The Catholic Church has fallen, it would seem, as signaled in a recent Vatican decree that states Transgendered people can be baptized by the church and even serve as godparents for others baptized by the church.
Pope Francis, who has made reaching out to L.G.B.T.Q. Catholics a hallmark of his papacy, has made clear that transgender people can be baptized, serve as godparents and be witnesses at church weddings, furthering his vision of a more inclusive church.
The pope’s embrace of transgender people’s participation in the church was revealed in a Vatican document that he approved on Oct. 31 and that was posted online Wednesday. It struck some transgender people and advocates of a more inclusive church as an “important” and encouraging step on a path toward a Roman Catholic Church that is more focused on opening its doors than keeping people out.
“Welcoming transgender people more fully to the sacraments is a good step,” Francis DeBernardo, the executive director of New Ways Ministry, a Maryland-based group that advocates for gay Catholics, said in a statement. The decision “signals Pope Francis’ desire for a pastorally focused approach to L.G.B.T.Q.+ issues is taking hold,” he added.