Transgender people can be baptised in the Catholic Church as long as doing so does not cause scandal or “confusion”, the Vatican has announced.
The Church’s doctrinal office also said trans people could be godparents at a baptism and witnesses at a wedding.
The move follows attempts by Pope Francis to make the Church more welcoming to LGBT people.
The Pope told one trans person in July that “even if we are sinners, he (God) draws near to help us”.
The Vatican’s updated stance comes after Brazilian Bishop José Negri wrote to the Church’s Dicastery of the Doctrine of the Faith with six questions regarding LGBT people and their participation in baptism and matrimony.
On Wednesday the department posted on its website three pages in response, which was signed by the dicastery’s head – Argentine Cardinal Víctor Manuel Fernández – and with the approval of Pope Francis.
It states that a transgender person – including those who have undergone hormonal treatment and gender 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”.