. It was propagated by the Vatican’s Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith and signed by Pope Francis.
However, in a somewhat ambiguous clarification, the guidance specifies that in order for individuals with gender-identity afflictions to be baptized, it must not cause “scandal” or “disorientation.”
This same stipulation applied to their eligibility to act as godparents or witness marriages, according to the Vatican.
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The ruling’s ambiguity is consistent with a variety of theological statements from the Vatican under Pope Francis and can make understanding how to implement the ruling difficult for clergy.
Father Brian Graebe, a priest with the Archdiocese of New York who holds a doctorate in theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, told Fox News Digital that the Vatican’s guidance is not contradictory to church teaching, but possibly “deficient.”
“There’s nothing in the document that contradicts church teachings. My reaction to it when I read it yesterday was that it’s deficient. The problem isn’t so much in what it says as in what it leaves unsaid,” Graebe said.
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He continued, “What I was disappointed not to see in the document was affirmation that in the right of baptism itself, whatever name the person has, we call it a Christian name [or] their baptismal name […] what we must affirm is that the correct biological pronouns are to be used.”
The Catholic Church teaches that gender ideology and transgender lifestyles are a “grave disorder” in need of correction through spiritual and secular therapy.
Pope Francis is a strong critic of gender ideology, saying earlier this year, “Gender ideology, today, is one of the most dangerous ideological colonizations.”
“All humanity is the tension of differences. It is to grow through the tension of differences,” the pope continued during a March interview. “The question of gender is diluting the differences and making the world the same, all dull, all alike, and that is contrary to the human vocation.”
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The Catholic Church affirms in its teachings the sanctity and value of every human being, irrespective of sinful lifestyles or disordered behavior.
“We’re talking about the sacraments, which are available to everyone of goodwill who approaches them with sincere faith. God calls everyone to salvation,” Graebe told Fox News Digital. “I think it would have to be a really high bar to refuse to baptize someone […] You have to have almost an explicit hostility toward the faith, which would make us wonder why they would want baptism to begin with.”
However, liturgical inclusion of unrepentant individuals living without apology in ways deemed sinful by the Church could meet the criteria for “scandal” – defined by the Church as “an attitude or behavior which leads another to do evil.”
“No matter what this individual perceives themselves as or sincerely believes themselves to be gender-wise, we have to affirm the truth of God’s creation and refer to this individual as the male or female that God created that person to be,” Graebe said.
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Pope Francis has previously attributed the increasing global push for gender subjectivity to well-intentioned individuals who “do not distinguish what is respect for sexual diversity or diverse sexual preferences from what is already an anthropology of gender, which is extremely dangerous because it eliminates differences, and that erases humanity, the richness of humanity, both personal, cultural, and social, the diversities and the tensions between differences.”
Source: Fox News