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GLAAD STATEMENT ON POPE FRANCIS’ SUPPORT FOR INCLUDING TRANSGENDER PEOPLE IN THE CHURCH
- Last updated: November 9, 2023
(New York, NY, November 8, 2023) — Today in response to dubia (request for clarity) signed by Pope Francis, the Vatican has indicated that transgender people can be baptized and act as godparents or witnesses to a wedding in the Roman Catholic Church.
Sarah Kate Ellis (she/her), President and CEO of GLAAD, the world’s leading LGBTQ media advocacy organization, released the following statement:
“Pope Francis’ latest LGBTQ affirmation sends an unequivocal message to political and cultural leaders around the world to end their persecution and exclusion of transgender people. Pope Francis is continuing to break down barriers that have kept LGBTQ Catholics away from full participation as members of the Roman Catholic Church and is instead calling on global leaders to create welcoming spaces for LGBTQ people.”
Francis DeBernardo of New Ways Ministry, a 46-year-old national Catholic ministry of justice and reconciliation for LGBTQ+ people and the church, issued a statement that reads in part:
“We applaud that statements about transgender Catholics are generally positive, and that the Vatican affirms that children of same-gender couples can and should be baptized. …. We hope that church leaders will apply these guidelines by following Pope Francis’ example of extravagant welcome, rather than using them to continue old restrictions. … Welcoming transgender people more fully to the Sacraments is a good step; that welcome needs to be expanded even more now, including to Catholics in same-gender marriages who want to support their family members and friends in the practice of their faith.”
“It is encouraging to see the Vatican making it clear that LGBTQ+ people are not automatically banned from our church’s sacraments,” said Marianne Duddy-Burke, Executive Director of DignityUSA, the world’s oldest organization of Catholics working for justice, equality, and full inclusion of LGBTQIA+ people in the church and society. “LGBTQIA+ people around the world, and certainly in our country, are simply exercising our human rights to live in our true identities, to marry the people we love, and to raise children. … The reality is that majorities of Catholics already support full inclusion in our church, including access to the sacraments, for LGBTQIA+ people,” she said. “We continue our work to achieve full equality.”
Today’s news marks the latest development in a number of positive actions by Pope Francis and the Vatican for LGBTQ people. Pope Francis has consistently and continually urged church leaders and parishioners to accept and affirm LGBTQ people. Just last month, the Pope issued guidance allowing blessings for same-sex unions. In January, the Pope said, “Homosexuality is not a crime,” calling laws in nearly 70 countries that criminalize same-sex relationships “unjust” and that treating other people uncharitably is a sin. In August he told thousands of participants at the World Youth Day that the Church should be open to all, leading the crowd in a chant of “Todos! Todos! Todos!” Last year, he urged parents of LGBTQ people to “accompany their children and not hide in an attitude of condemnation.”
About GLAAD: GLAAD rewrites the script for LGBTQ acceptance. As a dynamic media force, GLAAD tackles tough issues to shape the narrative and provoke dialogue that leads to cultural change. GLAAD protects all that has been accomplished and creates a world where everyone can live the life they love. For more information, please visit www.glaad.org or connect with GLAAD on Facebook and Twitter.
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